Exciting location of matchmaking, talismans, and a shrine imparting business success make this area worth visiting.
Mt. Tsukuba, situated almost in the center of Ibaraki, consists of two peaks, Mt. Nyotai and Mt. Nantai, 877 meters and 871 meters above the sea level each. Between the two peaks, there is a view spot called Miyukigahara, from which you can get a fine view of the Kanto Plain.
Tsukuba-san Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in this country. The shrine makes Mt. Tsukuba the object of worship, and its hall of worship on the mountainside is visited by lots of tourists. The shrine is also known as the god of matchmaking and harmony between husband and wife. A ritual called Ozagawarisai is held there as an annual event in spring and autumn every year.
The most popular path to the mountaintop is a hiking trail starting from Tsutsujigaoka at the east foot of the mountain. It goes through Benkei-Nanamodori (Benkei returning seven times), where Benkei the warrior priest, most famous for his boldness, is said to have been so afraid that he hesitated and tried seven times to get to the mountaintop. There is a series of strange rocks and bizarre stones including Defune-Irifune (leaving and arriving of ships) Stones, named after their appearance of the two wide, plate-like stones standing just like ships are leaving and arriving at a port, which represents peculiar features of Mt. Tsukuba. On the other hand, the Tsukuba-san Cable Car, connecting Tsukuba-san Shrine and the top of Mt. Nantai, commanding flowering plants of the season and huge rocks is worth seeing. While the Tsukuba-san Ropeway from Tsutsujigaoka to the top of Mt. Nyotai also commands a splendid view, and provides a wonderful ride on the weekend evening for tourists to enjoy a night scene below during winter season.
[Rail] By Tsukuba Express Line from Akihabara, 45 minutes to Tsukuba Sta., and change bus to Tsukuba-san Shirine, which takes 40 minutes.
[Rail] Tokyo Station is 2 hours 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station by the JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line. Akihabara is 3 minutes from Tokyo Station by the JR Yamanote Line.