10 Best Things to Do in Atami

View of Atami Chubu

Atami, located in the east part of Shizuoka Prefecture, is a hot spring heaven at the foot of Mt. Fuji. Easy to access by shinkansen from Tokyo (35 minutes) and Nagoya (90 minutes), Atami is a suitable destination for both day trips and overnight stays. If you’re an art aficionado or lover of the outdoors, don’t miss this outstanding hot spring town with its many museums and family-friendly activities! Read on for an introduction to 10 of the best things to do in Atami.

1. Atami Onsen

Atami Onsen ocean view
Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a front-row ocean view while soaking in a hot spring at sunset?

When visiting Atami, its famous onsen are not to be missed. The town is one of Japan’s most well-known hot spring resorts, discharging approximately 16,600 liters of onsen water per minute, 90% of which is high-temperature (42°C or higher) and with an average temperature of 63°C. The number of hot springs in Atami exceeds 500, and the high salt content of the hot springs nourishes the skin and enhances its moisturizing effect. It is said to be effective in treating sensitivity to cold as well as neuralgia. Historically, Atami Onsen has been loved by generations, and there is a record that Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Edo shogunate, visited Atami with his daughters to be cured for his ailments. Today, Atami is lined with hotels and inns that continue to entertain guests with their excellent hot springs and supreme cuisine with fish and seafood from Atami’s waters.

2. Atami Sun Beach

Atami Sun Beach
Enjoy sun and sea at this spacious beach

Blue skies, white sand and colorful parasols… With a great location only 5 minutes from JR Atami Station by bus, Atami Sun Beach is a wonderful beach that attracts many tourists from all over Japan every summer. At night, a light show created by a world-renowned designer illuminates the beach, so even after dark you can enjoy spectacular scenery. If you love sandy beaches, definitely give Atami Sun Beach a go this summer.

3. Kinomiya Shrine

Atami Kinomiya Shrine
Pray for a long and healthy life at this Atami shrine

Kinomiya Shrine in Atami is the main shrine of 44 Kinomiya shrines scattered throughout Japan. It is said that Tamuramaro Sakanoue, a general in the early Heian period, prayed at this shrine before battles, and people from all over Japan come to this shrine to pray even today. Within the grounds of the shrine is a 2,000-year-old camphor tree which is considered sacred. The camphor tree is also designated as a national natural treasure and was recognized as the second largest tree in Japan in 2012. Due to the presence of this tree, Kinomiya Shrine is also famous as a power spot that brings blessings of health and longevity. How about rejuvenating your mind and body in the sacred atmosphere of Kinomiya Shrine during your visit to Atami?

Website (Japanese)

4. MOA Museum of Art

Ellery, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The attractions of Atami do not end with hot springs and nature. If you’re an art lover, we highly recommend Atami’s MOA Museum of Art. This museum has a collection of about 3,500 pieces of oriental art, including national treasures and important cultural objects. The main attraction here is Korin Ogata’s masterpiece, “紅白梅図屏風” (Red and White Plum Blossoms), which is on display for a limited time only. There is a restaurant and café inside the MOA Museum of Art which serves up delicious cakes and Japanese food, making it a perfect place to take a break after viewing the many works of art.

Website (English)

5. Atami Castle

Atami Castle
Perched high above town, the castle offers splendid views of Atami

The large castle towering above town is Atami Castle. This castle, taking up one basement floor and six floors above ground, was actually only modeled after a Japanese castle, and is not an actual historical building. Inside the castle there are spots where visitors can dress up in Edo era costumes and take pictures. Atami Castle is also known as a cherry blossom viewing spot in spring, but can be enjoyed throughout the year and offers a panoramic view of Atami Fireworks Festival in summer. The view from the keep of Atami Castle, built 100 meters above sea level, is truly spectacular and will make you feel like a feudal lord!

Website (Japanese)

6. Hatsushima

Hatsushima sunset
Enjoy the slow island life on Hatsushima

Hatsushima is the only inhabited island in Shizuoka Prefecture, located in Sagami Bay off the coast of Izu Peninsula. Blessed with a mild climate and warm ocean currents flowing from the south, this island is home to tropical plants such as hibiscus and bougainvillea, and delicious fish such as yellowtail and greater amberjack roam its waters. Near Hatsushima Port is a dining area run by the island’s fishermen where you can taste dishes made from fresh local seafood. If you want to enjoy Hatsushima to the fullest, try staying at a private home and experience the islanders’ kindness and hospitality.

Website (English)

7. Atami Trick Art Museum

Luckily this guy won’t be waiting for you at Atami Trick Art Museum – but his 2D counterpart will!

