Shizuoka is a large prefecture located in the Chubu region of Japan. It is widely known for the tallest mountain in Japan, “Mt. Fuji,” and also boasts the largest production of Japanese green tea. The climate is relatively mild, and it is accessible from main urban areas through public transportation because of the convenient location. Although it is visited by a number of tourists from around the world, there are still some hidden places that are not well known. In this article, we will introduce some of the best things to do in Shizuoka that you shouldn’t miss!
- Izu area
- Gotemba/Numazu area
- Fujinomiya area
- Yaizu/Omaezaki area
- Hamamatsu/Hamanako area
- Best Places to see Mt. Fuji in Shizuoka
- Japan Wonder Travel Tours
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The Izu area refers to the east part of Shizuoka which includes the Izu peninsula, sticking out towards the Pacific Ocean. There are many tourist attractions such as a popular hot spring resort called Shuzenji, some of Japan’s most beautiful beaches, or scenic spots along the beautiful coast. It is also close to another tourist destination called Atami, which fascinates tourists with unique attractions and relaxing hot springs. The area is relatively peaceful, and offers tourists a calm atmosphere with plenty of nature. It is a perfect place to experience traditional Japan and nature altogether!
Kinomiya shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Atami city. The early history of the shrine remains unclear, but it is said that the origin of the shrine dates back to the Nara era, when people dedicated a wooden statue caught in a fishing net. Since then, it has been loved by locals as a symbolic shrine in the city. Kogashi Matsuri, which is recognized as the biggest festival in the city, is held every July.
There is a huge camphor tree which is believed to be around 2,000 years old. It is designated as a National Natural Monument, and if you walk around the tree, it is said you can live one year longer! The entire shrine is surrounded by abundant nature, and it offers a spiritual and refreshing experience for visitors!
Opening Hours 9am-5pm
Shuzenji is a hot spring resort situated in the central part of Izu peninsula. It is said to be the oldest hot spring resort in the Izu area with a 1,200 year history, there are a number of traditional Japanese inns and historical sites around. Tourists can experience a relaxing foot bath called Kawarayu for free while enjoying the peaceful scenery along the iconic river running through the area. The highlight of Shuzenji is the bamboo forest path, a narrow pathway completely surrounded by beautiful green bamboo. Visitors can directly feel the strength of the bamboo as they walk through the pleasant pathway.
Jogasaki Beach is a scenic spot on the east coast of the Izu peninsula. It was originally formed by an eruption of Mt. Omuro about 4,000 years ago, and has attracted an increasing number of tourists in recent years. The 10 km long steep cliff and rock formation on the coastline offer an exciting scenery, and it is a perfect picture spot as well. The most popular tourist attraction is a suspension bridge called Kadowakitsuri-bashi Bridge completed in 1968. Visitors can walk across the bridge hanging 23 meters high from the sea! It offers an exciting moment and a stunning view of the sea.
Where to stay in Izu area
Ochiairo ―Traditional Japanese style accommodation, free pick-up service from Shuzen-ji temple, offering the traditional multi-course meal using local ingredients
Gotemba is an area located at the base of Mt. Fuji. Although it is not adjacent to the sea, there are a number of enjoyable spots in the mountainous area. Numazu is another city which is about an hour trip from Gotemba. It boasts fresh seafood that is widely known for the quality and the taste. There are several tourist attractions which perfectly suit a family trip.
Fuji Safari Park
Fuji Safari Park is a zoo and wildlife park opened in 1980. It is counted as one of the largest zoos in Japan, and offers an exciting experience for the whole family through interaction with a variety of animals. The park can be divided into two areas. In the Fureai Zone, visitors can directly touch and hold adorable animals. Some interesting experiences such as a horse ride are available as well. In the Safari Zone, visitors can observe bigger, more ferocious animals such as lions, bears and tigers! This area is only accessible by car or special vehicle provided by the park, and passengers are not allowed to go outside. There are souvenir shops where you can get memorable merchandise as well!
Opening Hours 9am-4.30pm (from Mar.11 to Oct.31) 10am-3.30pm (from Nov.1 to Mar.10)
Admission ¥2,700 (Adults/ high school students) ¥1,500 (ages 4 to junior high school students) ¥2,000 (ages 65 and older)
Gotemba Outlet Mall
Gotemba Outlet Mall is a huge shopping mall in Gotemba city which opened in 2000. There are around 200 discount shops selling clothes or other products for a reasonable price. Some world-famous brands also offer special deals for those who want to get their products while saving money. They recently opened new facilities which include a hotel, a playground for kids, and a relaxing hot spring. It is a good place to spend a whole day with your family. On a sunny day, visitors can enjoy the amazing view of Mt. Fuji while enjoying shopping!
Opening Hours 10am-8pm (from Mar. to Nov.) 10am-7pm (from Dec. to Feb.)
Where to stay in the Gotemba area
Mars Garden Wood Gotenba ― Spacious and clean rooms, 10 minutes drive from outlet malls, they have a beautiful garden to walk around and you can enjoy the view of Mt.Fuji.
