Tsukuba Center, in the city central
One of the buildings at the University
The Tsukuba Express
is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. It is known as the location of the , a planned city developed in the 1960s.
As of 2008
, the city has an estimated population
of 207,394 and a population density
of 730 persons per
. Its total area is 284.07 km².
sometimes considered part of the Greater Tokyo Area.
Mount Tsukuba, particularly well-known for its toad-shaped Shinto
shrine, is located near the city. Also found there is
Circuit, a popular short racetrack
which hosts the D1 Grand Prix and
other motorsports events.
a twin city of Irvine,
California and Cambridge, Massachusetts in the United States of America.
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. The city was
founded by the merger of Ōho
, and Yatabe
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.
The city became operational
in the 1980s to stimulate scientific discovery. Its constituent
municipalities were administratively united in 1987. By the year
2000, the city's 60 national research institutes and two
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 3,000
foreign students and researchers from as many as 90 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 high-pressure vacuum chambers.
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
Tsukuba hosted the Expo '85 world's fair
full-scale, working rocket
in the city park
commemorated the event.
Key reference: James W. Dearing (1995). Growing a Japanese Science
City: Communication in Scientific Research. London:
On August 24
rail service called the Tsukuba
, or simply "TX"
, opened. Operated by the
Intercity Railway Company, it provides Tsukuba with a rapid
connection to Akihabara
Station in Tokyo.
takes 45 minutes to travel between Tsukuba Station and Akihabara
The bus center, in the same area as the TX, offers intracity
transport as well as travel to stations in nearby towns and to
major stations throughout Kantō
Tsukuba is also located on the Joban
, the express tollway which runs between Tokyo and
closest major airport is Narita International Airport; Tokyo International Airport is also accessible from the city via a bus that
carries people daily from the airport to the city's center.
domestic airport is being built in nearby Omitama,
Ibaraki which will connect with Sapporo, Hokkaido, Naha, Okinawa, Osaka,
Osaka, and Fukuoka,
Research institutes in Tsukuba
Museums in Tsukuba
Name in kanji
is one of a small number of hiragana cities in Japan whose names are written in hiragana rather than kanji (Chinese characters). When written in kanji, it is rendered "筑波."
- "A Message from the Peace Commission: Information
on Cambridge's Sister Cities," February 15, 2008. Retrieved
- Richard Thompson. "Looking to strengthen family ties with 'sister
cities'," Boston Globe, October 12, 2008. Retrieved