Kōdōkan at night: Yoru Ume matsuri (part 2)

Kōdōkan is an important historic site and one of the sights in Mito that you must not miss. It is very close to the station on the north side.
The grounds of the Kōdōkan (弘道館, こうどうかん), which used to be a school during the Edo period, also include a park that has many plum trees, too. During spring the traditional festival is therefore extended to here. Tonight is a special night though. During the festival the park is open at night and the trees are colourfully illuminated. The park itself is much smaller than Kairakuen, but not any less beautiful, especially at night.
The place was crowded and we were greeted with a light and movie installation at the front gate.
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Before entering the premise of the school, were decided to take a walk through the park. Along the main path many of the trees were highlighted with powerful spotlights and paper lanterns.
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The lanterns have traditional designs on them.
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Unfortunately the pictures will not transport the actual beauty of the actual viewing. The colour of the flowers is mainly lost due to the powerful light source, hence the mostly appear white.
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From the garden you can see other entrance gates and other buildings from the school.
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The bell tower in the garden is also illuminated. The last time I went here was about two years ago when my mom visited and I already forgot a lot about this garden. I will certainly go during the day again, to get a better view.
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There is another round building in the park, the prepare of it is currently not known to me. Another thing I will have to look up again later.
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At the end of the garden is a small shrine, which I completely forgot about. Much to my surprise it was actually open.
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Its name is Kōdōkan Kashima Jinja (弘道館鹿島神社, こうどうかんかしまじんじゃ). In a shag next to it a few portable shrines are stored. These play a big role during the summer festival, the Kōmun Matsuri in august and I will report accordingly.
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In the common hall of the shrine buildings there was an exhibition of lanterns that are carved out of a Japanese kind of pumpkin or squash. Unfortunately I forgot the name of the plant and cannot find it on Google just now. If you know what it is, please leave a comment. The work is very detailed and an example of great craftsmanship.
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One of the people of the exhibition told me to especially look at the patterns, the lamps create on the walls.
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There was even a pair of Hinamatsuri analogue dolls in front of a golden screen, just like the little dolls I reported a couple of days ago.
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There were also very small kimono presented alongside the lanterns.
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We finally made out way on to the premise of the school. Many more trees were illuminated, as well as the houses.
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The colour of the lights changed slowly, they covered red, purple, blue all the way to yellow and green. While we were not able to go inside the school tonight, usually you can during the day.
Next to the entrance the is a small well, quite possibly the water source for the whole compound.
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In the background you can see the building of the school. As usually for these events, many people with cameras and tripods try to capture the scene. I almost felt a bit silly with my little phone. But for remembering the night it quite fits the purpose.
Some of the doors were open, so you could peek inside.
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The space in front of the great hall had an installment with lanterns and a big canvas with a kanji. Unfortunately I can’t read it and I can’t find the right character to look it up. I also forgot what my friends said it means. If you know what it is, please leave a comment.
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On the way outside, I found a sign labeling the exit. It actually has German on it, a sight quite seldom. So for the sake of completeness I include it here. And yes, I will return.
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The next event is on the upcoming Saturday in Kairakuen. It is also the Yoru Ume Matsuri, but it comes with many candles and fireworks at the end. It will be fantastic. Until then, have a great week.

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