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Mito

MitoMito mapMito is the city located roughly in the center of Ibaraki Prefecture, and is the prefectural capital.

In the late 12th century, a castle was built in this city, and since that here became the central town in this area.
After Ieyasu Tokugawa was founded the Edo government in 1603, he ordered Yorifusa, one of Ieyasu's sons, to govern this area.
Then Mito became one of the important domains governed by Shogun family.

Mitsukuni Tokugawa (1628-1701), the 2nd lord of this domain, is famous as good ruler.
He implemented various positive policies, worked towards the protection of the cultural properties, and compiled the national history.

Since the late 19th century, playwriters had created the fictions about him.
It is the story that he travels around the country under an incognito and exposes the dishonesty of the bad officials who has oppressed ordinary people wherever he visits.
He is called "Mito-Komon" by nickname, and its TV drama has hit screen for more than 40 years. It is still one of the most popular programs in Japan.

Kodokan school /1/

KodokanIt is the former school for Mito Domain, and is located 0.5 km north of JR Mito station.
In 1841, it was founded by Nariaki Tokugawa, the 9th lord, in the site of Mito castle.
It was a school like current university, so humanities, social science and natural science had been educated and researched.
But the school had said "We should spend lifetime to learn." So this school had no graduation, and it is said that young men and old men had learned there together.
After the founfation of new Meiji government, it was closed in 1872.

In the site, some buildings of the school remain.
And the whole site has become a park, and there area many trees of ume (Japanese apricot).

Kairakuen garden /2/

KairakuenIt is a Japanese garden located about 2 km west of JR Mito station.
It is one of the Three Famous Gardens in Japan, along with Kenrokuen in Kanazawa city and Korakuen in Okayama city.
It was built in 1842 by Nariaki Tokugawa.
It is about 13 hectares wide, and the 3,000 trees of ume (Japanese apricot) are famous.
When the Ume Festival from late February to end of March is held, many tourists visit here.

In the garden, there is Kobuntei, which was a villa of Nariaki.
And in the forest, there is Togyokusen spring. It had been said that the water was effective against eye disease.

Lake Senba /3/

Lake SenbaIt is a lake located to the southeast of Kairakuen garden.
It is about 33 hectares wide, and the length of lakeside is about 3 km.
Along the northern lakeside, Sakura River flows.
The area around the lake is a park, and the width as city park is the second in the world after the Central Park in New York.

Tokugawa Museum /4/

Tokugawa MuseumIt is a museum located about 0.7 km southwest of Kairakuen.
In this museum, the materials about Tokugawa Family in Mito are displayed. The buildings of the museum have modern style.
In Japanese, the name of this museum "Shokokan-Tokugawa-hakubutsukan". "Shokokan" was the name of building where Mitaukuni Tokugawa compiled the national history, and it was in this site.

The Tokugawa Museum official website

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

How to get to here

By railroad

From Ueno, by JR limited expresses "Super-Hitachi" or "Fresh-Hitachi", about 1 hour and 5-18 minutes.

By express buses

To Mito station, 1 hour 53 minutes from Tokyo station, 2 hours and 34 minutes from Shinjuku station.

By car

Run the Joban Expressway, and exit at Mito Exit. About 100 km from Tokyo. About 9 km from there to central Mito, about 15 minutes.




Statue of Mito-Komon and two bodyguards
Photo by Railstation.net
Entrance of Kodokan
Main building of Kodokan
A room in Kodokan
Photo by Railstation.net
Kairakuen garden
Trees of ume in Kairakuen
Kobuntei in Kairakuen
Togyokusen spring in Kairakuen
Lake Senba Tokugawa Museum


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