Tsukubasan (Mount Tsukuba) in Ibaraki
The mountains in the suburb of Tokyo and Kanto region have good hiking trails. Mount Tsukuba or Tsukubasan 筑波山 is one of the best places to enjoy hiking especially for beginner hikers, on a one-day trip from Tokyo.
Located in the southern part of Ibaraki Prefecture, easily accessible from Tokyo area, Mt Tsukuba is a favorite mountain where people can enjoy hiking, sightseeing and Onsen bathing. Since Mt.Tsukuba has been worshiped since one thousand years ago, people still visit the mountain to pray as well as viewing plum blossoms in early spring and colorful leaves in autumn there.
Torii Gate of Mt.Tsukuba
Tsukubasan is a rocky mountain having double peaks, one is called Nyotaisan (877m) and the other is Nantaisan (871m). There are several hiking courses leading to the mountain top, and most of them start from the point near Tsukubasan Shrine (Tsukubasan Jinja 筑波山神社) on the mountainside. The time required to reach the mountain top from Tsukubasan Shrine on foot is somewhere between a 1-and-a-half hour and 2 hours. For walking from Nyotaisan peak to Nantaisan peak, it takes about 30 minutes.
A view from the peak of Nyotaisan.
Since Mt.Tsukuba is an isolated mountain surrounded with rice fields in the plain area, it has a superb wide-spreading view. On a clear sunny day, the Skytree tower in Tokyo or even Mt.Fuji can be seen up there.
The Cable car available from Miyawaki station.
The Ropeway available from Tsutsuji-gaoka station.
For those who visit Mt.Tsukuba just for sightseeing, a cable car and a ropeway services are available. The cable car station Miyawaki-eki 宮脇駅 is located near Tsukubasan Jinja Shrine (on the left side). The ropeway station Tsutsuji-gaoka-eki つつじが丘駅 is located near Tsutsuji-gaoka parking lot. For visitors who come by bus, taking a cable car from Tsukubasan Jinja Shrine is convenient. For visitors coming by car, taking a ropeway from Tsutsuji-gaoka is better.
If you go to Tsukubasan by bus, it is recommended that you get off at the bus stop Tsukubasan Jinja Iriguchi 筑波山神社入り口 and visit the tourist information office nearby where hiking maps are available for free. The map might be in Japanese language only, though, it would be of help to decide which hiking course to take.
Or this web page by Tsukuba Tourism Association will be helpful.
Mt.Tsukuba Hiking Map (Japanese website)
By Tsukuba Express Line (TX) and Kanto Tetsudo Bus
To Tsukubasan Jinja Iriguchi 筑波山神社入り口
*Total Travel time approx.90 min.
*Total Fare 1850 Yen (One way)
Akihabara Station (Tsukuba Express Line (Kaisoku Express) 50 min. 1,150 Yen) – Tsukuba Station – (Kanto Tetsudo Bus 40 min. 700 Yen) – Tsukuba Jinja Iriguchi
To Tsutsuji-gaoka つつじヶ丘
*Total Travel time approx.100 min.
*Total Fare 2000 Yen (One way)
Akihabara Station (Tsukuba Express Line (Kaisoku Express) 50 min. 1,150 Yen) – Tsukuba Station – (Kanto Tetsudo Bus 50 min. 850 Yen) – Tsukuba Jinja Iriguchi – Tsutsuji-gaoka
There is a bus terminal called “Tsukuba Center” in front of Tsukuba Staion. Take a Bus No.1 bound for Tsutsuji-gaoka.
Tsukuba Center Terminal
Tsukuba Express : TX
Kanto Tesudo Bus
http://kantetsu.co.jp/ (Japanese website)
Tsukubasan Cable car and Ropeway
http://www.mt-tsukuba.com/ (Japanese website)
Tsukubasan Janja (Tsukubasan Shrine)
http://www.tsukubasanjinja.jp/ (Japanese website)
Onsen hot springs in Tsukuba - Tsukuba Tourism Association
http://www.ttca.jp/?p=411 (Japanese website)
Tsutsuji-gaoka parking lot
http://www.i-road.or.jp/contents/tsukubasan/ (Japanese website)
Forest Adventure Tsukuba
Forest Adventure is an outdoor facility to enjoy adventure types of sports at the foot of Mt.Tsukuba.
Fees:: 3600 JP Yen/person. For details, see their website.
http://www.fa-tsukuba.com/ (Japanese website)