Most viewed - IBARAKI 茨城県
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Plum Blossom Queen at Kairakuen Station1246 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 Queen1147 views
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Plum Blossom Queens in Kairakuen, Mito1066 views
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Plum Blossom Queens in Kairakuen, Mito728 views
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White plum blossoms, the most common variety, and with the sweetest aroma.533 views
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Closeup of red plum blossom493 views
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Closeup of white plum blossom418 views
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Cherry Blossom Room, Kobuntei Villa408 views
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Red and white plum blossoms361 views
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Kobuntei Villa329 views
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Inside the top floor of Kobuntei Villa329 views
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Kobuntei Villa, fusuma sliding door with painting of maple leaves328 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.321 views
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Natto fermented beans320 views
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine torii at sea308 views
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Kobuntei Villa301 views
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Kobuntei Villa, fusuma sliding door with painting of fall leaves293 views
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Plum blossom-viewing picnickers289 views
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Kobuntei Villa, fusuma sliding door with painting of plum trees265 views
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Kobuntei Villa261 views
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Welcome to Ibaraki260 viewsTrain platform of Kairakuen Station.
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Tokiwa Shrine, Mito253 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. 229 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218 viewsOsaka-zuki

大盃
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Kobuntei Villa206 views
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Bonsai plum trees200 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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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.195 views
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Higashi Mito Station (on the way to Oarai)195 views
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Kobuntei Villa183 views
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Plum trees and Lake Senba180 views
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Giant votive tablet (2006 is the year of the dog)179 views
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Isosaki Shrine's second giant torii177 views
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Pinickers175 views
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Pine trees and plum trees168 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.168 views
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine's giant torii167 views
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Train platform of Kairakuen Station166 views
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Train platform of Kairakuen Station164 views
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Kairakuen Station162 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 azalea157 views
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Plum tree grove, about a week too early.156 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.154 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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Plum grove152 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.149 views
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Tourist info office.149 views
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My video of Matsuri Tsukuba and the Nebuta parade.149 views
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Crowd at Higashi-mon East Gate148 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148 viewsPrunus mume Kounanshomu
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Bamboo grove148 viewsPine trees, bamboo, and plum blossoms are called Shochikubai in Japanese. This trio of trees is most famous.
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Torii to Tsukuba-san Jinja Shrine148 views
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Isosaki Shrine146 views
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Natural spring (cold water)140 views
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Plum trees and Lake Senba139 views
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Kobuntei Villa139 views
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Plum trees and Lake Senba138 views
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Fantastically-shaped plum tree137 views
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Plum tree grove135 views
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Kobuntei Villa134 views
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Omote-mon Gate133 viewsThis supposed to be the front gate.
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Map of central Tsukuba.133 views
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Torano-o plum blossom (Tiger's Tail) 虎の尾132 views
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Kobuntei Villa131 views
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Plum tree and train130 views
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View from the top floor of Kobuntei Villa129 views
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Balcony on the top floor of Kobuntei Villa127 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.126 views
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Kobuntei Villa, fusuma sliding door with painting of cherry blossoms125 views
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View from the top floor of Kobuntei Villa123 views
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Poem monument122 views
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Monument proclaiming Kairakuen as one of Ibaraki's 100 Best Sights121 views
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Path to natural spring121 views
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Inside the top floor of Kobuntei Villa119 views
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Kobuntei Villa118 views
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Kobuntei Villa118 views
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Kobuntei Villa116 views
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View from the top floor of Kobuntei Villa116 views
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine's giant torii116 views
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Kobuntei Villa113 views
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Kobuntei Villa112 views
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Kobuntei Villa110 views
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Matsuri Tsukuba posters110 views
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Kobuntei Villa105 views
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine torii at sea102 views
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View from the top floor of Kobuntei Villa100 views
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Train back to Mito.100 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. 2012.96 views
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Dried fish90 views
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine torii at sea89 views
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Resort hotel88 views
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Wave breakers88 views
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The beach88 views
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Ika squid86 views
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Torii at sea83 views
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Seafood restaurants78 views
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Shoreline77 views
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Oarai town76 views
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Isosaki Shrine torii76 views
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Koma-inu lion dog and lanterns75 views
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Anko seafood soup (miso-based)75 views
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Baby scallops75 views
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Fresh oysters73 views
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Seafood restaurants71 views
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Sign saying Oarai is famous for noren curtains.68 views
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The ropeway runs every 20 min. The fare is 600 yen one way.67 views
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Gate to Tsukuba-san Jinja Shrine's Haiden Hall67 views
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Oarai Station66 viewsShort ride from Mito Station.
