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Mito is the capital city of Ibaraki Prefecture, 100km north-east of Tokyo. Prefecture is what Japan calls its states or regions.
It used to be the power base of the Mito clan during the Edo Period (1603-1867), one of the three main families of the Tokugawa regime that dominated Japan during that time.
Today, it has developed as the commercial, economical and cultural center of the prefecture.
So what was I doing in Mito, of all places in Japan?
I have a niece who works there as an English teacher. Lucky them, Beth is one of the best teachers I know. We grew up together, teaching kids most summers, and her classes are always the favorite.
Here’s a photo diary of what I did there for a week.
SICK AND STUCK
Beth had to transfer to a new home, so I helped her pack and move her stuff.
One of the cleanest taxis I’ve seen around the world.
Her new home.
I love the high ceiling and the loft above!
Scouted the neighborhood.
Took the subway like a pro.
Went grocery shopping.
Picked her up after work.
Did our quiet time.
Woke up to a strong earthquake and slept again.
Hung out with my dear friends.
This was the first time I saw a food fest with no rowdy people or garbage scattered on the ground.
People fell in line and patiently waited for their turn, no pushing or cutting lines. So decent!
I enjoyed sitting around the city center at night just people watching.
THE CITY & ITS PEOPLE
I know there’s so much more to discover in this place but I didn’t have enough time. Nevertheless, I fell in love with Mito because it’s a city with a rural touch.
Life there is simple and quiet. It isn’t crowded and even during rush hours, you won’t feel stressed out. On top of that, the kindness of the people makes you want to become a better person every day.
In my short stay, I heard different stories of how the locals go out of their way just to help others, even if they can’t speak English.
One of my favorites is a Japanese father who called his son abroad and asked him to translate directions in English for a stranger. It’s funny but heart-warming.
These everyday stories ignite the writer in me. Just one week and my love tank has been filled to the brim. Thank you, Mito!
|The flight||Sick and stuck in Mito|
|The arrival||The Kairakuen Garden|
|Memorial Sunday||Lake Senba (Senbako Lake)|
|Travel to Mito, Iberaki||Life in Mito|
|Review: Mito Riverside Hotel||A day in Ueno Tokyo|