A former Tsukuba resident gives us some cuisinary advice...
There is a very good bakery that has genuine German bread (with flour imported from Germany), the existence of this bakery added quite substantially to my quality of life in Tsukuba. Unfortunately I only found out about this bakery rather late in my stay, so I decided to put down some of my experiences about buying western food in Tsukuba, maybe some newcomers can benefit from it.
The bakery is located in the area just south of Kita Odori (the Northern road), rather close to Higashi.
The Katakana next to the red cross says "Peetaapan". Peter Pan is the name of the bakery. (There is actually several Peter Pans in Tsukuba, but AFAIK only this one has German bread.)
Another shop very popular with foreigners in Tsukuba is La Cave de Yamaya, specialising in wine, but they also have an impressive selection of other imported food (olive oil, ...) at very decent prices. La Cave de Yamaya is located in MOG (next to Seibu/Jusco) in the centre.
The Garden on the first floor of Seibu is about the only place in Tsukuba that sells what a European would call cheese. When you are in Tokyo, you can try the National Azabu Supermarket (next to the German embassy), subway station Hiro-o. Worth a detour.
Not really food, but maybe also worth knowing:
In the same building as La Cave de Yamaya, there is also La Clave which hosts a Salsa party twice a month (used to be once, on the third Friday of each month). Otherwise I liked Frontier Bar. (Ed's note: Frontier has since closed.), Goldrush and Hot Stuff (close to Doho park) and Chicago Bar (where the 480 turns south towards Narita) (Ed's note: Chicago Bar has since closed.).
There is only one indoor swimming pool where you can go without becoming a member of some club, the one in Doho Park. Some of the research centres (AIST, KEK) have outdoor pools for their staff, so if you do not work there, don't get caught ...
The International Women's Network (IWN) is a group of women who enjoy chatting with people from all over the world. We hold a monthly potluck dinner where we exchange information about the local community while eating a variety of foods. No reservation is needed to attend the potluck. Just bring one dish of food and show up at the meeting. Newcomers are always welcome! Take advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy the international city of Tsukuba with us!
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