One of Japan's three most famous gardens, Kairakuen is especially noted for thousands of plum blossom trees which bloom in Feb. and March. It also has the Kobuntei Villa with exquisite Japanese-style paintings on paper sliding doors. Kairakuen was built in 1841 by Tokugawa Nariaki (1800-1860), the ninth Lord of Mito.
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Oarai 大洗町Pictures of Oarai-cho town, Ibaraki Prefecture.
One of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains, Mt. Tsukuba is an easy day trip from Tokyo. The mountain has two wedded peaks, Nantai (male) and Nyotai (female). You can either climb up to the peak or take the convenient and low-cost cable car or ropeway up to one of the peaks.
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A big, two-day August festival in this modern city on the outskirts of Tokyo featuring diverse dance groups, bazaar, street performances, hula dancing, and food stalls. The climax is a nebuta parade in the evening. Everything is near Tsukuba Station (Tsukuba Express). I went on the second day on Aug. 30, 2009.
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