Image search results - "ibaraki"
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Welcome to IbarakiTrain platform of Kairakuen Station.
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Higashi Mito Station (on the way to Oarai)
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Train platform of Kairakuen Station
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Oarai StationShort ride from Mito Station.
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Train platform of Kairakuen Station
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Observation tower at the beach and a symbol of Oarai
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Plum Blossom Queen at Kairakuen StationShe was passing out maps of the garden. It was a nice touch to see two of these kimono beauties greeting us.
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Ferry port (service to Otaru, Hokkaido)
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Plum Blossom Queen
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Sign saying Oarai is famous for noren curtains.
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Entrance to garden via Tokiwa Shrine. One of Japan's three most famous gardens, Kairakuen is especially noted for thousands of plum blossom trees which bloom in Feb. and March.One of Japan's three most famous gardens, Kairakuen is especially noted for thousands of plum blossom trees which bloom in Feb. and March.
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Wave breakers
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Tokiwa Shrine, MitoDedicated to Lord Mitsukuni Tokugawa, the second lord of Mito, and Nariaki Tokugawa, the ninth lord of Mito and the one who built Kairakuen Garden.
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Resort hotel
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Bonsai plum treesI bought one of these once and the flowers smelled good before they withred away. The tree also died soon afterward.
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Crowd at Higashi-mon East GateThis was the defacto main gate and most crowded since it is closest to the train station.
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The beach
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Map of Kairakuen, a garden built in 1841 by Tokugawa Nariaki (1800-1860), the ninth Lord of Mito. It is one of Japan's three most famous gardens.
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine's giant torii
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Pinickers
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine's giant torii
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Plum blossom-viewing picnickers
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Oarai town
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Red and white plum blossoms
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine torii at sea
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine torii at sea
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White plum blossoms, the most common variety, and with the sweetest aroma.
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine torii at sea
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Torii at sea
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Osaka-zuki red plum blossoms 大盃Osaka-zuki

大盃
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Shoreline
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Plum tree grove, about a week too early.
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Isosaki Shrine torii as seen from the beach
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Fantastically-shaped plum tree
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Isosaki Shrine's second giant torii
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Konan Shomu plum blossom 江南所無Prunus mume Kounanshomu
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Isosaki Shrine torii
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Plum Blossom Queens in Kairakuen, Mito
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Isosaki Shrine torii
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Plum Blossom Queens in Kairakuen, Mito
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Isosaki Shrine
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Giant votive tablet (2006 is the year of the dog)
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Plum trees and Lake Senba
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Shrine
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Plum trees and Lake Senba
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Koma-inu lion dog and lanterns
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Plum trees and Lake Senba
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Boat museum within the shrine grounds
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Path from shrine
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Torano-o plum blossom (Tiger's Tail) 虎の尾
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Seafood restaurants
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Pine trees and plum trees
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Seafood restaurants
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Plum tree grove
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Anko seafood soup (miso-based)
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Plum tree and train
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Fresh oysters
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Monument proclaiming Kairakuen as one of Ibaraki's 100 Best Sights
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Baby scallops
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Poem monument
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Ika squid
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Dried fish
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Closeup of white plum blossom
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Train back to Mito.
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Closeup of red plum blossom
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Plum grove
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Path to natural spring
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Natural spring (cold water)
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Bamboo grovePine trees, bamboo, and plum blossoms are called Shochikubai in Japanese. This trio of trees is most famous.
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Omote-mon GateThis supposed to be the front gate.
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Kobuntei Villa has exquisite Japanese-style paintings on paper sliding doors. Kobuntei is closed until early 2012 since they are repairing earthquake damage.
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Kobuntei Villa was originally built in 1842 by Tokugawa Nariaki (1800-1860), the ninth Lord of Mito. It was his summer villa.
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Kobuntei Villa, fusuma sliding door with painting of plum trees
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Kobuntei Villa, fusuma sliding door with painting of azalea
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Kobuntei Villa, fusuma sliding door with painting of fall leaves
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Kobuntei Villa
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Kobuntei Villa
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Kobuntei Villa
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Kobuntei Villa, fusuma sliding door with painting of maple leaves
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Kobuntei Villa
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Kobuntei Villa
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Kobuntei Villa
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Kobuntei Villa
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Kobuntei Villa
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Kobuntei Villa, fusuma sliding door with painting of cherry blossoms
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Kobuntei Villa
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Cherry Blossom Room, Kobuntei Villa
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Kobuntei Villa
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Kobuntei Villa
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Kobuntei Villa
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Kobuntei suffered quite a bit of damage during the big earthquake on March 11, 2011. Repairs have started in Sept. 2011, and they hope to reopen the Kobuntei by Feb. 2012.
