Outline of Tsukuba City
Location & Geographic Features
Tsukuba Science City is located approximately 50 kilometers from Akihabara in Tokyo, and 40 kilometers from Narita International Airport. Situated in the fertile flat lands of the Kanto Plain, the city is surrounded by a rich natural environment, with the well-known Mount Tsukuba to the north, and to the east, Kasumigaura, the second largest lake in Japan.
In 2005, the opening of the new metropolitan railway “Tsukuba Express”, linking Akihabara and Tsukuba in 45 minutes, makes access from Tokyo significantly quicker than ever.
“Tsukuba Science City” refers to the whole area of Tsukuba City consisting of two major districts: The “Research and Education District” refers to the masterly designed and developed district combining research and educational organizations with residences and public facilities (approximately 2,700 ha. in area) as a whole. The rest (approximately 25,700 ha. in area) is called the “Surrounding Development District”.
As of August, 2008, Tsukuba City had a total population of 209,000, with 78,000 in the Research and Education District and 131,000 in the Surrounding Development District. By 2030, the total population of Tsukuba is projected to reach 350,000 (220,000 according to the original city planning), including 100,000 in the “Research and Education District”, and 250,000 (120,000 according to the original city planning) in the “Surrounding Development District”, taking into consideration the population increase due to development in areas surrounding the “Tsukuba Express” line.
According to the “2005 Urban and Regional Report” conducted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, by 2030, the Tsukuba Tsuchiura Urban Area will not only be one of the 11 urban areas that can maintain their present population, but also the closest of its kind to the Greater Tokyo area.
Research and Educational Organizations
As a result of relocation and new establishment, Tsukuba Science City is home to at leastnearly 30% (31 to be exact) of Japan’s public research institutions as well as many private research institutes in the surrounding R & D oriented industrial parks. At present, over 300 public and private research institutions and diverse companies are actively engaged in their respective activities, making Tsukuba significantly important for Japan, one of the world’s leading countries in science and technology.