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Isosaki Shrine torii as seen from the beach65 views
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Isosaki Shrine torii64 views
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Path from shrine64 views
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Observation tower at the beach and a symbol of Oarai64 views
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Haneto64 views
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Boat museum within the shrine grounds62 views
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Ferry port (service to Otaru, Hokkaido)62 views
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Shrine61 views
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Nebuta face-off.61 views
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Rear view has a sleeping cat.61 views
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Mt. Tsukuba ahead. It takes about 50 min. to reach Mt. Tsukuba by bus from Tsukuba Center Bus Terminal.61 views
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For the finale, all the giant nebuta gathered at the large intersection. They didn't do much.60 views
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A hula troupe dances next to a yosakoi group.59 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.59 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. 58 views
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I got off the bus at Tsutsujigaoka, the last stop. つつじヶ丘58 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57 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.56 views
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In Oshimizu Park were these nebuta tents where they store the nebuta floats. 大清水公演56 views
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Lookout deck on Mt. Nyotai on Mt. Tsukuba.56 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55 views
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People climbing on the narrow peak of Nyotai. Mt. Tsukuba is one of Japan's 100 Famous Peaks.55 views
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This is Tsukuba Center Hiroba, the central part of the festival where there are food stalls and information booth.54 views
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Center Hiroba outdoor stage センター広場特設ステージ54 views
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It drizzled off and on during the day.54 views
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A third giant nebuta depicts the Pharaoh Ramses II. Seeing an Egyptian theme on a Japanese float was interesting.53 views
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Tsutsujigaoka Ropeway Station below, as seen from the summit of Mt. Nyotai on Mt. Tsukuba.53 views
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At first glance, it looks very strange. But they soon inflated it.52 views
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Almost fully inflated.52 views
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Each giant nebuta float is preceded by a set of drums and drummers.52 views
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Climbing up the peak of Mt. Nyotai.52 views
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Tsukuba Tourism Ambassadors51 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.51 views
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The mikoshi goes to meet the float.51 views
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Haneto dancers. Much fewer of them than in Aomori.51 views
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The inflated nebuta comes around.51 views
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It's possible to climb up to Mt. Nyotai as well.51 views
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Views from the summit of Mt. Nyotai on Mt. Tsukuba.51 views
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Rock formation called Gama-ishi. ガマ石51 views
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What would a festival be without taiko drummers?50 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50 views
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Kabuki-like magician.50 views
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Street performer (Sign says, "Photography allowed.")50 views
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A nice elevated walkway connected Chuo Park and the main festival area.50 views
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Banpaku Float50 views
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The first big one squeezes under the bridge. 50 views
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Being inflated now.50 views
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Hayashi festival music50 views
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This small float by local Boy Scouts.50 views
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Quite dramatic indeed.50 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50 views
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View from Mt. Nyotai.50 views
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View from Mt. Nyotai.50 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~49 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49 views
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The floats were covered with plastic due to drizzling rain.49 views
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Kids dancing49 views
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Poor dragon49 views
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Rear view of Ramses II49 views
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And other musicians.49 views
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Mt. Fuji as seen from Mt. Nyotai.49 views
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Mt. Nantai in the distance.49 views
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Atop the summit of Mt. Nyotai on Mt. Tsukuba.49 views
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The trail continues to a clearing in the middle of the two peaks.49 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.49 views
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Chuo Park bazaar48 views
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Walking further down the Tsukuba Koen-dori road toward Oshimizu Park.48 views
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Inside the nebuta tent.48 views
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Haneto48 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.48 views
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The slayed dragon exhaled smoke.48 views
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Tsukuba-san Jinja Shrine's Nyotai Honden on Mt. Nyotai. It worships Izanami, wife of Izanagi.48 views
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From Mt. Nyotai, it's an easy hike but rocky trail to Mt. Nantai.48 views
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Bottom cable car station.48 views
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This float by a junior high school.47 views
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View from Mt. Nantai on Tsukuba-san.47 views
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In the middle of the two peaks is another lookout deck and gift shops.46 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).46 views
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Tsukuba-san Shrine on Mt. Nantai, the male peak.46 views
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Miyukigahara.46 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.46 views
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Inside the nebuta tent was this nebuta float from Aomori, arrived earlier in Aug.45 views
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Another giant nebuta float.45 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45 views
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Another one squeezes through. 45 views
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Without the plastic covering.45 views
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View from Miyukigahara.45 views
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View from Miyukigahara.45 views
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Trail to climb up to Mt. Nantai.45 views
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Cable car going up to Mt. Nantai on Mt. Tsukuba.45 views
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Tsukuba-san cable car on Mt. Tsukuba's Miyukigahara, near Nantai.45 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44 views
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Street performers44 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.44 views
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万博山車パレード44 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. 44 views
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About Mt. Tsukuba's geology in Japanese.44 views
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Shrine atop Mt. Nantai on Mt. Tsukuba.44 views
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Tsukuba-san Jjinja Shrine atop Mt. Nantai on Mt. Tsukuba. This is the Honden for the male god Izanagi.44 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44 views
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