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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Reach the sky in Tsukuba, Ibaraki's science, technology and spiritual capital

Tsukuba is the home of Tsukuba Science City and the headquarters of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Near Tsukuba, you'll discover impressive sites like the massive Ushiku Daibutsu Buddha statue and Mt. Tsukuba with its twin peaks. The town is home to a wide variety of stunning parks.

Don't Miss

  • Ride the cable car at the twin peaks atop Mt. Tsukuba
  • See the massive bronze Buddha statue in Ushiku and ride to the 85-meter observation deck
  • Visit JAXA's headquarters and learn about space at Tsukuba Space Center

How to Get There

Tsukuba is easily accessible from Tokyo on the Tsukuba Express. You can also get there by highway bus.

The Tsukuba Express is a rapid train that takes 45 minutes from Akihabara Station to Tsukuba Station. You can also take a local train using the Joban Line from Ueno Station to Tsukuba Station. Highway buses go directly to Tsukuba from Tokyo Station, Ueno Station, both airports, and Disney Resorts.

The View from Mt. Tsukuba

Mt. Tsukuba is a double-peaked mountain often compared to Mt. Fuji. Like Mt. Fuji, its hazy outline dominates the landscape in many parts of the eastern Kanto Region. But unlike Mt. Fuji, which is desolate and rugged, Mt. Tsukuba's slopes are covered with vegetation and blooming flowers.

An easy hike Mt. Tsukuba

Also unlike Mt. Fuji, it's a relatively low mountain and the hike is fairly quick and easy. It takes about three hours to get to the top and the view of the expanse of mountains and valleys from the summit is well worth it.

The many ways to ride around the area

There are a number of things to do on or around Mt. Tsukuba. The Mt. Tsukuba Cable Car offers a unique way to take in the view and also offers nighttime rides under the starlit sky. There is an aerial tramway and also a funicular that takes you up the mountain, as well as shops and restaurants at the top with stunning views.

Visit Tsukuba's stunning shrine

At the base of the mountain, you'll find Tsukuba Shrine. This shrine is known for its massive bell and its carvings that are reminiscent of those found at Nikko.

See Tokyo Skytree from the giant bronze buddha

Near Tsukuba you'll find one of the world's tallest Buddha statues, the Ushiku Daibutsu. At 120 meters tall, it's an impressive and imposing sight. It's said to be big enough to hold the famous Nara Buddha statue in its hand.

You can actually go inside the bronze statue and take an elevator 85 meters up to an observation floor. On a clear day you can see as far as Tokyo Skytree. There are also guided tours and exhibits inside the statue about Buddhism.

Explore the universe at Tsukuba Science City

If you want to learn all about Japan's space research and exploration, Tsukuba Space Center is the place to go. This is the headquarters and main operational facility for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Japan's equivalent to NASA in the United States. At Tsukuba Space Center, you can enjoy exhibits and displays while uniformed JAXA employees carry out research and development.

The closest you'll get to visiting space

Items on display include full-scale satellite models, the Kibo training module that's used to prepare astronauts for their research activities in space, and a full-scale model of the 50-meter H-II Launch Vehicle. There are displays, video presentations, guided tours, and other educational activities as well.

Exploring beyond

Another great spot for science lovers is the Tsukuba Expo Center, where the theme is, "See, touch, and enjoy everything." As the theme suggests, the facility is full of experiential, hands-on educational displays that make learning about science fun. Tsukuba Expo Center is a great place to take kids.

Science lovers will also enjoy Tsukuba Geological Museum. The museum is full of fossils, minerals, shiny rocks, and unique geological formations.

Playing and relaxing at Tsukuba Parks

Tsukuba has lots of excellent parks. Chuo Park is in the center of town and is quiet and relaxing. It's dotted with statues and displays that describe the history of the earth and solar system, in keeping with the town's science and space exploration theme.

Doho Park is based around a large, placid lake with plenty of benches for sitting and relaxing. There's a nice playground for kids.

Matsumi Park is a quiet and out-of-the-way park with a fish pond and a 100-meter observation tower that offers views of Tsukuba.

The Tsukuba Botanical Garden is next to the University of Tsukuba.

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