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Mount Tsukuba: Take A Day Trip From Tokyo To See Unforgettable Vistas!

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Today we introduce Mount Tsukuba, ranked alongside Mount Fuji as one of Japan's great mountains. We recommend Mount Tsukuba's summit for those who'd like to enjoy Japan's rural nature and scenery, and for those interested in shrines and temples.

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Mount Tsukuba: Worshiped Since Ancient Times

Mount Tsukuba is a mountain in Ibaraki prefecture, with two separate peaks. Since ancient times, both Mount Tsukuba and Mount Fuji, Japan's tallest mountain, have been referred to as nishi no Fuji, higashi no Tsukuba, or Mount Fuji to the west and Mount Tsukuba to the east.

Mount Tsukuba stands at an elevation of 877 meters. The mountain is serviced by a cable car, a ropeway, and a road leading up to the summit. So visitors don't need to bring any trekking equipment in order to have an enjoyable experience.

On the mountainside there's also Mount Tsukuba Shrine, famous for its matchmaking powers, and this revered mountain is a recommended spot for those interested in nature, and shrines and temples.

Today we'll be introducing a model route taking you from Tokyo Station all the way to the summit of Mount Tsukuba.

Getting from Tokyo to the Peak of Mount Tsukuba

1. From Tokyo Station to Tsukuba Center

To go from Tokyo Station to Mount Tsukuba, the highway bus is very convenient. You can catch the bus at the Yaesu-South entrance of Tokyo Station. Here you can board a highway bus that will take you as far as the Tsukuba Center Bus Terminal.

One-way bus fare is 1180 yen, including tax. Depending on the highway and traffic conditions, it usually takes about one hour to get to the Tsukuba Center Bus Terminal. Bus tickets can be purchased at the Highway Bus ticket office, located at the Yaesu-South entrance of Tokyo Station.

If you buy a Tsukubasan Story ticket (Tokyo and Mount Tsukuba tour ticket), you can go from Tokyo Station to Mount Tsukuba and also enjoy riding privileges on the shuttle bus, ropeway, and cable car as well. This can also be purchased as a return ticket.

Adults are 4000 yen (tax included), and children are 2000 yen (tax included), so buying one of these tickets will give you a savings of about 1000 yen, and is more convenient than buying all the required transportation tickets separately. This ticket is also sold at the Highway Bus ticket office.

2. From Tsukuba Center to Mount Tsukuba Shrine


At the Tsukuba Center Bus Terminal, you'll be transferring to a shuttle bus. The bus will stop at bus stop number one (Mount Tsukuba), as seen in the above photo.

The bus fare is 720 yen, and this can be paid when you're leaving the bus. Just put your money into the fare box, located right beside the driver's seat.


Inside the shuttle bus, a running commentary introduces passengers to Ibaraki prefecture's Tsukuba city and Mount Tsukuba. There's also commentary in English, so please enjoy the talk as you gaze out at the beautiful scenery of Mount Tsukuba and the town of Tsukuba.

3. From Mount Tsukuba Shrine to Miyawaki Station


After we get off the shuttle bus, we'll walk towards the cable car station. From the bus stop, you can see a giant torii. We'll pass under this giant structure and then start to make our way up the slope.


Let's follow this route since it goes straight through. After a bit of walking, we'll arrive at an open area, where the road is lined with hotels and souvenir shops.


As we go even further, a flight of stone steps leading to a smaller torii come into view. Right in front of us are the precincts of Mount Tsukuba Shrine. We'll pass through here and then make our way to the ropeway area.

Mount Tsukuba Shrine has stone steps and sloping paths, making this a great opportunity to take some photos as you take your time walking along.


When we reach the top of the stone steps, Mount Tsukuba Shrine's haiden (*1), or worship hall, appears in front of us.

Tsukuba ono okami and Tsukuba meno okami (the god and goddess of Japanese mythology, also called Izanagi and Izanami, respectively) are both enshrined here. They are famously known as the god and goddess of marriage, and act as a go-between for couples looking to have their relationships blessed with harmony and good luck.
By all means, go for a leisurely walk around here.

