There is no better time than February and March to visit Kairakuen, the picturesque garden just south of Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, that was built in the 1840s by the seventh daimyo of the Mito clan, Tokugawa Nariaki.

For starters, the 3,000-plus plum trees that Nariaki ordered planted throughout the 13-hectare garden are in full bloom, flooding it in a sea of pink and purple hues. Then there’s the ease of access.

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