|— Special city —|
|水戸市 · Mito|
Location of Mito in Ibaraki Prefecture
|- Mayor||Kōichi Katō|
|- Total||217.45 km2 (84 sq mi)|
|- Flower||Bush clover (hagi)|
|- Bird||White Wagtail|
|Website||City of Mito|
1-4-1 Chūō, Mito-shi, Ibaraki-ken
Mito (水戸市 Mito-shi ) is the capital of Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan and has a central location, moderately offset towards the coast in that prefecture. As of 2005, the city has an estimated population of 263,748 and a total area is 217.45 km², giving a density of 1,212.91 persons per km². Mito natto is the city's culinary speciality and is well-known across Japan.
Mito is the site of the Japanese garden Kairaku-en, located near Senba lake and counted as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. Constructed by Tokugawa Nariaki in 1842, the park is known nationwide for its breathtaking ume trees. Many people come to the park in spring to view the spectacular blossoms, particularly during the Ume Festival. In summer, Mito also holds the Mito Koumon Festival.
Mito was the seat of the so-called Mito School, a congregation of nativist scholars of Confucian persuasion led by Aizawa Seishisai, who during the eigthteenth and nineteenth centuries advocated Western learning as a means not only to further Japanese technological development and international strength, but as means to prove Japanese uniqueness and superiority among nations.
The Yamato people settled in Mito around the fourth century CE. Around the end of the Heian period, Baba Sukemoto, a warlord of the Heike family, moved to Mito and built a castle there. Mito Castle changed hands several times after that: a daimyo named Satake Yoshinobu won it in the mid-1500s, but he was forced to surrender it to Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603 after the epic Battle of Sekigahara. Ieyasu's son Tokugawa Yorifusa then took over Mito Castle, becoming one of the three "gosanke" family members fortified outside of Edo. Edo was directly connected to Mito by the Mito Kaidō. The Tokugawas directly ruled Mito until the mid-1800s, when the bakufu in Edo was overthrown.
The modern city of Mito was formed on April 1, 1889, with a population of 25,000. It was designated as the prefectural capital. By 1900, the Joban Line connected it to Tokyo, and by 1910, telephones and electric lighting were available throughout the city. Although more than three-quarters of the city burned to the ground near the end of World War II, the population rebounded to 70,000 just two years later, and has continued to grow ever since.
Today, Mito is primarily a commercial and administrative city: most industry in Ibaraki is concentrated around the nearby city of Tsukuba. Mito has a modest but thriving tourism industry, centered on Kairaku-en (park) and local museums dedicated to the Tokugawa family. Mito is also the site of Ibaraki University and Tokiwa University, and is sister city to Anaheim, California.
Mito is located on the Joban Line (Mito Station) and Joban Expressway, which connect it to Tokyo and Tsukuba to the south and Hitachi and Iwaki to the north. The Suigun Line runs north to Koriyama, and the Mito Line runs west to Oyama. The closest major airport is Narita International Airport. Ibaraki Airport at Hyakuri Airfield in nearby Omitamaopened in March 2010. At present it offers only limited service with one flight a day to Seoul, Korea and a daily flight to Kobe. The airport hopes to attract service by budget air carriers and has structured services and fees accordingly.[[http://http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/11/business/global/11airport.html?scp=1&sq=airport%20mito&st=cse</ref>
When Tokugawa Ieyasu reunited Japan in 1603 and established the Tokugawa Shogunate, with its headquarters at Edo, he installed members of his own Tokugawa clan as rulers of Mito and only two other domains, present-day Nagoya and Wakayama. These three cadet lines (known as Gosanke 御三家) were eligible to supply an heir in case any ruling shogun failed to produce one. They were thus among the most loyal of the Tokugawa loyalists. However, the Mito School of fiercely chauvinist Confucian scholars also helped to redefine the Japanese nation in a way that provided the ideological foundation for enhancing imperial power during the Meiji Restoration and its aftermath.
The Rose Liner airport limousine bus runs between Narita Airport and the Mito-Oarai Interchange, Mito Station, Katsuta Station and points north to Hitachi. There are nine daily round-trips, and the journey to Mito Station takes about two hours at a cost of ¥3000. Schedule
From Haneda Airport, Airport Limousine buses make runs directly to Mito every hour, but only during the afternoon and evening (about 2 hours, ¥3500). Otherwise, take the Keikyu Line train to Shinagawa, then the JR Yamanote or Keihin-Tohoku Line to Ueno to pick up a train bound for Mito (2 to 3 hours, ~¥2600-4600, depending on what train you take; see below).
Limited Express trains depart from Ueno for Mito every 30 minutes during the day: Super Hitachi trains depart at the top of the hour, and Fresh Hitachi trains depart at 30 minutes past the hour. The trip will cost ¥4220 (no charge with the Japan Rail Pass) and take 65-75 minutes, depending on the number of stops the train makes.
Local trains will cover the journey in two hours at a cost of ¥2210. Direct local services for Mito depart from Ueno 2-3 times per hour.
Highway bus depart from Tokyo Station and it cost ¥2000 (about 2 hours). You need not a reservation beforehand but there are no reserved seat so you need to arrive early at the station.
Mito has a number of train stations within its boundaries:
The bus system in Mito, like all parts of Japan, is very complicated but once mastered, very useful. Most areas are serviced with buses coming a few times each hour. The bus for Kairakuen leaves from terminal 6 on the north side of Mito station.
Taxis are always available and the average flag fall is 660 yen.
The principal tourist attraction, the Kairakuen, is an easy half-hour walk from Mito station's South Exit. Just walk down to the river (Sakura-gawa), take a right and keep going along the north (righthand) shore of the lake. In April, you'll walk by cherry blossoms the whole way. The waterfowl will also provide some amusement.
Komon Festival, . This is a summer festival. It is started in Showa 36, and it is held at every year in August. During the festival we can see so beautiful fireworks. The fireworks not only goes up to the sky but also reflecting the surface of Lake. So we can see both of fireworks. These things, attracted to many spectators.
Natto Crackers (Area is famous for Natto)
Mito is famous for its nattō (納豆), a famously smelly and sticky glop of fermented soybeans. It's an acquired taste and even many Japanese (particularly those in Kansai) loathe the stuff.Yoshiharadenchu （吉原殿中）, Tgis is a Japanese cake that Mito clan Interior maid; Yoshihara made it. It is made from rice cake and covered with candy and coated in soybeen flour.
near onsen resort
Mito Prince Hotel(水戸プリンスホテル)Ibaraki Mito-shi sakuragawa 2-2-11, ☎029-227-4111 (FAX)029-227-4110, It takes 3minutes walk from the Mito Station. This hotel is popularity with which have about 40 kind of a handmade breakfast. Checkin 15:00~, checkout 10:00~, When you stay you need a reservation beforehand.
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