*1 Haiden: in Shinto shrine architecture this refers to the hall of worship, which is situated in front of the shrine's main sanctuary, and is the most easily visible building for visiting worshipers. It's often larger in size than the main sanctuary. Though the main sanctuary is off limits to the general public, the haiden allows visitors to pray here.


In order to ride the cable car to the summit, let's go along the tree-lined path that runs to the left side of the shrine's worship hall (haiden). After we pass under the red gate and make a left turn, we'll arrive at the Miyawaki cable car station.

4. From Miyawaki Station to the Mountain Peak By Cable Car


This is the outside of Miyawaki station. To get on the cable car we'll need to go past the red colored awning, which you can see on the left hand side in the above picture. After climbing the stairs you'll see a vending machine, so let's buy tickets here for everyone in the group.

The ticket machine also offers service in English, Chinese, and Korean. On the upper left side of the vending machine, you can make your preferred language choice.

There are both one-way and return tickets available, but if you buy a return ticket (1050 yen including tax) it'll make your trip going back a little smoother.


The entrance to the cable car platform is located to the right of the ticket vending machine. We'll follow the station attendant's instructions, and just like in the photo above, form a line as we get ready to board the cable car.

The cable car has two types; a red-colored version (momiji) and a green-colored version (wakaba).


Once we board the cable car, our destination won't be far off.
As we anxiously wait to arrive at Mount Tsukuba Summit Station, we'll enjoy the stunning scenery from the cable car window.

After exiting the station, we're greeted by the Miyukigahara viewpoint. Here we can get a panoramic view of Japan's largest plain, the Kanto Plain, including Tokyo far off in the distance!

Miyukigahara Viewpoint: See the Expansive Kanto Plain!


When you exit Mount Tsukuba Summit Station, the Miyukigahara viewpoint area opens up in front of you. If you face to the north and south, you get breathtaking vistas of the Kanto Plain spreading out down below you.

This is the ideal spot for taking pictures, and there's also a binocular telescope that's available for just 100 yen, so look through it to get an even more impressive view of the surrounding area.


There are also various places to eat at the summit. It's really quite special to have a delicious meal surrounded by all this fresh air.

See Beautiful Scenery from Koma Observatory


While the scenery from the Miyukigahara viewpoint is extremely pleasing, going up to the Koma Observatory commands an even more impressive view.
The Koma Observatory is located right beside Mount Tsukuba Summit Station.


If you go up the second-floor spiral staircase, you'll come out at the rooftop observation deck. The stairs are narrow, so please use caution when going up and down.


The rooftop observatory is circular-shaped, offering visitors an encompassing view in all directions. If the time of the year and the weather cooperates, you can see all of the Kanto Plain spreading out in front of you.

You might even be able to see Tokyo Skytree, Mount Fuji, and Ibaraki prefecture's Lake Kasumigaura, Japan's second largest lake.

Keep This in Mind When Descending the Mountain


When it comes time to go down the mountain, please take the same route you used to go up to the summit. However, please pay close attention to the time.

The last bus going from Mount Tsukuba Shrine to the Tsukuba Center Bus Terminal departs at 5:10 pm. At the very latest, we recommend taking the Mount Tsukuba Summit Station cable car by 4:00 pm.

To return to Tokyo, we'll need to get a bus at the Tsukuba Center Bus Terminal (bus stop number seven). From here we'll hop aboard a bus and make our way back to Tokyo Station.

Mount Tsukuba's Summit: Important Points to Remember

Though you won't require any special trekking gear for Mount Tsukuba, there are steep paths and many stairs, so shoes and clothes that are comfortable and easy to move around in are best.

Also remember that when the elevation increases, the temperature drops correspondingly. To be on the safe side, we also recommend bringing along one extra layer of clothing as well.

Also, during the hot summer months, please make sure to replenish your fluids on a regular basis and take care not to get a heat stroke.

While on the mountain also please remember that open flames, which includes cigarettes, are strictly prohibited.

While taking care to not cause any problems for other visitors, please enjoy your mountain trekking.

In cooperation with: Mount Tsukuba Shrine, Tsukuba Sightseeing Railway

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