Mito, Ibaraki

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Mito
水戸市
Special city
City skyline over ume of Kairaku-en
City skyline over ume of Kairaku-en
Flag of Mito
Flag
Location of Mito in Ibaraki Prefecture
Location of Mito in Ibaraki Prefecture
Mito is located in Japan
Mito
Mito
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 36°22′N 140°28′E / 36.367°N 140.467°E / 36.367; 140.467Coordinates: 36°22′N 140°28′E / 36.367°N 140.467°E / 36.367; 140.467
Country Japan
Region Kantō
Prefecture Ibaraki Prefecture
Government
 • Mayor Yasu Takahashi (since June 2011)
Area
 • Total 217.45 km2 (83.96 sq mi)
Population (June 1, 2010)
 • Total 265,993
 • Density 1,223.24/km2 (3,168.2/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
Symbols
- Tree Ume
- Flower Bush clover (hagi)
- Bird White Wagtail
Address 1-4-1 Chūō, Mito-shi, Ibaraki-ken
310−8610
Phone number 029−224−1111
Website www.city.mito.lg.jp

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.

History[edit]

The Yamato people settled in Mito around the 4th century CE. Around the end of the Heian period, Baba Sukemoto, a warlord of the Heike family, moved to Mito and built a castle there. Mito Castle changed hands several times after that: a daimyo named Satake Yoshinobu won it in the mid-16th century, but he was forced to surrender it to Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603 after the epic Battle of Sekigahara. Ieyasu's son Tokugawa Yorifusa then took over Mito Castle, becoming one of the three "gosanke" family members fortified outside of Edo. Edo was directly connected to Mito by the Mito Kaidō.[1] The Tokugawas directly ruled Mito until the mid-19th century, when the bakufu in Edo was overthrown.

The modern city of Mito was formed on April 1, 1889, with a population of 25,000. It was designated as the prefectural capital. By 1900, the Joban Line connected it to Tokyo, and by 1910, telephones and electric lighting were available throughout the city. Although more than three-quarters of the city burned to the ground near the end of World War II, the population rebounded to 70,000 just two years later, and has continued to grow ever since.

Today, Mito is primarily a commercial and administrative city: most industry in Ibaraki is concentrated around the nearby city of Tsukuba. Mito has a modest but thriving tourism industry, centered on Kairaku-en (park) and local museums dedicated to the Tokugawa family. Mito is also the site of Ibaraki University and Tokiwa University.

Climate[edit]

Mito has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with hot summers and cool winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but the winter months are somewhat drier.

Climate data for Mito, Ibaraki
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.8
(47.8)
8.9
(48)
11.7
(53.1)
17.1
(62.8)
21.3
(70.3)
23.7
(74.7)
27.3
(81.1)
29.6
(85.3)
25.4
(77.7)
20.3
(68.5)
15.9
(60.6)
11.3
(52.3)
18.44
(65.18)
Daily mean °C (°F) 2.4
(36.3)
3.0
(37.4)
6.0
(42.8)
11.6
(52.9)
16.3
(61.3)
19.5
(67.1)
23.1
(73.6)
25.0
(77)
21.1
(70)
15.3
(59.5)
10.0
(50)
4.8
(40.6)
13.18
(55.71)
Average low °C (°F) −3.0
(26.6)
−2.1
(28.2)
0.7
(33.3)
6.3
(43.3)
11.5
(52.7)
16.1
(61)
19.9
(67.8)
21.5
(70.7)
17.7
(63.9)
11.0
(51.8)
4.9
(40.8)
−0.6
(30.9)
8.66
(47.58)
Precipitation mm (inches) 44.3
(1.744)
60.9
(2.398)
94.7
(3.728)
117.6
(4.63)
139.1
(5.476)
174.6
(6.874)
117.2
(4.614)
134.9
(5.311)
162.5
(6.398)
144.6
(5.693)
77.5
(3.051)
39.9
(1.571)
1,307.8
(51.488)
Snowfall cm (inches) 5
(2)
9
(3.5)
3
(1.2)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.4)
18
(7.1)
 % humidity 65 66 67 72 76 82 85 83 83 80 76 71 75.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 180.5 155.5 172.5 160.2 181.7 121.5 129.9 171.8 112.6 132.9 141.8 169.5 1,830.4
Source: NOAA (1961-1990) [2]

Transportation[edit]

Mito is located on the Joban Line (Mito Station) and Joban Expressway, which connects it to Tokyo and Tsukuba to the south and Hitachi and Iwaki to the north. The Suigun Line runs north to Koriyama, and the Mito Line runs west to Oyama. The closest major airport is Narita International Airport. Ibaraki Airport in nearby Omitama opened in March 2010. At present, it offers only limited service with one flight a day to Kobe, Korea (Seoul), and three flights a week to China (Shanghai). The airport hopes to attract services by budget air carriers and has structured services and fees accordingly.[3]

Professional sports[edit]

Mito is the home city of the J-League professional soccer team, Mito HollyHock.

Famous residents[edit]

Tourist attractions[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chiba Kokaidō Rekishi Sanpo. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Accessed December 28, 2007.
  2. ^ "Mito Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  3. ^ In Japan, No-Frills Airport Lures Bargain Players. The New York Times. Accessed March, 2010.

External links[edit]