The Fujinomiya area is located on the east side of Shizuoka, and as you might have guessed from the name, it’s known as the town of Mt. Fuji and provides a lot of beautiful viewpoints of the mountain. Half of the area is in Fuji Hakone Izu National Park so there are many natural spots such as Asagiri Kogen, Shiraito Falls and Lake Tanuki that we mentioned below.
Shiraito Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Japan. 20 meters in height and 150 meters in width, there are hundreds of waterfalls that flow down like shiraito, which means white threads in Japanese. Most of the falls are actually spring water from Mt. Fuji. There is a paved road toward the waterfall, and also an observation deck where you can see the waterfall from above. During autumn you can see beautiful autumn foliages around the waterfall.
Lake Tanuki is one of the best places to see Mt. Fuji, and is known for Diamond Fuji which is the phenomenon in which the sun looks like it is sitting on the top of Mt. Fuji and appears to be a shining diamond. You can see this phenomenon from April 20th and August 20th for the short period of a week.
Around the lake, there are camping sites where you can enjoy outdoor activities with the view of Mt. Fuji. There are rental bicycles (¥500/60 mins), paddling boats (¥1,000/60 mins) and fishing spots (¥700/one day) to enjoy a full day around the lake.
Where to stay in Fujinomiya area
Kuretake Inn Premium Fujinomiya ― Easy access to local transportations, spacious room, a buffet style breakfast available every morning.
The Yaizu and Omaezaki area is located in the central part of Shizuoka prefecture. They both have a famous fishing port, and are visited by a number of tourists not only from overseas but also inside Japan. If you pay attention to the other side, you can find several interesting spots offering totally different experiences in the deep mountains as well. One of the most popular spots is Sumatakyo Gorge as well as the iconic suspension bridge!
Yume no Tsuribashi
Yume no Tsuribashi is a suspension bridge constructed over the Sumatakyo gorge. The bridge is about 90 meters long, and it offers a thrilling experience for visitors walking across 8 meters above the emerald green water. The bridge swings occasionally as someone starts to walk across it. If you make a brief stop in the middle of the bridge, you can take a great photo of the beautiful gorge! If you want to take a photo of the whole bridge, there is a pathway where you can look down on the bridge as well.
Where to stay in Yaizu area
Hotel Ambia Shofukaku – A beautiful Japanese style hotel located right on the water, gorgeous rooms with an open-air bath, great place for a family trip
Hamamatsu is a big city in the west part of Shizuoka. It is known as a home to several world-famous companies such as Yamaha and Suzuki. Hamanako is the 10th largest lake in Japan and is directly connected to the Pacific Ocean, hence it offers a variety of seafood and other benefits to local people. In order to help you understand the city deeper, we will focus on two tourist attractions in the area below!
Ryotanji is a Buddhist temple which was built in 733. It belongs to the Rinzai school of Japanese Zen. It has a strong relation with the Ii family and has served as a “Bodaiji (family temple)” for centuries. Visitors can enter the building and observe the inside and valuable exhibits closely. There is a traditional Japanese garden which is open to the public as well. The garden was nationally designated as a Scenic Spot in 1936.
Opening Hours 9am-4.30pm
Admission ¥500 (Adults/ high school students) ¥200 (elementary/ junior high school students)
In Nukumori Forest you will have a unique experience surrounded by Western-style buildings. The area was once used as a private residence and a show house by an architect. It was later renovated into a public area where visitors can explore the romantic landscape created by lovely brick buildings. There are small shops selling original merchandise, restaurants that offer tasty dishes, and a cozy cafe located in a small forest. Everything has been carefully made and placed to make the perfect landscape that seemingly can be found in picture books!
Opening Hours 11am-4pm (※Reservation is required for the restaurant)
Admission ¥300 (junior high school students or older)
Where to stay in Hamamatsu
Okura Act City Hamamatsu ― Close to Hamamatsu Station, stores and restaurants, the view from the room over the city and ocean is spectacular
Best Places to see Mt. Fuji in Shizuoka
Shizuoka is one of the best places to see Mt. Fuji in all of Japan. There are various spots throughout the prefecture where you can see the glorious mountain from different points of view. Whether you want to view the mountain from ground level, next to a lake, behind a shrine, or while paragliding, Shizuoka has it all. Have a look at our article below for the full list of the best views of Mt. Fuji!
Japan Wonder Travel Tours
If you need some help to organize your trip to Shizuoka, you should definitely check out our private tour including English guide. We’re glad to help you make your trip to Shizuoka a safe, comfortable, and unforgettable memory!
- 1. Mt. Fuji Highlight Private Walking Tour (7 Hours)
- 2. Mt.Fuji Pilgrim Hiking
- 3. Exciting Mt. Fuji – One Day Tour from Tokyo
Shizuoka offers a number of different kinds of experiences for tourists. It is also easily accessible from Tokyo or Nagoya. Why don’t you consider spending a couple of days there to explore all the things to do in Shizuoka.
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