Conducted environmental excursion in Tsukuba

Conducted environmental excursion and survey to Tsukuba national research institutes and Kasumigaura Lake on September 11 and 12, 2018.


We visited the research facilities (National Science Museum, Tsukuba Botanical Garden, and National Institute for Environmental Studies) located in the academic city of Tsukuba, Ibaraki prefecture on September 11 and 12, 2018. Twenty students and two faculty staffs joined the trip. We also visited Kashima Shrine one of the oldest shrines in Japan, which is located close to Kasumigaura Lake, and conducted an on-site inspection of the natural reclamation project in Kasumigaura Lake and a field tour to a “yatsuda” (the traditional paddy field constructed on small valleys) reclamation site using abandoned paddy field.

In Tsukuba Botanical Garden, we listened expert commentary on the ecology and conservation of aquatic plants that are threatened with extinction in many wetlands including Kasumigaura Lake in Japan.

At National Institute for Environmental Studies, we were led to the global warming simulators (supercomputers) and given a lecture on alien species issues by forefront environmental scientists. Also, at an aquatic experimental facility in that institute, we observed test organisms (daphnia species and freshwater fishes such as medaka etc.) available for toxicity testing of chemicals, which we learn only by a course lecture.

In Kashima City, which took about an hour and a half on a minibus drive from Tsukuba City, we visited Kashima Shrine, one of the oldest shrines in Japan, which is said to be established at the first year of Emperor Jinmu (660 BC), and also visited the local private museum Kokoshika). Under the guidance of the director of the museum, we observed the unique architectural style of the shrine and the shrine forest (the guardian forest) which is also one of the largest and the oldest preserves of natural forests in the Kanto region.

Under the cooperation with the local NPO (Asaza Project), after receiving explanation by the representative about the current situation and restoration strategy of Kasumigaura Lake, we visited a restoration site for coastal reed fields and carried out a practice of water quality measurement.

Finally, we received lesson on activities to restore abandoned yatsuda worked out by the NPO, and went through the recovering nature by observing wildlife such as frogs, grasshoppers (locusts), and butterflies.

After returning to the campus of Sophia University, we held a post-honor training presentation, and active presentations were given under various themes such as alien species problems, conservation of aquatic plants, lake water quality problems, and wetland restoration projects.


*Part of the activity was taken up and broadcasted at NHK World as a part of research activities of a refugee-granted international student:



Observing world plants at Tsukuba Botanical Garden

Listening a lecture on invasive species issues at the Dr Goka laboratory in National Institute for Environmental Studies

A group photo in the Dr. Goka’s Lab

Observing various Daphnia species and test strains at Aquatron (NIES)

Hearing explanation about the brief history and properties of Kashima Shrine

A group photo in front of the private folklore museum “Kokoshika”

Receiving a presentation by Mr. Ijima, the rep of NPO Asaza Project on some nature restoration projects

Inspecting a site of the nature restoration project of Kasumigaura Lake