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View from the top floor of Kobuntei Villa
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View from the top floor of Kobuntei Villa
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View from the top floor of Kobuntei Villa
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View from the top floor of Kobuntei Villa
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Inside the top floor of Kobuntei Villa
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Inside the top floor of Kobuntei Villa
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Balcony on the top floor of Kobuntei Villa
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Kobuntei Villa
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Kobuntei Villa
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Kobuntei Villa
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Natto fermented beans
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Kairakuen StationThis station, right before Mito Station, is open only during major flower seasons of Kairakuen.
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A big, two-day August festival in Tsukuba featuring diverse dance groups, bazaar, street performances, hula dancing, and food stalls. The climax is a nebuta parade in the evening. Everything is near Tsukuba Station (Tsukuba Express). Ever since the Tsukuba Express train line opened in 2005 from Akihabara, getting to Tsukuba is a breeze in about 45 min. Wide streets and sidewalks. The festival's main venue centered around this brown building which you see from Exit A5.
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There are many things going on at the same time all day long for two days from 10 am to 9 pm.
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This is Tsukuba Center Hiroba, the central part of the festival where there are food stalls and information booth.
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Tsukuba Tourism Ambassadors
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English translators available! I noticed quite a few foreigners in Tsukuba, a national science and technology research and academic center.
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Center Hiroba outdoor stage センター広場特設ステージ
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A short walk away is this large road serving as a venue for numerous dance groups performing almost all day long. This is also where the nebuta floats would be paraded in the eveing.
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It drizzled off and on during the day.
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A hula troupe dances next to a yosakoi group.
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What would a festival be without taiko drummers?
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Another venue in Creo Square was this small outdoor stage featuring hula dancing all afternoon long by various groups. クレオ前広場
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The program was called Happy Hawaiian Stage. ハッピーハワイアンステージ
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On the other side of the underground train station is Chuo Park where Art Town Tsukuba and street performances were held. アートタウンつくば2009 ~大道芸フェスティバル~
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Kabuki-like magician.
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Chuo Park bazaar
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Street performers
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Street performer (Sign says, "Photography allowed.")
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A nice elevated walkway connected Chuo Park and the main festival area.
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Walking further down the Tsukuba Koen-dori road toward Oshimizu Park.
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In Oshimizu Park were these nebuta tents where they store the nebuta floats. 大清水公演
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The nebuta tents were built in late July. No kids around sketching the nebuta though, as they do in Aomori during the day.
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Inside the nebuta tent was this nebuta float from Aomori, arrived earlier in Aug.
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Patching up the damaged parts of the float. Apparently, it got damaged as it passed under a bridge that is a little too low for the giant nebuta.
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Another giant nebuta float.
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Monkey's underarm has patch-up work.
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A third giant nebuta depicts the Pharaoh Ramses II. Seeing an Egyptian theme on a Japanese float was interesting.
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The fourth giant nebuta was perhaps the most unique. It was made of inflatable vinyl. It is partially deflated here.
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Inside the nebuta tent.
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From about 4 pm, they had the Matsuri Parade on the main road. まつりパレード 万博山車パレード
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万博山車パレード
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Then came this giant mikoshi portable shrine called the Tsukuba Manto Mikoshi. It doesn't seem to belong to any shrine. つくば万灯神輿
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The mikoshi goes to meet the float.
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Banpaku Float
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At 5 pm, the Nebuta Parade started. It was kind of strange to see a nebuta parade in almost broad daylight.
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The floats were covered with plastic due to drizzling rain.
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The first big one squeezes under the bridge.
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Haneto dancers. Much fewer of them than in Aomori.
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At first glance, it looks very strange. But they soon inflated it.
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Being inflated now.
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Another one squeezes through.
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Almost fully inflated.
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Haneto
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This small float by local Boy Scouts.
