Mito Things to Do

  • Kodokan Hall
    Kodokan Hall
    by Rabbityama
  • Plum Blossoms at the Kodokan
    Plum Blossoms at the Kodokan
    by Rabbityama
  • Kairakuen from Kobuntei
    Kairakuen from Kobuntei
    by Rabbityama

Most Recent Things to Do in Mito

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    Kairakuen Garden

    by Rabbityama Written Mar 31, 2012

    Kairakuen Garden is one of the official Top 3 Gardens of Japan, along with Korakuen (Okayama) and Kenrokuen (Kanazawa). The garden was built by Tokugawa Nariaki and opened in 1842. The lords enjoyed it but it was also open to the public which was not the case for similar gardens elsewhere in the country. The Kobuntei however, was used only by the feudal lords and those they invited.

    A large portion of the garden is devoted to plum trees, of which there are around 100 different varieties and over 3000 trees. Nariaki loved plum blossoms, which came from his interest in Confucian learning as plum blossoms have always been favored in China. Visiting during March when the trees are in bloom is definitely the best time although there are actually other flowering plants around the garden that make it worthwhile at other times.

    In addition to the plum trees, the garden has a nice cedar forest, bamboo forest, and some more open sections that overlook the park across the train tracks.

    The Kobuntei was used by the feudal lords and was even the home of Nariaki's wife until 1873. Unfortunately, the original Kobuntei was destroyed by the bombings in WWII so the current structure dates back to 1958. Part of this structure also suffered damage in the March 2011 earthquake but was repaired. Exhibits showing parts of the garden that were effected can be viewed in the Kobuntei.

    Kairakuen Park, across the train tracks, offers a great view of Kairakuen and the Kobuntei.

    Surprisingly entrance to the garden itself is free. Entering the Kobuntei costs 190 yen which is quite a nominal fee, making it well worth it to see one of the top gardens in the nation. It's beautiful!

    Kairakuen Plum Blossoms Kairakuen from Kobuntei Pathway in Kairakuen Kairakuen's Kobuntei Plum Blossoms in Kairakuen
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    Mito Castle Ruins

    by Rabbityama Written Mar 31, 2012

    Mito Castle was one of the famous Tokugawa Castles, along with Nagoya Castle and Wakayama Castle. Unlike the other two, it was very simple with few fortifications. It was decommisioned in 1871 and what was left of it was then bombed in WWII so there is not much to see today however the Kodokan is within the old castle grounds, so those visiting the Kodokan won't have to take much time to see the gate and moat. As mentioned above, those interested in the Tokugawa may want to visit, as well as those who are trying to visit the designated Top 100 Castles, as Mito Castle is on the list (the only one in Ibaraki Prefecture).

    Mito Castle Moat Mito Castle Ruins
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    Tokiwa Shrine

    by Rabbityama Updated Mar 31, 2012

    Tokiwa Shrine was built in 1874 to enshrine Tokugawa Mitsukuni and Tokugawa Nariaki, important local lords known as Gikou and Rekkou respectively. It only took a little over a year to sanction the building of this shrine, raise the funds, and build it, which is said to show how important and popular these two men were.

    The shrine is located just outside the entrance to Kairakuen Garden, which was built by Tokugawa Nariaki. If you're going to Kairakuen then it's worth stopping by to pay respects to the men who shaped Mito.

    Entrance is free.

    Tokiwa Shrine Stairs to Tokiwa Shrine
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    Kodokan

    by Rabbityama Written Mar 31, 2012

    The Kodokan was opened in 1841 and used as the Mito clan's school. It was built by Tokugawa Nariaki who also built Kairakuen Garden. It was the largest clan school at the time and was used as both a military and academic school.

    The building has survived without being rebuilt, although it suffered damage in the March 11 Tohoku Earthquake in 2011. I visited in late March 2012. Previously visitors could enter the building but the structure has not yet been repaired so you can only look in from the outside. The outer area is very nice with many plum blossoms in the early spring (Nariaki loved plum blossoms) and the view from the outside is very sobering, as I was able to see cracks in the structure, some crumbled walls, torn screens, and shingles from the outer wall that had fallen as a result of the earthquake.

