The Ōtemon gate of Mito Castle
In 2020 the reconstruction of the Ōtemon gate of Mito Castle was unveiled. This is one of the largest wooden castle gates in Japan and it is only one hour away from Tokyo by train in the city of Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture.
The castle has been rebuilt many times over the centuries but was largely destroyed at the start of the Meiji period (1868-1912). Little remains of the original structure save for the moats and the Yakuimon gate.
Along with the Ōtemon gate the Ninomaru Sumiyagura corner tower was also part of the recent reconstruction and landscaping of the old castle grounds. Historical materials relating to Mito Castle are on display in a small exhibit hall called the Ninomaru Tenjikan located to the left once you have passed through the Ôtemon. Also in this part of the former castle grounds is the Kōdōkan, a school for the upper classes established in 1841. The last shōgun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, studied at this national heritage site.
The Ōtemon gate is 10 minutes walk from JR Mito station.
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