Most viewed - IBARAKI 茨城県
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Plum Blossom Queen at Kairakuen Station1206 viewsShe 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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Plum Blossom Queen1105 views
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Plum Blossom Queens in Kairakuen, Mito1026 views
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Plum Blossom Queens in Kairakuen, Mito702 views
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White plum blossoms, the most common variety, and with the sweetest aroma.503 views
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Closeup of red plum blossom463 views
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Closeup of white plum blossom388 views
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Cherry Blossom Room, Kobuntei Villa378 views
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Red and white plum blossoms342 views
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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.314 views
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Kobuntei Villa309 views
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Inside the top floor of Kobuntei Villa309 views
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Kobuntei Villa, fusuma sliding door with painting of maple leaves303 views
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Natto fermented beans301 views
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine torii at sea289 views
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Kobuntei Villa279 views
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Kobuntei Villa, fusuma sliding door with painting of fall leaves268 views
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Plum blossom-viewing picnickers262 views
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Welcome to Ibaraki249 viewsTrain platform of Kairakuen Station.
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Kobuntei Villa, fusuma sliding door with painting of plum trees242 views
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Kobuntei Villa239 views
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Tokiwa Shrine, Mito229 viewsDedicated 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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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. 221 viewsEverything 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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Osaka-zuki red plum blossoms 大盃207 viewsOsaka-zuki

大盃
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Bonsai plum trees189 viewsI bought one of these once and the flowers smelled good before they withred away. The tree also died soon afterward.
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Higashi Mito Station (on the way to Oarai)187 views
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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.184 views
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Kobuntei Villa183 views
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Kobuntei Villa171 views
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Plum trees and Lake Senba169 views
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Pinickers164 views
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When I was there, a helicopter hovered about Mt. Nantai to rescue an injured hiker. I took a bus back to Tsukuba Station.161 views
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Giant votive tablet (2006 is the year of the dog)160 views
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Pine trees and plum trees157 views
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Isosaki Shrine's second giant torii156 views
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Train platform of Kairakuen Station155 views
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Train platform of Kairakuen Station153 views
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Kairakuen Station151 viewsThis station, right before Mito Station, is open only during major flower seasons of Kairakuen.
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Kobuntei Villa, fusuma sliding door with painting of azalea146 views
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine's giant torii146 views
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Plum tree grove, about a week too early.145 views
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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.143 viewsOne 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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Tourist info office.142 views
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Plum grove141 views
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Torii to Tsukuba-san Jinja Shrine141 views
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My video of Matsuri Tsukuba and the Nebuta parade.141 views
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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.138 views
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Crowd at Higashi-mon East Gate137 viewsThis was the defacto main gate and most crowded since it is closest to the train station.
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Konan Shomu plum blossom 江南所無137 viewsPrunus mume Kounanshomu
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Bamboo grove137 viewsPine trees, bamboo, and plum blossoms are called Shochikubai in Japanese. This trio of trees is most famous.
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Natural spring (cold water)129 views
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Plum trees and Lake Senba128 views
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Kobuntei Villa128 views
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Plum trees and Lake Senba127 views
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Isosaki Shrine127 views
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Fantastically-shaped plum tree126 views
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Plum tree grove124 views
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Map of central Tsukuba.124 views
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Omote-mon Gate122 viewsThis supposed to be the front gate.
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Kobuntei Villa122 views
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Torano-o plum blossom (Tiger's Tail) 虎の尾121 views
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Kobuntei Villa120 views
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Plum tree and train119 views
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View from the top floor of Kobuntei Villa117 views
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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.115 views
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Balcony on the top floor of Kobuntei Villa115 views
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Kobuntei Villa, fusuma sliding door with painting of cherry blossoms114 views
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Poem monument111 views
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View from the top floor of Kobuntei Villa111 views
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Monument proclaiming Kairakuen as one of Ibaraki's 100 Best Sights110 views
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Path to natural spring110 views
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine's giant torii109 views
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Inside the top floor of Kobuntei Villa108 views
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Kobuntei Villa107 views
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Kobuntei Villa107 views
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Kobuntei Villa105 views
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View from the top floor of Kobuntei Villa104 views
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Kobuntei Villa102 views
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Matsuri Tsukuba posters102 views
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Kobuntei Villa101 views
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Kobuntei Villa100 views
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Kobuntei Villa95 views
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine torii at sea95 views
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Train back to Mito.90 views
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View from the top floor of Kobuntei Villa89 views
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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. 2012.85 views
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine torii at sea82 views
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Dried fish82 views
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Resort hotel81 views
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Wave breakers81 views
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The beach81 views
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Ika squid78 views
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Torii at sea76 views
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Shoreline70 views
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Seafood restaurants70 views
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Oarai town69 views
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Isosaki Shrine torii69 views
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Koma-inu lion dog and lanterns68 views
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Anko seafood soup (miso-based)67 views
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Baby scallops67 views
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Seafood restaurants63 views
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Fresh oysters63 views
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Sign saying Oarai is famous for noren curtains.61 views
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The ropeway runs every 20 min. The fare is 600 yen one way.60 views
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Gate to Tsukuba-san Jinja Shrine's Haiden Hall60 views
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Oarai Station59 viewsShort ride from Mito Station.
