If you are going to Japan to visit the top gardens, you can forget this one. Maybe it's wonderful when the plum blossoms are out, but the rest of the time it's really an orchard in rather scruffy grounds. It is huge -- even has the railroad and a major road running through it. And it has a great replica of the daimyo's villa, well worth the 200 yen to visit, both for the view and for the decorated fusuma. I thought they were real until I read they were replicas as the building had been destroyed in WWII. So if you are in Mito or driving through it, make a stop, but if you want a spectacular garden go to Kanazawa or Kyoto.
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