Tsukuba san end-of-year hike

Saturday December 9, 2023

Tsukuba san

Difficulty 2 Number of Days 1 Ibaraki


Dear hikers,

It has been a long tradition in TWMC that the last hike of the calendar year, also known as the end-of-year hike, is on Tsukuba-san. This year will be no exception and we will climb our very own Twin Peaks on Saturday December 9th, 2023.

The end-of-year party will follow at night at the completely made-over HS.
The Oilman Brothers band will be there with live music to liven up the event.
More details about the party will follow.

*Details of the hike

We will climb the north side of the mountain, starting from Tsukushiko.
Passing by the Yakuo-in temple, we will walk along quiet paths away from the crowds.
The walk is relatively easy, but more strenuous than the usual routes from the main shrine.
Walking time up and down will be approximately 4 hours (not including breaks).
We will probably be back in Tsuksuba around of before 16:00.
On the way down, there are quite a number of steps, so bring walking sticks if you don’t want to ruin your knees.

Meeting time: 8:30 a.m.
Meeting place: Car waiting area, Tsukuba bus terminal

*What to bring:

  • Boots / good walking shoes
  • Warm clothes, it can be chilly at the summit in December
  • Rain gear
  • Lunch and snacks to share (you can also buy lunch on the summit)
  • Water

If you would like to join, please send the following information:

  • Name and cell phone number
  • Can you offer your car? How many passengers can you take?

No club fee is being charged for this walk.
Please arrange with the drivers to cover the fee of gasoline etc.

COVID-19: Following the update of the government's guidelines on the 8th of May, the decision on whether to wear a facemask is left to the individual.

Disclaimer: There are risks associated with hiking in the mountains. All risks are accepted by individuals participating in the hike; TWMC and the organisers accept no responsibility for these risks: https://www.twmc.club/about-twmc/disclaimer

Hope to see you on December 9th,

Anja and Matt




Fourteen people joined the end-of-year hike 2023. The group was split into two as we didn't have enough cars to accommodate everybody.
Five people took the 08:25 bus to Tsukuba-san-guchi, changed to the YamazakuraGo bus and got down at the Remains of the Sakayori station (旧酒寄駅跡 ) bus stop at 09:36. From the bus stop we walked for about 30 minutes to the Shiioyamayakuoin temple (earlier I wrote shrine, but the monk corrected me, it is a temple). This is a pretty walk over a country road. Most of it is going up, so we got warmed up for the real hike.

The other nine people left the parking lot at the Tsukuba Center bus terminal at around 09:00. We met at the temple and at around 10:30 and we started walking as one large group. The weather was unseasonably warm, with clear skies in all directions. Those hikers who had dressed in layers soon found themselves removing their thick winter coats.

We took the trail at the end of the temple grounds next to the cemetery. Arriving at the first junction we were not sure which way to take, but a kindly Japanese hiker told us to go left and he seemed sure enough that that is what we did – his information would prove correct. At the point where the trail hits the road, we took the left route and walked until the big red letter sign. It is always longer on the road than expected, but we found it easy.

The hike along the stream is always pretty and there was no-one else on the trail.
Though the trail is not always very obvious we found our way without problem. At the crossroads, six people decided to go straight to Miyukigahara; while the others took the trail up to the Nantai-san peak and from there down to Miyukigahara – though in contrast to the empty trails of earlier in the day, they found themselves having to queue in some places on the rather congested trail down from the summit.

People had lunch enjoying the December sunshine, and we took the traditional group picture on the roof of the round restaurant. Seeing conditions were somewhat hazy, obscuring the distant horizon, with Tokyo occluded and only the faintest silhouette of Fuji-san visible, but nonetheless the views over the Kantō Plain were spectacular. First time hikers of Tsukuba-san expressed their intent that this would not be their only time scaling the heights of the mountain, particularly as we did not have time to visit the Nyotai-san peak this time.

For the return journey the group split into three, one group went down to the cars, while four people walked down the Miyukigahara trail along the cable car, and three people took the cable car down to the Tsukuba-san shrine.
The car group further split in two along the path, with one group following the road route we had used on the ascent, and the other taking a trail that was shorter but had a lot of steps. The groups arrived back at the cars with but a few minutes until the sunset. After a fabulous hike in perfect weather, it was time to head back into the city and prepare for the party later that evening.