Today has been our trip around Cerulean City. It started early and has somewhat ended as such. That isn’t because there’s nothing to do in Tsuchiura, it’s more none of it is currently open. Putting my bad planning skills aside, it’s a nice town to be in. The Floral Lagoon City is certainly found in this part of the Ibaraki Prefecture, which is characterised by the huge Lake Kasumigaura.
The lake the city is built beside is the second largest in all of Japan in surface area (220km squared). Kasumigaura is massive, with Tsuchiura tucked away on the western side. However to best see the lake one must leave the city centre and venture a little further out along its shores.
We went to Kasumigaura General Park which is about a half an hour walk from the train station. There stands a traditional style windmill overlooking the lake. It was here we got the best views of the lake nearby to the city. There is also an outdoor swimming complex up this way (a very likely candidate for Cerulean City Gym) but unfortunately for us the space is being renovated so one part of our day was cancelled. It looks like it’ll be a great place in the summer, but for now nobody is swimming. Of course Misty was apologised for the state of her gym and accepted my challenge anyway…
Another way to see the lake is to take the sightseeing cruise which is a 30-40 minute circuit out of the Tsuchiura bay. Unfortunately that too was closed and only open on weekends (yes we are kicking ourselves for not going yesterday!) Whether we could have spotted any holes where Cerulean Cave may have been will now remain a mystery. Probably a good thing though, with only two badges Mewtwo would wipe the floor with us. For anyone wanting to visit on a weekend, it’s only a ten minute walk from the station to the harbour.
I mention the walking distance of these places but in truth the best way to see Tsuchiura and Lake Kasumigaura is via cycling. Sign posted cycling routes exist in both directions out of the city and take you beside the shore of the lake. Turns out it’s quite a popular cycling spot, so I wonder why the Cerulean Bike Shop can’t get much business. We were able to rent some bikes from our hotel for free so we ventured a little way out. Our first time on a bike in years and in the nice September sun it sure was pleasant.
We hope to see some of the historical side of Tsuchiura tomorrow on a walk through a district of houses from the Edo period. But before we do that we’ll be making a detour to Tokai to catch a glimpse of one of the more controversial contributors to modern day Japan. Until then I shall be enjoying my new Cascade Badge!