Trip Start Sep 15, 2007
Trip End Nov 14, 2007

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Flag of Japan  ,
Monday, October 8, 2007

Monday (10/8) was a(nother) national holiday here. They seem to have one almost every week this time of year ... lots of festivals, which are really fun to see. Bernd did not have to work, so in spite of a crummy, rainy day, we decided to head over to Mito.
Mito is a larger city not far from here, the capitol of this prefecture. There's nothing particularly special about it, except Kairaku-en garden, which is touted as one of Japan's three best gardens. Everything comes in 3's here, as that's a lucky number. Kairaku-en is not the typical manicured Japanese garden. It is best known for its 3000 plum trees; it must be quite a sight in spring when the plums and cherries are in bloom. Other than that, it's a bit boring. There is a nice bamboo forest and a cedar forest with some impressive large trees. It's very peaceful, and on a nice day there would be a good view of surrounding fields and a lake that lies right below the garden.
After exploring the garden (and lucking out with a break in the rain), we walked around downtown near the train station and high-rises. There's a cool little shrine right among the big buildings.

I'll enclose some photos. Click on the individual photos to see them full-size and for commentary.

(Note - this is it for awhile, as I finally caught up, yay!  We're going to Nikko on Sunday, so expect lots of photos after we get back Wednesday. Have a great weekend.)
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