Wednesday, February 12, 2014

We Climbed A Mountain! Well Almost...

Yesterday my friend Siobhan and I went to 茨城県 (Ibaraki Prefecture) to climb 筑波山 (Mt. Tsukuba). We had been planning to take a trip to 札幌市 (Sapporo) to see the snow festival that is going on, but due to all the snow that hit Japan a few days ago our flight was canceled. We decided to have a mini trip in exchange and got out of Tokyo for the day. We took the train out to Tsukuba and then headed out to the mountain area. 

Our first stop a little bit up the mountain was Tsukuba Shrine. I feel like every time I go on a trip I go to at least one shrine, but they are just so pretty I can't stop myself!

Siobhan by the entrance to the main shrine area

We found this mini shrine on a little path off the main area

We had planned on being active and adventurous and were going to climb the actual mountain. We didn't think it would be that big of a deal, just a quick hike up a well marked trail. Then we saw all the people that had spiked shoes, walking poles, and huge bags full of gear (like below) and quickly realized we were unprepared and just took the cable car up. 

Checking out the scenery on the way up

We made snow hearts!

We stopped for some lunch at the top. I got some delicious tempura soba and we each got a hot chocolate

Back down we go!

After going back down, we decided to head back into Tokyo to get some dinner. I had been wanting to try to make Okonomiyaki so we headed to a restaurant in Asakusa called Sometaro. It was so much fun making it by ourselves, even though we did it wrong and the waitresses had to come help us. I would definitely recommend the restaurant, it was so delicious! Overall it was a great little trip with Siobhan and I am glad that we had a chance to do something fun, even if we didn't get to go to Sapporo!

Thanks for reading!

P.S. The tea of the day rosehip and hibiscus ^_^

P.P.S. For anyone wanting to go to Mt. Tsukuba it is really easy! If you are in Tokyo you can catch the つくばエクスプレス (Tsukuba Express) from Akihabara and it takes you right to Tsukuba. Then you just get a bus from the station and it drops you off right next to the shrine. 

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