    Entrance is currently free but there is a donation box to help repair the building, so it would be great to give a donation and it's definitely still worth visiting. The building is all there and has retained its historical value.

    Kodokan Hall Kodokan Hall Kodokan Well Kodokan Hall Plum Blossoms at the Kodokan
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    Read the biography of Tatsuya Matsui

    by joiwatani Written Dec 5, 2008

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    Tatsuya Matsui is a very young inventor and scientist. He has already have a showing of his flower robotics in France. Matsui was born in Japan in 1969 and worked for Kenzo Tange Associates. In 1998, he visited France and he was the researcher for the ENSCI and Lotus France.

    He designed the sigmanoid robots called the "SIG" and "PINO". He also developed the humanoid robots "Posy" and "Pallette".

    I wish I can show you the pictures but our cameras were confiscated when we went to the museum. The robots were still pending in their patents. They are afraid someone might still their ideas!%c&

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    Visit the Mito Art Museum

    by joiwatani Updated Feb 24, 2008

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    The future's bus, train and airplanes future innovations are on display at the Mito Art Museum. Besides this, there's also the Tatsuya Matsui Flower Robotics. (Due to strict regulations, I can't show you pictures. I was not allowed to carry any cameras at all! Some inventions are still in progress).

    There are robots that can mimick sounds. When you say a word, the robot contacts a another robot and the next robot will memorize the sound and repeat the word that is being said. I said "Hello!" and the third robot said "Hello!".

    Some robots are supposedly to replace models and mannequins in the future. These robots sell jewelries and clothes. They have cameras inserted in their bodies and take pictures of you and then your pictures is put in the robot's memory. The robot then follows you to show the items the robot is selling.

    Inside the Mito Art Museum At the Tatsuya Matsui Flower Robotics The front of the Mito Tower Museum The Mito Museum Building The second floor of the Mito Art Museum
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    Go up to the Mito Tower!

    by joiwatani Written Feb 24, 2008

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    Believe me, taking the elevator up to the Mito Tower is like being squeezed like a sardine! There were only four of us who took the elevator but I felt like I can't breathe!

    The elevator is so small that's why. But, up at the tower, I can see the city of Mito! There are circular windows to view the city. It's not much to see really. There's not much to see inside the tower, either. Just beams of steels, lights and circular windows!

    I tried to peek into all the windows that I can reach and look around Mito City. As I am writing this, I don't really remember any spectacular thing that I saw! Unbelievable! Did I just waste my money to get into the elevator? I think I paid $5.00!!!

    Mito City as seen on one of the Mito Tower windows Mito Tower My father and me at the Mito Tower A pix of Mito City hanging on a steel frame The Mito Museum of Art Building
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    Kairakuen and Mito Koumon

    by chapy331 Written Feb 21, 2004

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    Kairakuen Plum Park is located at Mito, capital of Ibaraki prefecture, and it was landscaped by a domain head who was a member of Tokugawa family in 1842. Since then this park has been known as one of the major three parks in Japan.
    A staute of Mito Mitsukuni who is also known as "Mito Koumon" welcome visitors. He is one of the most famous heroes in samurai dramas who punishes vices.

    A staute of Mito Mitsukuni
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    Kairakuen Park

    by torun Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Kairakuen Park is one of the 3 most beautifl parks in Japan. It is famous for its 3,000 plum trees.
    February is best to see plum flowers but just taking a stroll in the garden is good in every season.

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    Visit the Tatsuya Matsui Flower Robotics

    by joiwatani Written Dec 5, 2008

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    This exhibition introduces the work by robot designer Tatsuya Matsui. Mr. Matsui developed humanoid robots such as "Posy" and "Palette".

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    Light has never been heavy to my eyes.

    by manuelEB Updated Apr 13, 2006

    Please give a description of the activity, why it was so special and what you recommend about it.
    ???

    Kairakuen
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    Kodokan

    by torun Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Kodokan was a famous school for Samurai in Edo era. The last Shogun Yoshinobu Tokugawa was once a student of this school.

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Mito Things to Do

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