This Golden Week, I went to Mito, an interesting city that deserves to get a lot more visitors than it does. I’ve already written about Kairakuen garden, the city’s most well-known attraction, but there are also some other attractions that make this city a nice getaway spot if you live in Tokyo. This is called the Kodokan. It was an academy for the nobles of Ibaraki Prefecture, and I can’t say I’ve ever seen a high school or university campus that was as beautiful as this one.
The school was founded in 1841 by the ninth feudal lord of Mito, Nariaki Tokugawa. Pupils studied the Chinese classics, warrior arts, mathematics, astronomy, and medicine.
The building is filled with beautiful calligraphy and furniture from 19th century Japan. Unfortunately, most of the buildings burned down in a fire, but the front gate and the main hall have been preserved.
An English pamphlet is available.
The Kodokan is open from 9 to 4 every day of the year. Admission is only 190 yen ofr adults. Address: Mito-shi, Sannomaru 1-6-29. It’s seven minutes’ walk from the station. Tel. 029-231-4725