Tsukuba : Nature and Culture
June 4, 2014 2:43 PM
Before coming to Tsukuba, I had lived in Tokyo and Osaka and had enjoyed the convenience of city life. However, I also felt that I wanted to be closer to nature and enjoy the fresh air and peacefulness of country life. To experience nature more, I would go for hiking and travelled to various natural parks. I also visited eco-villages in Japan and enjoyed interacting with the farming community. Eco-villages are places in which people try to live in sustainable way. There are many ways to do it. An eco-village could be farming community like Konohana Family in Shizuoka Prefecture, in which people live and work together sharing the same living space, food and even finances. It could also be a company-managed housing area such as Kobunaki village near Lake Biwa. In Kobunaki, people live separately in their own houses which are built with eco-friendly technologies.
When I visited Tsukuba I really liked the way Tsukuba had the convenience of city life together with the abundance of nature in the form of parks and farms. I am not sure whether I would like to live in an eco-village, but a place with lots of green spaces and opportunity to learn about farming is quite interesting!
After moving to Tsukuba last year, I found it very easy to find peaceful spots outdoors to relax and refresh. I was also fortunate to find a way to do farming with the local people and other foreign residents. This hobby is a great way to take breaks from studies and it also gives opportunity to learn more about Japanese farming culture. I have joint a group of local farmers and started planting some vegetables together. There is nothing better than your own strawberries! Tsukuba also has plenty of parks and my favourite is the Doho Park. It is a great place for jogging and also has an indoor swimming pool open throughout the year.
I enjoy not only nature while living here but also the culture. Due to its location and history, Tsukuba and the surrounding cities have many festivals. Other than enjoying the Tsukuba Festival which had a great display of floats, last year I participated in the "Kappa Matsuri" in Ushiku City, where we performed the traditional Ushiku "Kappa" dance. According to the locals if the gods are pleased with the dance by the participants, it will rain after the festival. I guess the gods were very happy last year since it came down pouring just as we had finished dancing.
Living in Tsukuba for the past year, has been fun and it has enabled me to get to know more about Japan and to get closer to nature on a daily basis. I feel that it is easier to feel energized in Tsukuba compared to other big cities in Japan.