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Isosaki Shrine torii as seen from the beach58 views
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Isosaki Shrine torii57 views
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Path from shrine57 views
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Observation tower at the beach and a symbol of Oarai57 views
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Haneto56 views
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Boat museum within the shrine grounds55 views
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Ferry port (service to Otaru, Hokkaido)55 views
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Shrine54 views
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Mt. Tsukuba ahead. It takes about 50 min. to reach Mt. Tsukuba by bus from Tsukuba Center Bus Terminal.54 views
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Nebuta face-off.53 views
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Rear view has a sleeping cat.53 views
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For the finale, all the giant nebuta gathered at the large intersection. They didn't do much.52 views
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The fourth giant nebuta was perhaps the most unique. It was made of inflatable vinyl. It is partially deflated here.51 views
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I got off the bus at Tsutsujigaoka, the last stop. つつじヶ丘51 views
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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. 50 views
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A hula troupe dances next to a yosakoi group.50 views
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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50 views
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Lookout deck on Mt. Nyotai on Mt. Tsukuba.49 views
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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.48 views
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In Oshimizu Park were these nebuta tents where they store the nebuta floats. 大清水公演48 views
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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48 views
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People climbing on the narrow peak of Nyotai. Mt. Tsukuba is one of Japan's 100 Famous Peaks.48 views
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This is Tsukuba Center Hiroba, the central part of the festival where there are food stalls and information booth.46 views
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Center Hiroba outdoor stage センター広場特設ステージ46 views
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It drizzled off and on during the day.46 views
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Tsutsujigaoka Ropeway Station below, as seen from the summit of Mt. Nyotai on Mt. Tsukuba.46 views
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A third giant nebuta depicts the Pharaoh Ramses II. Seeing an Egyptian theme on a Japanese float was interesting.45 views
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Climbing up the peak of Mt. Nyotai.45 views
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At first glance, it looks very strange. But they soon inflated it.44 views
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Almost fully inflated.44 views
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Each giant nebuta float is preceded by a set of drums and drummers.44 views
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It's possible to climb up to Mt. Nyotai as well.44 views
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Views from the summit of Mt. Nyotai on Mt. Tsukuba.44 views
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Rock formation called Gama-ishi. ガマ石44 views
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Tsukuba Tourism Ambassadors43 views
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English translators available! I noticed quite a few foreigners in Tsukuba, a national science and technology research and academic center.43 views
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The mikoshi goes to meet the float.43 views
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Haneto dancers. Much fewer of them than in Aomori.43 views
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The inflated nebuta comes around.43 views
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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43 views
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View from Mt. Nyotai.43 views
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View from Mt. Nyotai.43 views
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What would a festival be without taiko drummers?42 views
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The program was called Happy Hawaiian Stage. ハッピーハワイアンステージ42 views
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Kabuki-like magician.42 views
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Street performer (Sign says, "Photography allowed.")42 views
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A nice elevated walkway connected Chuo Park and the main festival area.42 views
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Banpaku Float42 views
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The first big one squeezes under the bridge. 42 views
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Being inflated now.42 views
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Hayashi festival music42 views
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This small float by local Boy Scouts.42 views
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Quite dramatic indeed.42 views
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Mt. Fuji as seen from Mt. Nyotai.42 views
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Mt. Nantai in the distance.42 views
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Atop the summit of Mt. Nyotai on Mt. Tsukuba.42 views
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The trail continues to a clearing in the middle of the two peaks.42 views
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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.42 views
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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~41 views
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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41 views
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The floats were covered with plastic due to drizzling rain.41 views
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Kids dancing41 views
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Poor dragon41 views
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Rear view of Ramses II41 views
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And other musicians.41 views
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Tsukuba-san Jinja Shrine's Nyotai Honden on Mt. Nyotai. It worships Izanami, wife of Izanagi.41 views
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From Mt. Nyotai, it's an easy hike but rocky trail to Mt. Nantai.41 views
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Bottom cable car station.41 views
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Chuo Park bazaar40 views
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Walking further down the Tsukuba Koen-dori road toward Oshimizu Park.40 views
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Inside the nebuta tent.40 views
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Haneto40 views
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At first, I thought it looked kind of gimmicky, comical, and fake, but it turned out to be quite impressive.40 views
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The slayed dragon exhaled smoke.40 views
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View from Mt. Nantai on Tsukuba-san.40 views
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This float by a junior high school.39 views
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In the middle of the two peaks is another lookout deck and gift shops.39 views
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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).39 views
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Tsukuba-san Shrine on Mt. Nantai, the male peak.39 views
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Miyukigahara.39 views
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The cable car runs every 20 min. Fare is 570 yen one way. There are trails going down the mountain as well.39 views
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View from Miyukigahara.38 views
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View from Miyukigahara.38 views
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Trail to climb up to Mt. Nantai.38 views
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Cable car going up to Mt. Nantai on Mt. Tsukuba.38 views
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Tsukuba-san cable car on Mt. Tsukuba's Miyukigahara, near Nantai.38 views
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Inside the nebuta tent was this nebuta float from Aomori, arrived earlier in Aug.37 views
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Another giant nebuta float.37 views
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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37 views
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Another one squeezes through. 37 views
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Without the plastic covering.37 views
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About Mt. Tsukuba's geology in Japanese.37 views
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Shrine atop Mt. Nantai on Mt. Tsukuba.37 views
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Tsukuba-san Jjinja Shrine atop Mt. Nantai on Mt. Tsukuba. This is the Honden for the male god Izanagi.37 views
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Tsukuba-san Jinja Shrine's Haiden Hall is adjacent to the cable car station. The Honden Hall is atop the two peaks on Mt. Tsukuba. 筑波山神社37 views
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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36 views
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Street performers36 views
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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.36 views
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万博山車パレード36 views
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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. 36 views
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View from Mt. Nantai on Mt. Tsukuba.36 views
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