Right next to Atami Castle is a mysterious building with a painting of a dolphin and an apple: this is the Atami Trick Art Museum. Once inside, you will find a lot of captivating trick art. If you stand or pose in a specific way, it will look like you are about to be eaten by a shark or attacked by a large gorilla! You can take pictures inside the museum which are great for social media and serve as the perfect memory of a fun day. Don’t miss out on this museum after visiting Atami Castle!

Website (English)

8. Atami Ropeway

Atami Ropeway
Atami Ropeway is a must-do on a clear day

Board a nostalgic-looking gondola and let the ropeway whisk you from Atami Port to the summit of Mt. Hachiman in only 3 minutes. Atami Ropeway takes you to Aijo Cape Observatory located at the top of the mountain from where you can take in the spectacular vistas of Atami and the beautiful sea below. Ice cream and drinks are sold near the observatory, so take a break and enjoy the view!

Website (English)

9. Akao Herb and Rose Garden

With thousands of these in full bloom, can you imagine the incredible smell?

Akao Herb and Rose Garden, which covers an expansive area of approximately 200,000 square meters, is home to 4,000 roses of 600 different species as well as a wide variety of other plants. When roses are in bloom, the entire area is filled with their delightful scent, attracting many tourists every year. Not only can visitors enjoy the greenery, they can also use the footbath to relieve their tired feet after a full day of walking around. At the herb workshop, visitors can make their own original herb goods. Herbal soaps and perfumes are available at the workshop as well and make for perfect souvenirs.

Website (Japanese)

10. Kiunkaku

Atami Kiunkaku
This gorgeous villa oozes luxury from a bygone era

The last attraction to be introduced here is Kiunkaku, a villa built in 1919 and once hailed as one of the “Three Great Villas of Atami”. It was reborn as a ryokan in 1947 and has been loved by many famous Japanese writers, including Junichiro Tanizaki, Osamu Dazai and Naoya Shiga. Today, it is carefully preserved as a cultural asset of Atami City and is open to the public. The interior design, a fusion of Western, Chinese and Japanese styles, is truly gorgeous. The coffee shop corner, based on the bar area from when the building served as a ryokan, offers Kiunkaku’s original coffee. The coffee is exceptionally delicious and pairs perfectly with enjoying the traditional and prestigious atmosphere of the century-old building.

Where to stay in Atami

Atami is a beautiful place and is perfect for a weekend getaway or even just a one night stay. However there are so many great options when it comes to staying in either a hotel or traditional Ryokan in Atami that it can be hard to choose. But don’t worry, we have narrowed it down for you and picked three of our favorite places.

1. Uminohana
Uminohana is an amazing traditional Japanese ryokan that offers great food, service and amazing onsen with views of the crystal clear Atami coast.

2. Hotel ACAO
This hotel is right on the water with various different indoor and outdoor onsen to choose from, as well as fun outdoor spots where you can kick back, relax and enjoy the view.

3. Shin Kadoya
Shin Kadoya is another traditional Japanese ryokan with garden views, private outdoor onsen with great views and is great if you want to experience the real Japan.

Atami Sun Beach

Although Atami is often associated mostly with hot springs, it’s actually one of the most popular leisure spots in Japan and has a wide variety of activities. We recommend spending the day enjoying outdoor activities, savor Atami’s delicious seafood in the evening and then round off the day with a relaxing hot spring bath before bed. There are many other fun activities in addition to the ones from our list of the 10 best things to do in Atami, so check the official tourism website or local tour operators for the latest information. 

Japan Wonder Travel Tours 

Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help you organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are visiting, our knowledgeable and friendly English speaking guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if yu have any questions or need some help! 

Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Drink Tour
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo and try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake with one of our friendly and knowledgeable English speaking guides! 

tsukiji tour

Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.

Asakusa Tokyo private tour

Mt. Fuji Day Trip Bus Tour from Tokyo
Experience the breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji by visiting the highlights of the area on our guided sightseeing bus tour! Departing from Shinjuku in central Tokyo, you can travel comfortably to all of the best spots in the area by bus.

mount fuji chureito pagoda

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Happy traveling!

Stay informed of the best travel tips to Japan, the most exciting things to do and see, and the top experiences to have with the Japan Wonder Travel Newsletter. Once every two weeks we will introduce you to our latest content.

Stay informed of the best travel tips to Japan, the most exciting things to do and see, and the top experiences to have with the Japan Wonder Travel Newsletter. Once every two weeks we will introduce you to our latest content.

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Writer's profile
Writer’s profile

Mao Goto is a Japanese freelancer who was born in Hayama, Kanagawa prefecture, and raised in Tokyo. Since 2016 she lives in the Taito Ward, home to a lot of Japanese culture hotspots such as Asakusa, Akihabara, and Ueno. She has been interested in the field of English education of Japan and got her Master’s degree in March, 2020. A lover of photography, travel, sweets, and cross-stitch. Contact her via Facebook.

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