Ibaraki's iconic mountain, Mt. Tsukuba, is the lowest peak among Japan's 100 famous mountains. It makes a great day trip from Tokyo if you are looking for some views and exposure to nature.
The mountain is accessible by bus (30 minutes) from Tsukuba Station.
Take the Tsukuba Express from Akihabara Station (45 minutes) to Tsukuba Station. There is a shuttle bus to the Tsukuba-jinja Shrine entrance (30 minutes).
Whereas Mt. Fuji is a strenuous hike that visitors rarely make twice, Mt. Tsukuba's low altitude makes it very accessible. Enjoy panoramic views after only a few hours of walking.
The Mt. Tsukuba Cable Car is a funicular that goes up to the top of the mountain if you are not up for the hike. The trip is 1.6 kilometers (about one mile). You can take the cable car to forego hiking, or hike up the mountain and then relax as you take the cable car down and enjoy the scenery.
Two cable car lines go up to the top. Miyawaki Station is located near Tsukubasan-jinja Shine, while Tsutsuji-Gaoka Station is near the parking lot. During certain times of the year, such as when leaves are changing in the fall, there are nighttime rides to the top and back.