Photo By: © Ibaraki Kankou Bussan Kyokai/© JNTO
Region
Kanto
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Mito
Population
2,985,424

Kairakuen Park

Plum pleasure.

  • Mito Plum Blossom Festival Dates: Feb. 15 to March 29, 2020
  • 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Nighttime Illumination 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 14)
Earning its rank among the top three landscape gardens in Japan, Kairakuen Park is a botanical beauty known for its ume or Japanese plum blossoms. The name Kairakuen, in fact, translates to “a garden for everyone’s pleasure.” The garden has been fulfilling this role since the Edo period.

Kairakuen Garden in Ibaraki Japan is known for its March plum blossom festival

Everyone goes crazy over cherry blossoms but the plum blossoms at Kairakuen are more peaceful.

The ninth feudal lord of the Mito clan, Nariaki Tokugawa, who ruled the region that is now present-day Ibaraki, was inspired by a phrase from the Confucian Classic: The Book of Rites. The phrase stressed the balance between tension and relaxation, thus sparking the construction of a public park to relax both the body and mind after a strenuous day of military training.

Kairakuen Garden in Ibaraki Japan is known for its March plum blossom festival

They smell soooo good.

And since Nariaki appreciated not only the aesthetic of plum blossoms, but also their practicality (with pickled plums serving as a survival food during military operations), his floral choice was an easy pick.

Kairakuen Garden in Ibaraki Japan is known for its March plum blossom festival

Even with no plum blossoms, the garden is still scenic.

While the acres of plum trees were planted back in 1842, Kairakuen currently boasts 3,000 blooming ume trees in over 100 varieties.

The Mito Plum Blossom Festival, held annually from mid February to March 31st, is a celebration of the coming of spring. On Saturdays and Sundays a host of events, ranging from live traditional music performances to open-air tea ceremonies – are as fun as Nariaki would have intended.

Things To Know

Opening Hours

The garden is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 20 to Sept. 30 and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 1 to  Feb. 19.

How To Get There

Address

Kairakuen, 1 Chome Tokiwachō, Mito-shi, Ibaraki-ken 310-0033, Japan

By train

From Tokyo, head to Ueno Station and take the JR Joban Line bound for Mito (approx. two hours). From JR Mito Station, it’s a 15-minute bus ride to Kairakuen-mae bus stop.

By bus

From JR Mito Station, depart from the North Exit and catch the bus bound for Kairakuen-mae bus stop (approx. 15 minutes).

Where To Stay

Restay Mito (Adult Only)
  • 6-5 Tenno-cho Mito-Shi, Ibaraki 310-0025
  • 7.2/10
  • 1.0 km
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Hotel The West Hills Mito
  • Daikumachi 1-2-1 Mito-Shi, Ibaraki 310-0031
  • 8.5/10
  • 1.0 km
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Mito Riverside Hotel
  • Chuo 2-3-4 Mito-Shi, Ibaraki 310-0805
  • 6.7/10
  • 1.6 km
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Mito Hotel Season
  • Sakuragawa 1-9-6 Mito-Shi, Ibaraki 310-0801
  • 7.1/10
  • 1.7 km
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