The capital of Ibaraki Prefecture, Mito is home to the lauded Japanese garden Kairaku-en, set near Senba Lake and considered to be one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan; i's most famous for the thousands of plum trees that bloom in its grounds during spring, when crowds gather in their droves to view the blossoms and pause for a picnic.
While the garden was created for all (Kairaku-en translates as ‘garden for everyone's enjoyment') the nearby historic Kodokan hall was where scholars met in support of the movement to ‘revere the Emperor, expel the foreigner' and to learn traditional samurai arts.
Today of course, foreigners are very much welcome.
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