Trip to Tsukuba Mountain
We took the new Tsukuba Express, the train line which opened at the end of August, out to Tsukuba. It has to be one of the smoothest train journeys I’ve ever taken. The train is virtually silent and hardly shakes at all, even when on a bend in the track. A very impressive feat of engineering. The stations that we passed through were all very nicely designed. From start to finish, the train ride took a shade under 45 minutes and a distance of 60km means an average speed of over 80km/h. This makes it one of the fastest lines when considering the stops the train makes.
We arrived at Tsukuba station and took a bus to Tsukuba-san (Tsukuba Mountain). Unfortunately, the bus driver must have overdosed on caffeine that morning and -in contrast to the beautiful new train- the ride was anything but smooth. The driver aggressively carreened his way through a “slip-n-ya-dead” zig-zagging mountain pass with all of us standing up, cram packed into a bus-cum-bronco. It took as long to get from Tsukuba station to the mountain about 10km away as it did on the train.