19 Tsuchiura

This walk is based around the city of Tsuchiura and so it is easier to access than walk 20. As I live close to here, in the neighbouring city of Tsukuba, I have visited here a few times including cycling around Kasumigaura Lake. However, I have never explored the city so this was a super chance to do just that.

Here is the map.

I scootered to Tsuchirura Archaeological Museum first as it is a bit away from the other stops. If you do not have transportation you might want to skip this stop unless you really like archaeology.

It is a good place for a picnic and a walk, there is a museum of course, but I didn’t venture in it this time, as museums are closed on Mondays. I then headed for stop 7, but my dot was in the wrong place and wandered around a bit. I didn’t mind though as I found a lovely autumnal shrine.

For some reason, my maps were not showing up on my android phone so I thought going to a major stop would be easier to figure things out from. So off I went to stop 5 which was perfect to park for the rest of the walk.

This is a local history museum and has a lovely view of the moat where you can feed some carp. Another closed museum and I have not been before so I cannot comment on its contents.

The next stop, number 4, is right next door. It is the location of Tsuchiura Castle within Kijo Park. You can read more about this castle and lots of others on this super blog.

The museums might have been closed on the day I ventured out, but I was lucky enough to see some stunning bonsai and chrysanthemums at the park.

And then it was a short jaunt to stop 6, a lovely sprawling temple established in 1533 with plenty to see and photograph.

At this point I decided to try and find stop 7 again. I walked around and eventually asked a local person. It turns out it was right next to the previous temple, if I had turned left instead of right when going for a wander I would have seen it. My Japanese isn’t good, but I can ask where something is. Then I look very carefully at hand signals as nobody can give directions without waving their hands. Once found I repositioned the marker on the map.

Anyway, this stop is a gate at the corner of a school. It was erected in 1839 – The gate not the school.

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Not much to see here really, so off I trotted to stop number one, Tokaku Shrine. I ended up at the back of this temple and had to walk through the cemetery. I usually try to avoid that out of respect for the living families. That meant I had to navigate the squashy, maze-like arrangement of monuments. You can read more about the rituals of Japanese funerals here. This site is famous for its bell which is 134.9cm tall.

Then finally I walked towards the final two stops, number 2 and 3, which are located on an old shopping street. There are so many old wooden shops with nooks and crannies, side streets, and hidden gems here.

While wandering around keep your eyes out for these markers on the ground. They have little bits of information about the area.

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I also saw these vending machines for a quick beer, or a non-alcoholic beer if you don’t have a sake card.

BUT, by far my favourite discovery on this walk was this camera shop.

As someone who loves film cameras, this made the walk worth it. I went inside and chatted with the owner. I had two film cameras with me, one of the ones on display. I bought one film and she gave me another. It really was like stepping back in time, a film museum. The whole shop should be bought up and exported to a museum somewhere.

As for the whole walk/scoot. I had a lovely day.

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