Tsukuba-san 筑波山 (Nantai-san 男体山, 870m and Nyotai-san 女体山, 876m)

Day hiking trip up one of Japan’s 100 Famous Mountains. This mountain is about 50km north of Tokyo and was accessed relatively easily by train from Akihabara then a bus to the trail head. It’s a historic religious mountain with twin peaks seen as symbols of male and female deities. It is also famous for a selection of interestingly shaped rocks that are named on the path (only in Japanese so I only know about the most famous toad rock -see picture at the end).

The mountain is not particularly high, particularly on Japanese standards but was presumably chosen to be a 100 Famous Mountain due to its religious significance and the fact it stands alone in the Kanto plane so has a real presence in the surrounding landscape.

The weather today was lovely, sunny and warm. I was hoping for some autumn colours and there were some beautiful ones but clearly autumn has not yet fully arrived here!

At the bottom of the mountain there are a series of shrines at Tsukuba jinja-mae.

The mountain was very crowded. There is a cable car and a funicular railway up the mountain which probably added to the crowds but the busiest part seemed to be the way down from Nyotai-san where I passed long queues of people coming up. The walking was quite rocky and steep and I enjoyed using my new birthday walking poles to ease the pressure on my knees!

Here are some pictures:

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This is Toad Rock (below) – it’s claimed to bring you luck if you throw a rock and it lands in its mouth!

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