Kairakuen [偕楽園(かいらくえん)]

Kairakuen[偕楽園(かいらくえん)] is a Japanese garden located in Mito[水戸(みと)] City, Ibaraki Prefecture. That is one of the three greatest gardens in Japan, along with Kenrokuen[兼六園(けんろくえん)](Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Pref.) and Kōrakuen[後楽園(こらくえん)](Okayama City).

Kairakuen by photolibrary

Kairakuen is classified as Daimyō garden[大名庭園(だいみょうていえん)] which is the Japanese gardens made by Daimyō[大名(だいみょう)](feudal lord). That was founded by the 9th lord of Mito Domain, Nariaki Tokugawa[徳川斉昭(とくがわなりあき)] in 1842. Especially, a rest house in the garden, Kōbuntei[好文亭(こうぶんてい)] was designed by Nariaki himself and it is said that he held the party of Waka[和歌(わか)](Japanese poetry) there.

The name "Kairakuen" derives from words by a Chinese philosopher, Mencius[孟子], "古の人は民としむ、故に能く楽しむなり(The governors would enjoy together with people, therefore they could have a lot of fun.)".

Kōbuntei at Kairakuen

The garden was built on a hill with the view of the Lake Senba-ko[千波湖(せんばこ)]. So, you can enjoy the large garden surrounded by nature with the superb view of the lake.

Lake Senbako from Kairakuen by photolibrary

Kairakuen is famous for its Ume[梅(うめ)](Japanese apricot) and about 3,000 trees of about 100 different varieties of Ume are planted. From late February to March, the garden is filled with Ume blossoms and many people visit to see the beautiful blossoms. Only during that season, a temporary train station, Kairakuen Station opens near the garden.

Night scene of Ume blossoms at Kairakuen by photolibrary

And not only Ume but you can enjoy green bamboos and flowers of azaleas in summer and flowers of Hagi[萩(ハギ)](bush clover) in autumn.

Sakon no Sakura at Kairakuen
Sakon no Sakura: That is a famous Sakura tree in Kairakuen. by photolibrary

Kairaku-en Home Page http://www.koen.pref.ibaraki.jp/foreign_language/en/index.html

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