Sister cities of Mito, Ibaraki
Mito (水戸市 Mito-shi) is the capital city of Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, and has a central location, moderately offset towards the coast in that prefecture.
As of 2005, the city has an estimated population of 263,748 and a total area is 217.45 km², giving a population density of 1,212.91 persons per km². Mito nattō is the city's culinary specialty and is well-known across Japan.
Mito is the site of the Japanese garden Kairaku-en, located near Lake Senba and counted as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. Constructed by Tokugawa Nariaki in 1842, the park is known nationwide for its ume trees. Many people come to the park in spring to view the blossoms, particularly during the Ume Festival. In summer, Mito also holds the Mito Koumon Festival.
Mito was the seat of the so-called Mito School, a congregation of nativist scholars of Confucian persuasion led by Aizawa Seishisai, who during the 18th and 19th centuries advocated Western learning as a means not only to further Japanese technological development and international strength, but as means to prove Japanese uniqueness and superiority among nations. The Kōdōkan was the largest of the han schools.
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