Mount Tsukuba

by kenji SAITO on July 24, 2017

Hiking Mount Tsukuba

Needing another mountain break from the scorching heat of summer, I found myself riding connecting trains and a bus to a double peaked mountain in Ibaraki.

Tokyo

Tokyo

Leaving the most satisfying city as polled by TripAdvisor back in 2013. Exactly what is being satisfied?

Red Torii

Red Torii

Preparing to crossover from the everyday world into the divine world. A stoplight works just as well.

Tsukuba

Tsukuba

Passing the guards on the way to the jinja. They appeared stiff and wooden.

Tsukuba Shrine

Tsukuba Shrine

Founded in the 7th century, she was looking remarkably well despite her age.

Shinboku

Shinboku

A massive Japanese Pine Tree protected by a sacred rope suspended with paper streamers.

Shishi Odoshi

Shishi Odoshi

Don’t forget your toad oil. It’s a cure all for what ails you. Sounds like snake oil.

Miyukigahara Course

Miyukigahara Course

Going up one of the celebrated peaks of the Hyaku-meizan or 100 Famous Mountains as listed by Fukuda Kyuya and popularized by Crown Prince Naruhito. I still have 98 left to climb!

Miyukigahara Course

Miyukigahara Course

Making my way up the shortest and steepest trail on the mountain. Only 90 minutes worth.

Tsukuba Ropeway

Tsukuba Ropeway

Running from 0920 to 1700. Just not right now.

Miyukigahara Course

Miyukigahara Course

Triple trunked tree towering over the trail.

Miyukigahara Course

Miyukigahara Course

Walking on boulders and tree stumps.

Miyukigahara Course

Miyukigahara Course

Nearing the end of the 36 degree slope.

Funicular Station

Funicular Station

All the comforts of civilization were to be found; including restrooms, vending machines and a rotating restaurant. You heard me right, a revolving restaurant.

Trail

Trail

Gulping down my Coke; I went off in search of one of the two peaks, Mount Nantai.

Trail

Trail

Instead, I found myself wandering around in some sort of nature reserve area. Failing to identify any native fauna or flora, I looped back on the trail.

Mount Nantai

Mount Nantai

Socked in shrine dedicated to the male divinity known as Izanagi-no-mikoto.

Gama Ishi

Gama Ishi

Took me several throws to land a rock(s), as the mouth was full and kept spitting it out. Darn frog.

Towers in the clouds

Towers in the clouds

The sounds of workers talking and working on the cell towers drifted through the clouds.

Mount Nyotai

Mount Nyotai

Catching clouds, but no views of the Kanto plain at the highest point on the mountain.

Mount Nyotai

Mount Nyotai

Dodging the darting bees at the 876 meters summit with the shrine dedicated to Izanami-no-Mikoto (the better half).

Shirakumobashi Course

Shirakumobashi Course

Climbing down the rain slicked rocks to see more interesting rock formations down the trail.

Shirakumobashi Course

Shirakumobashi Course

Konnichiwa.

Shirakumobashi Course

Shirakumobashi Course

What is this one called? Two rocks leaning against each other? I need to use more imagination.

Shirakumobashi Course

Shirakumobashi Course

Making my way down the rain slicked trail.

Defune-Irifune

Defune-Irifune

I only saw two hikers passing each other in the daytime.

Mother's Womb

Mother’s Womb

The legend goes if you easily make it through the passage, then ones pregnancy shall be similarly blessed.

Benkei-nanamodori

Benkei-nanamodori

Took me only one time to pass through the rock. Okay, maybe twice for a photo.

Dendrochronology

Dendrochronology

Let’s count the rings. Call it at 400 years old?

Otatsu-ishi Course

Otatsu-ishi Course

Making my way down the heavily forested trail.

Otatsu-ishi Course

Otatsu-ishi Course

Approaching the Tsutsujigaoka ropeway and bus station.

Otatsu-ishi Course

Otatsu-ishi Course

Looking at the mountain dial. Where is Mount Fuji?

Otatsu-ishi Course

Otatsu-ishi Course

Last chance to get your toad oil!

All pau

All pau

Enjoying the local Ibaraki pear ice cream, while waiting for the bus that would take me back to the train station.

GPS Tracks

GPS Tracks

The hike through the heavily commercialized and trafficked purple mountain covered 5.13 km, it sounds longer when you say it in metric. My train and bus ride took longer than this hike! Post hike meal at Standing Sushi. Can’t get enough of their cheap and tasty sushi. Wish they would open up a shop in Hawaii.

Note: I have been made aware the some hikers have been using my blog as a hiking guide and getting lost on the trails. Please note that this blog was made to document the hike for the crew(s) that did it. That is why some of my comments will seem to have no relevance or meaning to anybody outside of the crew(s) that hiked that trail. My blog was never meant as a hiking guide, so please do not treat it as such. If you find inspiration and entertainment from these hikes, that is more than enough. If you plan on replicating these hikes, do so in the knowledge that you should do your own research accordingly as trail conditions, access, legalities and so forth are constantly in flux. What was current today is most likely yesterdays news. Please be prepared to accept any risks and responsibilities on your own as you should know your own limitations, experience and abilities before you even set foot on a trail, as even the “simplest” or “easiest” of trails can present potential pitfalls for even the most “experienced” hikers.

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