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Kairakuen in Mito was a landscape gardening project started by Nariaki Tokugawa (1800-1860) Ninth feudal lord of the Mito Clan of Tokugawa Shogun family. The park opened in July 1842. The name "Kairakuen" comes from a saying within The Book of Mencius which states, "The ancients would share the pleasure with people, so their pleasures would be hearty and deep." Korakuen was built for not only feudal lords or feudal warriors, but also for commoners. Therefore, the design incorporates characteristics from modern parks as well as formal Japanese landscape gardens. In early spring, about 100 different types of 3000 plum trees put flowers, making Kairakuen one of the three most famous parks of Japan.
Mito Ume Matsuri is held at Kairakuen and Kodokan (February 16 to March 31 in 2019). Every year one million people visit the city for the festival. Mito is the capital city of Ibaraki Prefecture about 70 miles northeast of Tokyo.
One hour train trip by Super Express Hitachi which runs every one hour from JR Ueno Station, Tokyo.

URL: Kairakuen
Address: Tokiwa-cho, Mito City, Ibaraki Prefecture
Telephone: 029-244-5454
Admission: free
Open: All day 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Access: 15 minutes by bus from JR Joban Line Mito Station


Kobuntei inside Kairakuen Park is a historic three-story wooden building. Nariaki Tokugawa played a key role in Kobuntei's construction. He would invite writers, artists, and residents of his domain to Kobuntei and host parties that featured the composing of Japanese poetry and events to entertain the old.
Admission: 200 yen


The Kodokan, which opened in August 1841, served as the Mito Clan's school for the feudal domain. Feudal warriors and their children attended the Kodokan, where the admission age was 15, but there was no official graduation. Both traditional academics and military arts were emphasized at the school. The building is one of the nation's prized properties

URL: Kodokan
Address: 1-6-29 Sannomaru, Mito City
Access: 10 minutes walk from JR Mito Station
Open: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed Dec. 29-Dec. 31)
Admission: 200 yen
Telephone: 02-231-4725

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