"Seven Years in Tsukuba"
August 30, 2013 3:54 PM
Living in Tsukuba for the past seven years has been a wonderful experience for me. Contrary to what many think as a countryside, Tsukuba is a modern city with a well-planned development allowing an abundance of greenery between the residential and commercial areas. Moreover, Tsukuba is known as a science city since many world class research institutes are located within the city having researchers from all over the globe.
Tsukuba has many parks situated along pedestrian decks which make cycling and jogging fun. The pedestrian decks run separate from the main roads and go through the parks, universities and commercial facilities. Jogging is also popular in Tsukuba due to the Tsukuba Marathon. My favorite park in Tsukuba is the Doho Park, where I sometimes go for jogging, to play at the excellent jungle gym and also to swim in the indoor swimming pool.
As a foreign resident, I have always had interest in Japanese culture and I feel lucky to live in Tsukuba as Tsukuba hosts a number of cultural activities for foreign residents. Throughout the year there are numerous festivals where the Japanese dances and cultural art can be enjoyed. My personal favorite is the Tsukuba Festival where colorful floats roam the streets to the rhythm of the huge Japanese drums "wadaiko". There are also various events where foreign residents can meet and talk to Japanese and other foreigners even if their Japanese language ability is not so good. I was also able to enjoy farming activities with Japanese farmers and learnt a lot about Japanese farming culture.
Although Tsukuba lacks amusement parks and has a relatively simple night life, it is just 45 minutes from Tokyo and also close to Tokyo Disneyland and international airports. This lack of distractions is another reason why I like Tsukuba, since it is quiet and filled with nature and when I feel like enjoying some city life, I can travel easily.
Living in Tsukuba has been an educational journey for me and I am glad I chose to come here. If you would like to experience Japan in a relaxed, quiet and natural environment, I recommend Tsukuba City.International Exchange Coordinator Ronit Prakash