There’s supposed to be the biggest snowstorm in at least ten years heading into the region tomorrow. (Or maybe I misheard that… I probably did). Anyways, I decided to enjoy the last day of no snow for a couple of days (and the last day of my weekend) and took the forty-something minute trek out to Kairakuen in Ibaraki Prefecture.
One of the three “Great Gardens” of Japan (the others being Kenrokuen in Kanazawa Prefecture and Korakuen in Okayama Prefecture), Kairakuen（偕楽園） was established in 1841 by a member of the extended Tokugawa Shogunate family, who, in a completely unprecedented move, actually opened his park to the public, thus helping to establish the concept of public parks in Japan. Though it was dead when I visited it today in the dead of winter, the garden is renowned for the beauty of its plum blossoms in the spring and a temporary train station is actually opened nearby to accommodate the onslaught of people making the two hour trek from Tokyo to frolic amongst the flower petals and drunk people (drinking and enjoying the beauty of nature go together here).
In other words, I’ll have to make a repeat visit in a month or two when the trees and grass aren’t a frozen mess. Until then, there’s a bunch of dead grass and leafless trees.