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Mito (水戸市, Mito-shi) is the capital city of Ibaraki Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. As of September 2015, the city has an estimated population of 270,953, and a population density of 1,250 persons per km2. Its total area is 217.32 km2.

Mito

水戸市
City skyline over ume of Kairaku-en
City skyline over ume of Kairaku-en
Flag of Mito
Flag
Official seal of Mito
Seal
Location of Mito in Ibaraki Prefecture
Location of Mito in Ibaraki Prefecture
Mito is located in Japan
Mito
Mito
 
Coordinates: 36°21′57″N 140°28′16.5″E / 36.36583°N 140.471250°E / 36.36583; 140.471250Coordinates: 36°21′57″N 140°28′16.5″E / 36.36583°N 140.471250°E / 36.36583; 140.471250
CountryJapan
RegionKantō
PrefectureIbaraki Prefecture
Area
 • Total217.32 km2 (83.91 sq mi)
Population
 (September 2015)
 • Total270,953
 • Density1,250/km2 (3,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- TreePrunus mume
- FlowerBush clover (hagi)
- BirdWhite wagtail
Phone number029-224-1111
Address1-4-1 Chūō, Mito-shi, Ibaraki-ken 310−8610
Websitehttp://www.city.mito.lg.jp/
Plaza outside north exit of Mito Station

Contents

HistoryEdit

The Yamato people settled in Mito around the 4th century CE. Around the end of the Heian period, Baba Sukemoto, a warlord of the Heike clan, moved to Mito and built a castle there. Mito Castle changed hands several times after that; a daimyō named Satake Yoshinobu won it in the mid-16th century, but he was forced to surrender it to Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603 after the Battle of Sekigahara. Ieyasu's son Tokugawa Yorifusa was then given Mito Castle, becoming head of one of the three "gosanke" branches of the clan qualified to provide a new shōgun should the main family line fail. During this period, Mito was the seat of the so-called Mito School, a congregation of nativist scholars of Confucian persuasion led by Aizawa Seishisai, who during the 18th and 19th centuries advocated Western learning as a means not only to further Japanese technological development and international strength, but as means to prove Japanese uniqueness and superiority among nations. The Kōdōkan was the largest of the han schools. The capital of Edo was directly connected to Mito by the Mito Kaidō.[1] The Tokugawa ruled Mito until the Meiji Restoration.

The modern city of Mito was formed on April 1, 1889 with the establishment of the municipalities system. It was one of the first 31 cities in Japan. With a population of 25,000, it was designated as the prefectural capital. By 1900, the Jōban Line connected Mito to Tokyo, and by 1910, telephones and electric lighting were available throughout the city. More than three-quarters of the city was burned to the ground during the Mito air raid of August 2, 1945, just before the end of World War II.

The borders of Mito expanded in 1955–1958 through the annexation of the neighboring villages of Kamiono, Watari, Yoshida, Sakedo, Kawawada, Yanagawa, Kunita and Iitomi and Akatsuka. The village of Tsunezumi was annexed in 1992. In 2001, Mito was designated a special city with increased local autonomy. The neighboring town of Uchihara was annexed in 2005. The city suffered from severe damage in the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami with 25,982 houses completely or partially destroyed; however, there were only two fatalities.

GeographyEdit

Mito is located in central Ibaraki Prefecture. Mito Station is about 10km inland from the Pacific Ocean which Naka River, flowing from the north to the east of the city, pours into. Immediately south is the Senba Lake, a recreation area for the citizen. A main street extends from Mito Station to the west, and residential areas to the south and the west in particular.

Surrounding municipalitiesEdit

ClimateEdit

Mito has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with hot summers and cool winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but the winter months are somewhat drier.

Climate data for Mito, Ibaraki
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.8
(47.8)
8.9
(48.0)
11.7
(53.1)
17.1
(62.8)
21.3
(70.3)
23.7
(74.7)
27.3
(81.1)
29.6
(85.3)
25.4
(77.7)
20.3
(68.5)
15.9
(60.6)
11.3
(52.3)
18.4
(65.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 2.4
(36.3)
3.0
(37.4)
6.0
(42.8)
11.6
(52.9)
16.3
(61.3)
19.5
(67.1)
23.1
(73.6)
25.0
(77.0)
21.1
(70.0)
15.3
(59.5)
10.0
(50.0)
4.8
(40.6)
13.2
(55.7)
Average low °C (°F) −3.0
(26.6)
−2.1
(28.2)
0.7
(33.3)
6.3
(43.3)
11.5
(52.7)
16.1
(61.0)
19.9
(67.8)
21.5
(70.7)
17.7
(63.9)
11.0
(51.8)
4.9
(40.8)
−0.6
(30.9)
8.7
(47.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 44.3
(1.74)
60.9
(2.40)
94.7
(3.73)
117.6
(4.63)
139.1
(5.48)
174.6
(6.87)
117.2
(4.61)
134.9
(5.31)
162.5
(6.40)
144.6
(5.69)
77.5
(3.05)
39.9
(1.57)
1,307.8
(51.48)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 5
(2.0)
9
(3.5)
3
(1.2)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.4)
18
(7.1)
Average relative humidity (%) 65 66 67 72 76 82 85 83 83 80 76 71 76
Mean monthly sunshine hours 180.5 155.5 172.5 160.2 181.7 121.5 129.9 171.8 112.6 132.9 141.8 169.5 1,830.4
Source: NOAA (1961-1990)[2]

EconomyEdit

Mito is primarily a regional commercial center and administrative city as most industry in Ibaraki is concentrated around the nearby cities of Tsukuba and Hitachi. Mito has a modest but thriving tourism industry, centered on the Kairaku-en gardens and local museums dedicated to the Tokugawa family.

EducationEdit

TransportationEdit

MediaEdit

  • Ibaraki Shimbun
  • Ibaraki Broadcast System

Local attractionsEdit

Professional sportsEdit

Mito is the home city of the J-League professional soccer team, Mito HollyHock.

Sister city relationsEdit

Noted peopleEdit

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Chiba Kokaidō Rekishi Sanpo. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Accessed December 28, 2007.
  2. ^ "Mito Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 31, 2012.

External linksEdit