One of my first outdoor experiences outside of Tokyo was Tsukuba-san. Located in the city of Tsukuba, it is easily reached by taking the Tsukuba Express line which can be boarded at Akihabara Station running direct to Tsukuba station. The mountain itself is about 870m tall which is a popular hiking spot. The original intention was to hike and appreciate the last of the autumn leaves however things don’t always go according to plan, for the better!
The highlight of the day was half way up the mountain while in the cable car, it started to snow, yes snow! First it rained for a bit and then the rain turned into snow! People cheered in the cable car – later we found out that it was the first snow. Having lived in places where it doesn’t snow all my life, it was a great feeling to walk in the snow and see the scenery change instantly from colour to black and white. It only snowed for about 30 minutes or so which allowed us to do a mini hike, passing the famous stone that resembles a frog – it is said that if you throw a stone and it lands in the frogs mouth you will get good grades as a student, I am happy to say that my stone did indeed land in the crack between the two big stones 🙂
I love the monochrome colours in the shots below, it was taken just before we had to take coverage in a little food stall that sold oden and udon. It was also the place where I tried oshiruko – a japanese dessert made up of red bean soup with pieces of mochi. Hands down one of my favourite things to eat now, especially in cold conditions!
But back to the trees, love how the branches embody such a sense of movement and power yet look so delicate and fragile at the same time.
Also according to the Japanese way, I bought a box of frog shaped sweets as omiyage to bring back to the office. So even though there was no great view of Mt Fuji from the peak or a decent hike, it was a great day to see fresh snow and nature. Only one hour away from Tokyo centre!