Kairakuen is one of the best Japanese gardens and is most famous for its over three thousand plum trees. Kairakuen is located in Mito, the capital of Ibaraki Prefecture. Kairakuen was built in 1841 by the local lord Tokugawa Nariaki. Unlike Japan's other great landscaped gardens, Kairakuen served not only for the ruling lord but it was open to the public. Kairakuen means "park to be enjoyed together."
Kairakuen is particularly beautiful during the plum blossom season, from late February through March. The garden features about 3000 trees with white, pink, and red blossoms. The Mito Plum Festival (Mito Ume Matsuri) is held annually from mid-February through the end of March. Kairakuen also features a bamboo grove, cedar woods, and the Kobuntei, a traditional Japanese house. Like the rest of the park, the Kobuntei has always been open to the public and served educational purposes.
I visited Kairakuen in the beginning of May when plum blossom season was over and there were rather big green plums. I enjoyed the blooming azalea and many other flowers. I went to Kairakuen on a rainy day, so Kobuntei was a great place to stay indoors. After my visit, the rain was over and I could enjoy walking in the garden.
Kairakuen is located in Mito City, 120 kilometers northwest of Tokyo. Mito is easily accessible from Tokyo (such as Shinagawa, Tokyo or Ueno Stations) via the JR Joban Line. The one-way trip by Limited Express takes about an hour and costs around ¥4000, while local trains take twice as long but cost only ¥2270 yen. From Mito Station, Kairakuen can be reached in a pleasant 30-minute walk along Senba Lake where you can see many swans.
Find out more about Kairakuen Garden.
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I love Japan very much! I like small towns of Japan where I can watch people doing their business and talk to them carefully. They're always friendly. I like Japanese gardens where I can just sit or walk and take my time. Also I like Shinto Jinja as being there I feel in peace. I like to watch sunsets and then to dine in some small local places. I like to soak into onsen after a long day of wandering. I like Japanese crafts very much as all items are made with great taste and skill. Nihon wo daisuki desuyo!