A citizen’s oasis wrapped around Senba Lake
Senba Lake is almost entirely in the center of Mito City, and a panoramic view of it can be seen from Kairaku-en Garden, one of the Three Famous Gardens of Japan. The lake as well as the nature trail are both part of Kairaku-en Park which is the 2nd-biggest urban park in the world, next to New York City’s Central Park. Many waterfowl come to the lake, and the trail lined with cherry trees is enjoyed as a restful spot for people to walk and jog. It is also popular with families as boats and bicycles can also be rented there.
Annual events, spring flowers and summer fireworks
Every year, as soon as the plum blossoms of Kairaku-en pass their peak, the 750 cherry trees start blossoming in light pink. The flowers over the period from early to late spring change into sakura from the plum hills of the garden right down to the shores of Senba Lake. The projecting branches reflect over the lake surface so that the entire lake turns pink. A reminder of summer, the Senba Lake Fireworks Festival has a 130-year-old history in Mito. The Mito Komon Festival which takes place over the 1st weekend of August annually has festival-eve celebrations on Friday night. Boats floating on the lake launch the fireworks to provide a spectacular sight which you can see even closer than ever.
An art museum and stylish cafés
After enjoying a walk, you will want to drop by one of the many distinct establishments around Senba Lake which include an art museum, cafés and restaurants. The open glass-encased Koubunkafé has a rooftop lawn from where you can get a spectacular view of the lake and then the city of Mito beyond. Inside the Museum of Modern Art Ibaraki, there are establishments that shine with personality such as the French restaurant Petit Poire and the museum shop Mieru.