Tsukuba (つくば) is a city in Ibaraki, to the north of Tokyo, Japan.

Tsukuba Center and Mt.Tsukuba

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Tsukuba is a modern town built around the University of Tsukuba one of the most respected public universities in Japan and home to two Nobel Prize winners and a cyclotron. The city is also located at the foot of Mount Tsukuba which offers scenic views, hiking, and lifts. The surrounding area is mostly agricultural.

The Tsukuba Express Line (sometimes abbreviated as TX) connects Tsukuba to Akihabara in downtown Tokyo in about 45 minutes. The fare is 1,150 yen. No reservation is necessary, despite the flashy name it looks like most other trains.

You can also travel to Tsukuba by highway bus (高速バス) from Tokyo station’s Yaesu south exit (八重洲南口). Most of the buses go to University of Tsukuba, but you can get off at Tsukuba Center, a bus hub located near the Tsukuba Express line station. The travel time is approx. 70 minutes at a cost of ¥1150 each way.

Japan Rail Passes can not be used.

Map of Tsukuba

Tsukuba is extremely accessible and well laid-out. The infrastructure consists of the Higashi-Ōdori (東大通り) on the east and the Nishi-Ōdori (西大通り) on the west, both major roadways running on either side of the university. The campus itself is connected to downtown via a system of bicycle paths and bridges, known as the Pedestrian Way, offering easy transit for university students.

Bicycle rental is available in front of the train station (ask for “rent-a-cycle”). 500¥ per day, half for kids bicycles, open from 09:00 to 18:30. You have to return the bicycles by 18:30, except if you rent for several days.

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