Most visitors to Mito in Ibaraki Prefecture head to the famous garden Kairakuen and the Kodokan, an old school for samurai, but once you’ve seen them, there are a couple of other places worth checking out as well. One is the Mito Art Museum. It was built in 1989 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the city’s municipalization and hosts concerts, art exhibits, and plays. You can ride up to the top for just 200 yen.
Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I actually like the Mito Shokubutsu Koen (Mito Botanical Park) better than Kairaku-en. It’s huge and has three or four greenhouses filled with tropical plants, flowers, and cactuses. There’s also a large pond that you can stroll around, and the grounds and flowers are beautifully kept up.
This old lady planting seeds wasn’t actually in the park. The photo was taken through the fence.
Art Tower Mito
Open: 9:30-6:00, closed Mondays and the day after national holidays
Admission: Tower 200 yen, Tour 500 yen, Gallery 800 yen.
Address: 1-6-8 Goken-cho, Mito-shi
Tel. (029) 227-8111
Transportation and Map: http://www.arttowermito.or.jp/Tower/access.html
Mito Botanical Park
Open: 9:00-4:00, Closed Mondays and the day after national holidays
Admission: 300 yen
Address: 504 Kobuki-cho, Mito-shi
Tel. (029) 243 9311
Transportation: Take Kanto Tetsudo’s Shokubutsu Koen” bus from the North Exit Bus Terminal of Mito Station. It takes about 30 minutes and costs 400 yen. ）Buses depart from the station at 8:30、10:10、13:35、and 14:55, returning at 11:05、14:35、15:55、and 16:50. (The 13:35 and 15:55 buses do not run on weekends and holidays.)