Conquering Tsukuba-san

Another weekend has come and gone, with more adventures to report.

It was very, very rainy on Saturday. Right now, the weather is known as 梅雨 (tsuyu): the rainy season. Our original plan was to climb Mt. Tsukuba that day, but the weather had other plans. So, instead, I hoped in my car and drove to Moriya to meet up with Becky. I would call Moriya the rich suburbs of Tokyo. It’s a city with tons of new and beautiful homes, with quick access to nearly anything you could want. Their Aeon is a full-fledged mall. Complete with a Subway sandwich shop. Lovely!

What do you do on a rainy day? You go shopping, of course.

After much discussion, we settled on Kashiwa and headed out. There, we met another ALT who hails from the sunny state of California, USA: Kate. In preparation for our summers abroad, she and I splurged and each bought a backpack for our upcoming backpacking trips. My very first real backpack! I’m so excited! I hope we get along well.

In celebration of our recent booking, we went to a lovely Vietnamese dinner in Kashiwa. I believe it was my first vietnamese food experience… I liked it! Luckily. Seeing as I won’t have much choice come August.

Sunday, the sun was out  and we went climbing. We were told 70 minutes to climb to the top. Despite the slippery rocks and muddy trails, we managed it in 60 minutes. The view from the top was spectacular and the lot of us enjoyed a traditional Japanese meal at the summit. The way down, was much more interesting.

It was nearly vertical, with something you might call a trail. It was more or less a ton of rocks and mud. It was actually quite terrifying at times. I slipped and fell no less that five times. Hiking in your running shoes isn’t a good idea, it seems. None-the-less, the path down was the better of the two. The view from the top of the second peak was breath taking, and all the way down, there were many spectacular natural formations.

It was, in my opinion, the perfect way to spend a Sunday. I was in good company, getting exercise, enjoying the great outdoors, and all while shooting some nature photography. We even managed to make friends with a local foreigner and his spunky dog, Shyrose. Our friend, Hamish, was from New Zealand. He told us that he came to Japan for three months…. ten years ago.

You never know where life will take you, ne?

See you soon!


3 thoughts on “Conquering Tsukuba-san

  1. Yasuhiro Nakatani says:

    I have no intention to scare you and nothing may happen to you after all, but here is the traveler’s health information for Vietnam. You go to the CDC website ( and look for “FOR SPECIFIC GROUPS” in the middle part of the home page. Click “Traveler’s Health”, then check “Vietnam” in the Destinations. You’ll find the health information. The important things are to avoid mosquito bites (you may need a malaria prophylaxis at least, though) and to be careful of water and venders’ foods. I really hope you’ll have a wonderful and safe trip to Vietnam!

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