I have created a bucket list for our time in Japan, as I would like to have visited as many of the prefectures in Japan as possible, during our time here.
So, to that end we headed up to central Ibaraki Prefecture for a hike up/ along Mt Tsukuba.
Mt Tsukuba has two peaks to it- Mt. Nyotai (877m above sea level) and Mt. Nantai, (871 meters above the sea level) and is listed as one of the ‘heikyumeizan’ or 100 famous mountains. We parked up at the base of Tsukuba-san Ropeway at Tsutsujigaoka (¥700 for about 5 hours.), grabbed a quick lunch before heading up.
We have found a great system overcoming the various hiking requirements- ‘A’ wanting to stretch his legs, the children walking at a more leisurely pace, and me wanting to limit my walking as my PF has returned. (Grrrrr). I take the cable car/ ropeway up the mountain with the children and ‘A’ hikes up. (Usually at a significant pace, so we are t waiting for too long!)
So we headed up. A round trip on the Ropeway costs ¥1100 for an adult, ¥550 for a child and ¥400 for a dog. Ziva had to go in a crate(they provided), which she wasn’t overly impressed about!
‘A’ describes the hike up as moderately challenging, with large steps/ rocks to climb up. He found it more of a scramble up a rocky stairway than a hike.
From the top of the ropeway, we had a 5-10 minute climb up to the peak of Mt Nyotai. From here we could see most of the Kanto plain. There is a shrine on the peak, which I’m not sure whether it is part of the Tsukuba shrine at the base of the peak. In true Shrine style, I secured another stamp for my book.
Once we had met up with ‘A’, we headed over to the other peak. Again, a scramble over stone stairs that took us about 20 minutes. We reached the flat area between the two, known as Miyukigahara, where the cable car station is, some restaurants and souvenir shops. There are also spectacular views over the Kanto plain.
The stone steps to Mt Nantai were quite something and Ziva provided some entertainment for the other hikers as she scrambled up rocks that were taller than her. I was impressed and only (thankfully) had to catch her once when she fell backwards.
We headed back down the ropeway, ‘A’ joining us and sparing his knees, and headed to an Onsen at the foot of a mountain. A great way to end a hike, I’ve discovered.
The journey was pretty straight forward and took us about 2 hours by car- heading up on the Joban expressway.
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