Mito is the capital of Ibaraki Prefecture in central Honshū. Situated on the Nakagawa River, the city developed with the construction of a castle by the Daijō family in the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). Later, under the rule of the Edo and the Satake families, after the Battle of Sekigahara (1600), it became the castle town of Tokugawa Yorifusa (徳川頼房, 1603-1661), the eleventh son of Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康, 1543-1616), the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate.

The Mito Domain flourished throughout the Edo Period (1600-1868) as the base of one of the collateral (御三家 gosanke) families of the Tokugawa. It was noted for its capable daimyō, such as Tokugawa Mitsukuni and Tokugawa Nariaki. It was also, despite its close ties to the ruling house of Tokugawa, the centre of a pro-imperialist school of learning, the Mito School (水戸学 Mitogaku).

Local products include flour, tobacco, and nattō (納豆, fermented soybeans).

KairakuenKōdōkanTokugawa Museum
One of the Three Famous Gardens of Japan. Visit Lake Semba, the Kobuntei and the Tokiwa Shrine.The domain school for children of Mito samurai was established by Tokugawa Nariaki in 1841.Displaying artefacts of the Tokugawa family; a special exhibition is devoted to Mito Kōmon.
Ibaraki Pref. MuseumMitsukaido SchoolMito Castle Ruins
Focuses on the region's history, from early civilization to modern times, located close to Kairakuen.Mitsukaido Primary School, constructed in 1865, was one of Japan's first Western-style school buildings.Mito Castle, close to the Kōdōkan, was decommissioned in 1871 and totally destroyed in World War II.
ŌaraiArt Tower MitoNatto Pavilion
Marine resort and port: Aqua World, Bakumatsu Museum, Waku-Waku Science Museum, Marine Tower.Opened in 1990, ATM serves as a modern art centre. Spectacular: its 100-meter-tall metal tower.Small exhibition on the history and production of fermented soybeans by Tengunatto.


Mito, Ibaraki Pref.
By train: Mito is about 120 km from Tokyo. You can reach it on JR Joban Line (常磐線) from Ueno Station, Tokyo.
  • Local train:
    Ueno Sta. (上野駅) –> Mito Sta. 水戸駅 every 15 to 35 min. from 5:10 till 23:12
    Mito Sta. (水戸駅) –> Ueno Sta. (上野駅) every 15 to 35 min. from 4:27 till 21:44
    Time required: 1 hr. 51 min. ~ 2 hrs. 9 min; one-way fare: ¥2,210
  • Limited Express Train "Super Hitachi":
    Ueno Sta. (上野駅) –> Mito Sta. (水戸駅) every 30 min. from 7:00 till 22:30
    Mito Sta. (水戸駅) –> Ueno Sta. (上野駅) every 30 min. from 5:39 till 21:50
    Time required: 1 hr. 10 min. ~ 1 hr. 20 min; one-way fare: ¥4,020

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