Tsukuba, Ibaraki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the city. For the district, see Tsukuba District, Ibaraki.
Special city
View of Mount Tsukuba and Tsukuba Center
View of Mount Tsukuba and Tsukuba Center
Flag of Tsukuba
Official seal of Tsukuba
Location of Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture
Location of Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture
Coordinates: 36°5′0.5″N 140°4′35.2″E / 36.083472°N 140.076444°E / 36.083472; 140.076444Coordinates: 36°5′0.5″N 140°4′35.2″E / 36.083472°N 140.076444°E / 36.083472; 140.076444
Country Japan
Region Kantō
Prefecture Ibaraki Prefecture
 • Total 283.72 km2 (109.54 sq mi)
Population (September 2015)
 • Total 223,151
 • Density 787/km2 (2,040/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Japanese zelkova
- Flower Hoshizaki-yukinoshita (Saxifraga stolonifera Curtis f. aptera (Makino) H.Hara)
- Bird Ural owl
Address 2530-2 Karima, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki-ken 305-8555
Website Official website
Tsukuba City Hall
One of the buildings at the University of Tsukuba
Tsukuba Express
Mount Tsukuba

Tsukuba (つくば市 Tsukuba-shi?) is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. As of September 2015, the city had an estimated population of 223,151 and a population density of 787 persons per km². Its total area is 283.72 square kilometres (109.54 square miles). It is known as the location of the Tsukuba Science City (筑波研究学園都市 Tsukuba Kenkyū Gakuen Toshi?), a planned science park developed in the 1960s.


Located in southern Ibaraki Prefecture, Tsukuba is located to the south of Mount Tsukuba, from which it takes its name.

Surrounding municipalities[edit]


Mount Tsukuba has been a place of pilgrimage since at least the Heian period. During the Edo period, parts of the what later became the city of Tsukuba were administered by a junior branch of the Hosokawa clan at Yatabe Domain, one of the feudal domains of the Tokugawa shogunate. With the creation of the municipalities system after the Meiji Restoration on April 1, 1889, the town Yatabe was established within Tsukuba District, Ibaraki). On November 30, 1987 the town of Yatabe merged with the neighboring towns of Ōho and Toyosato and the village of Sakura to create the city of Tsukuba. The neighboring town of Tsukuba merged with the city of Tsukuba on January 1, 1988, followed by the town of Kukizama on November 1, 2002.

On April 1, 2007 Tsukuba was designated a Special cities of Japan with increased autonomy.

Following the Fukushima I nuclear accidents in 2011, evacuees from the accident zone reported that municipal officials in Tsukuba refused to allow them access to shelters in the city unless they presented certificates from the Fukushima government declaring that the evacuees were "radiation free".[1]

On May 6, 2012, Tsukuba was struck by a tornado that caused heavy damage to numerous structures and left approximately 20,000 residents without electricity. The storm killed one 14-year-old boy and injured 45 people. The tornado was rated an F-3 by the Japan Meteorological Agency, making it the most powerful tornado to ever hit Japan. Some spots had F-4 damage.[2]


Companies headquartered in Tsukuba[edit]


Higher education[edit]

Primary and secondary education[edit]

Tsukuba has 37 elementary schools, 15 middle schools, two combined middle school/high schools and six high schools, along with one special education school. In addition, a Brazilian international school, the Instituto Educare (former Escola Pingo de Gente) is located in Tsukuba[3]





  • Tsukuba Community Broadcast Inc. – Radio Tsukuba
  • Academic Newtown Community Cable Service (ACCS)

Local attractions[edit]

Tsukuba Science City[edit]

Tsukuba Science City represents one of the world's largest coordinated attempts to accelerate the rate of and improve the quality of scientific discovery. The city was closely modeled on other planned cities and science developments, including Brasilia, Novosibirsk's Akademgorodok, Bethesda, and Palo Alto. Nevertheless, it should not be called Japan's Silicon Valley, simply because the public sector dominates research and development. Japan's metropolises also dominate over Tsukuba in terms of corporate headquarters. There is no formal attempt currently to turn Tsukuba into a Silicon Valley style research center. This may be contrasted with formal government support of tech clustering in Taoyuan-Hsinchu in Taiwan (as of 2016),[4] and Shenzhen's long list of corporates.


Beginning in the 1960s, the area was designated for development. Construction of the city centre, the University of Tsukuba and 46 public basic scientific research laboratories began in the 1970s. Tsukuba Science City became operational in the 1980s.

The Expo '85 world's fair was held in the area of Tsukuba Science City, which at the time was still divided administratively between several small towns and villages. Attractions at the event included the 85-metre (279 ft) Technocosmos, which at that time was the world's tallest Ferris wheel.[5]

By 2000, the city's 60 national research institutes and two national universities had been grouped into five zones: higher education and training, construction research, physical science and engineering research, biological and agricultural research, and common (public) facilities. These zones were surrounded by more than 240 private research facilities. Among the most prominent institutions are the University of Tsukuba (1973; formerly Tokyo University of Education); the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK); the Electrotechnical Laboratory; the Mechanical Engineering Laboratory; and the National Institute of Materials and Chemical Research. The city has an international flair, with about 7,500 foreign students and researchers from as many as 133 countries living in Tsukuba at any one time.

Over the past several decades, nearly half of Japan's public research and development budget has been spent in Tsukuba. Important scientific breakthroughs by its researchers include the identification and specification of the molecular structure of superconducting materials, the development of organic optical films that alter their electrical conductivity in response to changing light, and the creation of extreme low-pressure vacuum chambers[citation needed]. Tsukuba has become one of the world's key sites for government-industry collaborations in basic research. Earthquake safety, environmental degradation, studies of roadways, fermentation science, microbiology, and plant genetics are some of the broad research topics having close public-private partnerships.


Other attractions[edit]

Sister city relations[edit]

Noted people from Tsukuba[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jiji Press, "Tsukuba asked evacuees for radiation papers", Japan Times, 20 April 2011, p. 2.
  2. ^ "Tornado in Tsukuba rated as strongest ever : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)". Retrieved 2012-06-10. 
  3. ^ "Escolas Brasileiras Homologadas no Japão" (Archive). Embassy of Brazil in Tokyo. Retrieved on October 13, 2015.
  4. ^ http://focustaiwan.tw/news/ast/201606130027.aspx
  5. ^ James W. Dearing (1995). Growing a Japanese Science City: Communication in Scientific Research. London: Routledge.
  6. ^ "A Message from the Peace Commission: Information on Cambridge's Sister Cities," February 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
  7. ^ Richard Thompson. "Looking to strengthen family ties with 'sister cities'," Boston Globe, October 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
  8. ^ 友好城市 (Friendly cities), 市外办 (Foreign Affairs Office), 2008-03-22. (Translation by Google Translate.)
  9. ^ 国际友好城市一览表 (International Friendship Cities List), 2011-01-20. (Translation by Google Translate.)
  10. ^ 友好交流 (Friendly exchanges), 2011-09-13. (Translation by Google Translate.)
  11. ^ "University of Tsukuba Prospectus Leo Esaki". Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  12. ^ "「補償金もDRMも必要ない」――音楽家 平沢進氏の提言 (1/4)" (in Japanese). ITmedia. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  13. ^ "University of Tsukuba Prospectus Hideki Shirakawa". Retrieved 2013-02-28. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Tsukuba, Ibaraki at Wikimedia Commons