Kairakuen Garden (偕楽園). Open 6:00 am to 7:00 pm Apr 1 – Sep 15; 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Sep 16 – Mar 31. One of Japan’s Top 3 Gardens, its primary claim to fame is its 3,000 plum trees, which bloom in February and March. In addition, the garden also contains a network of walkways running through large stands of tall cedar trees and bamboo, and past expanses of flame-red azalea and snow-white bush clover. Depending on the season, one can also observe camellia, magnolia, and cherry blossoms. While the sights within the garden are quite impressive in their own right, this hillside garden also provides spectacular overlooks of Semba Lake and Park when the cherry blossoms come into bloom in April.
Kobuntei (好文亭). This well-preserved, old-style samurai residence on the grounds of Kairakuen is well worth seeing, with its fine natural woodwork, thatched roofs, hand-painted paper doors, surrounding garden, and beautiful vistas from the higher floors. Look for the Chinese-character cheat-sheets on the walls of the Chinese poetry composing room. Admission ¥190.
Tokiwa Jinja (常磐神社), at the south gate of Kairakuen, . Open from 9:30 am to 15:30 pm on weekdays and from 9:00 am to 16:00 pm on holidays and during the plum festival, this large Shinto shrine is dedicated to Mito clan lords Tokugawa Mitsukuni (1628-1700), known as Mito Komon, and Tokugawa Nariaki (1800-1860).
Mito Arts Foundation (水戸芸術館) Founded by the city in 1988 to commemorate Mito’s 100th anniversary as an official city in 1989, it’s spiral tower rises 100m above the ATM plaza. Popular with locals due in part to its proximity to Mito Station, it is meant to symbolize the movement from the past to the future and from tradition to creation.…WikiTravel