Circulating Route on Mt. Tsukuba from Tukubasan-jinja Shrine | HIKES IN JAPAN

Circulating Route on Mt. Tsukuba from Tukubasan-jinja Shrine

Tour around the twin peaks that command a view of the Kanto Plain.
  • Duration
    1Day / 4.5Hours
    Highest Point
    Elevation Gain
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level

Mt. Tsukuba (Tsukuba-san) is located in central Ibaraki Prefecture in the Kanto region, and is a twin-peaked mountain consisting of Mt. Nantai (Nantai-san) and Mt. Nyotai (Nyotai-san). It is one of the most well-known mountains in the Kanto area that has been admired from olden times as “Tsukuba of the east, Fuji of the west,” and has appeared in many Japanese waka poems. Along with Tsukubasan-jinja Shrine that stands on the southern foothill, each of the peaks is home to shrine buildings that enshrine the deities of the shrine, making the entire mountain a divine zone.
This course introduces the circulating route, which starts from Tsukubasan-jinja Shrine, hikes up the Miyukigahara course heading for the col between the two peaks and descends the Hakuunkyo course, interspersed with strangely shaped rocks.

From Tsukuba-san jinja iriguchi bus stop, walk through the grounds of Tsukubasan-jinja Shrine via the hot spring town for approximately 15 minutes. Hikers will arrive at the trailhead with a torii gate. Hike up the staircases among the cedar forest and past the open space along the cable car railway, the trail turns into rocky section that has ladders and ropes. It takes approximately 70 minutes to get to the source of the Minano-gawa River. Proceed zigzagging up on the steep slope and hike up the long staircase for approximately 30 minutes, and hikers will arrive at Miyukigahara.

Miyukigahara is an open space where the Sancho Station of the cable car line is located, offering stores, restaurants and a cafe, and o a great view.

From Miyukigahara, Mt Nantai is approximately 20 minutes round-trip up through the staircases and rocky sections.

Approximately 20 minutes of gentle ascending from Miyukigahara via giant rocks such as Sekirei-ishi and Gama-ishi will take hikers to Mt. Nyotai.

With the view of giant rocks such as Daibutsu-iwa, Byobu-iwa, Hokuto-iwa and Hahano-tainaikuguri, descend the partially chain-supported rocky section, and after passing under another giant rock named Benkei-nanamodori, hikers will arrive at the fork where Benkei-chaya used to be, in approximately 40 minutes.

Proceed southwestward, descend the partially stone-paved slope and through Tsukubasan-jinja Shrine. Hikers will return to Tsukuba-san jinja iriguchi bus stop in approximately 75 minutes.

Other Info

Since Mt. Tsukuba stands distinguished on the northeastern part of the Kanto Plain, its summit is utilized as a meteorological station and has multiple antennas for radio communication. The mountain can be easily identified from the wide area on the southwest side by its twin peaks and antennas. Mt. Tsukuba is visible from Tokyo Bay on a sunny day. It may be fun to look for the mountain from the city after hiking it.

High Season:November to May


Mt. Tsukuba has a cable car line, from Miyukigahara on Mt. Nantai to Miyawaki near the Tsukubasan-jinja Shrine on the southern foothill, and a ropeway line from Mt. Nyotai summit to Tsutsujigaoka located on the eastern hillside. Utilize them according to the weather and your health conditions.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)


1Day / 4.5Hours
Highest Point
877m(Mt. Tsukuba / Mt. Nyotai)
Elevation Gain
Horizontal Distance
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail


Koma Observatory


Tsukubasan Onsen




Mt, Tsukuba is located in central Ibaraki Prefecture in the Kanto region. Take the JR Yamanote Line from Tokyo Station to Akihabara Station (4 minutes). From Akihabara Station, take the Tsukuba Express to Tsukuba Station (approx. 50 minutes).
From Tsukuba Station, walk to Tsukuba Center bus stop and take the Kanto Tetsudo Bus to Tsukuba-san jinja iriguchi bus stop (approx. 40 minutes).



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