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This float by a junior high school.
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The inflated nebuta comes around.
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At first, I thought it looked kind of gimmicky, comical, and fake, but it turned out to be quite impressive.
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The slayed dragon exhaled smoke.
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Poor dragon
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Quite dramatic indeed.
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Too bad the plastic was on the floats.
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Rear view.
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Ramses II
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At the very end, despite the rain, they took off the vinyl.
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Rear view of Ramses II
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Each giant nebuta float is preceded by a set of drums and drummers.
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And other musicians.
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Without the plastic covering.
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Rear view has a sleeping cat.
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Nebuta face-off.
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For the finale, all the giant nebuta gathered at the large intersection. They didn't do much.
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Haneto
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Matsuri Tsukuba posters
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Map of central Tsukuba.
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My video of Matsuri Tsukuba and the Nebuta parade.
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Getting to Mt. Tsukuba is easy by bus from Tsukuba Station's Tsukuba Center Bus Terminal. Tsukuba-san Shuttle buses going directly to Mt. Tsukuba leave every 30 min. on weekends or every hour during weekdays and non-peak hours.
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Mt. Tsukuba ahead. It takes about 50 min. to reach Mt. Tsukuba by bus from Tsukuba Center Bus Terminal.
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Mt. Tsukuba has two peaks, Mt. Nantai (male peak) on the left and Mt. Nyotai (female peak) on the right. They are wedded peaks due to the wedded gods Izanami and Izanagi. 男体山 女体山
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I got off the bus at Tsutsujigaoka, the last stop. つつじヶ丘
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Tsutsujigaoka has a ropeway aerial tram terminal taking you up to Mt. Nyotai, Mt. Tsukuba's female peak. 女体山
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The ropeway runs every 20 min. The fare is 600 yen one way.
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Approaching Mt. Nyotai. Mt. Tsukuba is noted for fall leaves. But I was a little too late. The leaves here turn color earlier than on the plains. 女体山
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Lookout deck on Mt. Nyotai on Mt. Tsukuba.
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View from Mt. Nyotai.
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View from Mt. Nyotai.
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Mt. Fuji as seen from Mt. Nyotai.
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Mt. Nantai in the distance.
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In the middle of the two peaks is another lookout deck and gift shops.
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Climbing up the peak of Mt. Nyotai.
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Tsukuba-san Jinja Shrine's Nyotai Honden on Mt. Nyotai. It worships Izanami, wife of Izanagi.
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People climbing on the narrow peak of Nyotai. Mt. Tsukuba is one of Japan's 100 Famous Peaks.
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Views from the summit of Mt. Nyotai on Mt. Tsukuba.
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Tsutsujigaoka Ropeway Station below, as seen from the summit of Mt. Nyotai on Mt. Tsukuba.
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From Mt. Nyotai, it's an easy hike but rocky trail to Mt. Nantai.
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Rock formation called Gama-ishi. ガマ石
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The trail continues to a clearing in the middle of the two peaks.
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Between Mt. Nyotai and Nantai on Mt. Tsukuba is a row of tourist shops in this palce called Miyukigahara (御幸ケ原). That's Mt. Nantai in the background.
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The round building has a gift shop on the bottom, restaurant on the 2nd floor, and a revolving lookout deck on the roof (free admission).
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Tsukuba-san Shrine on Mt. Nantai, the male peak.
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View from Miyukigahara.
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View from Miyukigahara.
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Miyukigahara.
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Looking toward Nyotai from Miyukigahara.
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View from Miyukigahara.
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Mt. Nantai
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Trail to climb up to Mt. Nantai.
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About Mt. Tsukuba's geology in Japanese.
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The trail soon gets steep and rocky, but not a problem for most people. High heels and miniskirt are not recommended.
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Shrine atop Mt. Nantai on Mt. Tsukuba.
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Mt. Nantai marker for 871 meter elevation.
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Tsukuba-san Jjinja Shrine atop Mt. Nantai on Mt. Tsukuba. This is the Honden for the male god Izanagi.
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View from Mt. Nantai on Mt. Tsukuba.
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View from Mt. Nantai on Mt. Tsukuba.
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Mt. Nyotai as seen from Mt. Nantai on Mt. Tsukuba.
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Ropeway station on Mt. Nyotai.
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