When Tokugawa Ieyasu reunited Japan in 1603 and established the Tokugawa Shogunate, with its headquarters at Edo (now Tokyo), he installed members of his own Tokugawa clan as rulers of Mito and only two other domains, present-day Nagoya and Wakayama. These three cadet lines (known as Gosanke 御三家) were eligible to supply an heir in case any ruling shogun failed to produce one. They were thus among the most loyal of the Tokugawa loyalists. However, the Mito School of fiercely chauvinist Confucian scholars also helped to redefine the Japanese nation in a way that provided the ideological foundation for enhancing imperial power during the Meiji Restoration and its aftermath.
 Get In
 By plane
Ibaraki Airport (茨城空港 Ibaraki kūkō, IATA: IBR ICAO: RJAH) opened in March of 2010 on the site of a Japan Air Self-Defense Force base. Located approximately 80 km from Tokyo, it is intended to be a secondary airport to Haneda and Narita. The only services that currently operate out of the airport are a daily round-trip to Seoul on Asiana Airlines, and a daily round-trip to Kobe on Skymark Airlines. As of October 2010, Spring Airlines operates flights designated as charters to Shanghai.
From Ibaraki Airport, buses run to Ishioka Station (40 minutes, ¥600) for connection to JR Joban Line trains to Ueno in Tokyo (One hour, ¥2900 by Limited Express), and to Mito Station (One hour, ¥1100) for rail connections to the north.
From Narita Airport, the Rose Liner airport limousine bus runs to/from the Mito-Oarai Interchange, Mito Station, Katsuta Station and Hitachi. There are nine daily round-trips, and the journey to Mito Station takes about two hours at a cost of ¥3000. Schedule
From Haneda Airport, Airport Limousine buses make runs directly to Mito every hour, but only during the afternoon and evening (about 2 hours, ¥3500). Otherwise, take the Keikyu Line train to Shinagawa, then the JR Yamanote or Keihin-Tohoku Line to Ueno to pick up a train bound for Mito (2 to 3 hours, ~¥2600-4600, depending on what train you take; see below).
 By train
Limited Express trains depart from Ueno for Mito every 30 minutes during the day: Super Hitachi trains depart at the top of the hour, and Fresh Hitachi trains depart at 30 minutes past the hour. The trip will cost ¥4220 (no charge with the Japan Rail Pass) and take 65-75 minutes, depending on the number of stops the train makes.
Local trains will cover the journey in two hours at a cost of ¥2210. Direct local services for Mito depart from Ueno 2-3 times per hour.
 By bus
Mito can be reached via bus from Tokyo Station in about two hours. Tickets run ¥2000, and as there are no reserved seats, you should arrive at the station early to insure you get a spot.
 Get around
Mito has a number of train stations within its boundaries:
The bus system in Mito, like all parts of Japan, is very complicated but once mastered, very useful. Most areas are serviced with buses coming a few times each hour. The bus for Kairakuen leaves from terminal 6 on the north side of Mito station.
Taxis are always available and the average flag fall is ¥660.
The principal tourist attraction, the Kairakuen, is an easy half-hour walk from Mito station's South Exit. Just walk down to the river (Sakura-gawa), take a right and keep going along the north (righthand) shore of the lake. In April, you'll walk by cherry blossoms the whole way. The waterfowl will also provide some amusement.
By far the best way to get around is by bicycle. Mito sits next to the Naka River, which meanders from the not too distant hills to the even closer coast. Atop of the levee banks are excellent bike paths which, acting as bike freeways, offer leisurely rides with great views of the rice farms on the river plain, as well as a way to get to most destinations while avoiding the hassles of traffic.
[add listing] See
[add listing] Do
Komon Festival,  This summer festival was started in 1961 (Showa 36), and it is held every year on the first full weekend in August. During the festival, the popular fireworks display can be observed not only in the sky but also beautifully reflected in the lake.
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Natto Crackers (Area is famous for Natto)
[add listing] Eat
Mito is famous for its nattō (納豆), a famously smelly and sticky glop of fermented soybeans. It's an acquired taste and even many Japanese (particularly those in Kansai) loathe the stuff.Yoshiharadenchu （吉原殿中）, This is a Japanese cake that Mito clan Interior made; Yoshihara made it. It is made from rice cake and covered with candy and coated in soybean flour.
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[add listing] Sleep
near onsen resort
Mito Prince Hotel(水戸プリンスホテル)Ibaraki Mito-shi sakuragawa 2-2-11, ☎029-227-4111 (FAX)029-227-4110, It takes 3 minutes walk from the Mito Station. This hotel has about 40 kinds of handmade breakfast. Checkin 15:00~, checkout 10:00~, reservations necessary.
 Get out