Shizuoka is a prefecture located in the central part of the Japanese Chubu region. It is home to a wide range of tourist attractions, beautiful natural spots, refreshing hot spring resorts and so much more to explore. One of Japan’s most beloved destinations, the world-famous Mt. Fuji is even in Shizuoka. Since it is conveniently accessible from Tokyo by Shinkansen, it is often chosen as an ideal weekend escape from hustle and bustle of the busy city. Here is the ultimate 2-day itinerary to a satisfying weekend trip to Shizuoka!
- 1. How to get to Shizuoka from Tokyo?
- Day 1: Explore Western Shizuoka
- Day 2: Explore Central and Eastern Shizuoka
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1. How to get to Shizuoka from Tokyo?
From Tokyo station, the easiest and fastest way to take the Tokaido Shinkansen to directly to some of the major cities in Shizuoka prefecture. Due to its size, how long it will take from Tokyo will depend on where you are planning to go. If you want to travel to the eastern part of the Prefecture such as Izu or Atami however, the train ride is less than a one-hour journey.
Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shizuoka
1. East Shizuoka (Tokyo to Atami station)
Fare: ¥3,740 (Non-Reserved seat)
Time: 35-45 min
2. Central Shizuoka (Tokyo to Shizuoka station)
Fare: ¥6,670 (Non-Reserved seat)
Time: 1-1.5 hours
3. West Shizuoka (Tokyo to Hamamatsu station)
Fare: ¥8,640 (Non-Reserved seat)
Time: 1.5 – 2 hours
Day 1: Explore Western Shizuoka
If you are interested in Japanese history and castles, western Shizuoka is the perfect destination for you! It boasts two beautiful castles, Hamamatsu castle and Kakegawa castle, both of which attract visitors from all over the world.
Hamamatsu castle has a long history dating back to the 16th century. It was later used as an official residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, one of the most powerful and successful warriors in Japanese history who was widely renowned for his achievement in establishing the Tokugawa Shogunate. His Shogunate ruled the entire country for over 260 years from the beginning of the 17th century through the late 19th century. Hamamatsu Castle Park is a peaceful oasis perfect for a refreshing stroll while surrounded by lush greenery and seasonal flowers such as cherry blossoms in Spring!
Kakegawa Castle is another beautiful castle in Kakegawa city which is about a thirty-minute train ride from Hamamatsu station on the JR Tokaido Line. Although the large part of the original castle was demolished in 1871, visitors can still enjoy climbing up the restored wooden-castle tower which offers a panoramic view of Kakegawa city and the surrounding area!
Try Local Specialties!
Hamamatsu boasts alluring local specialties which bring foodies from all over. Try famous eel dishes such as Una-ju (grilled eel bowl dish with rice) which features locally sourced fresh eel from Lake Hamana. Gyoza (餃子) is another must-try and is often served with ramen noodles at Chinese-style restaurants or casual diners!
If you want to try these specialties but have no idea where to go, visit MAY ONE which is a shopping and dining complex conveniently connected to JR Hamamatsu station!
Where to stay on day one
Thanks to its compact size, west Shizuoka is easy to get around in half a day or so. If you want to make the most of your limited time in Shizuoka, it is recommended to book your accommodation in the central or eastern Shizuoka area. This will allow you to leave extra time on the following day to explore the highlights in central and eastern Shizuoka easily!
Traditional Japanese Ryokan (Izu & Shuzenji area)
Hotels (near JR Shizuoka station)
Day 2: Explore Central and Eastern Shizuoka
From world-famous natural attractions, pleasant beautiful beaches to relaxing hot spring resorts, central and eastern Shizuka offers something for everyone. Here are our recommendations that you can choose from according to your budget and interest!
Plan 1: Mt. Fuji & Gotemba Premium Outlets
Don’t miss Shizuoka’s most popular tourist attraction, Mt. Fuji which has fascinated people for over centuries as an iconic landmark and spiritual mecca. It boasts great hiking trails and routes for hikers of all levels. (hiking routes are open from early July through the beginning of September) Make sure to check the current climbing status on their official website to enjoy a memorable hike safely.
If you want to enjoy the spectacular view from a distance, visit Arakurayama Sengen Park which offers a breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji along with a five-story red pagoda! Located at the base of Mt. Fuji is Gotemba Premium Outlets which is a shopping heaven with world-famous brands and tax-free shops!
Plan 2: Atami Hot Spring Resort
Atami is a beautiful seaside city which is widely recognized as one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts. It boasts a great number of luxury traditional Japanese Ryokan which will be a memorable experience for sure. In the Summer, visit Atami Sun Beach, a scenic sandy beach nestled in the heart of the city. It is about a 20min walk to Kinomiya Shrine, a sacred Shinto shrine which boasts a giant 2,000-year-old camber tree and a quaint atmosphere with a long history of approximately 1,3000 years. MOA Museum is an impressive art museum which not only showcases an exclusive collection of approximately 3,500 works but also features a beautiful building with a stunning view over Atami and the sea!
Plan 3: Shuzenji & Shimoda area
Travelling down to the south part of Izu peninsula takes you to Shuzenji and Shimoda area. Shuzenji is one of the oldest hot spring resorts in the Izu area which boasts over 1,200 years of history. One of the main reasons to visit there is for an unforgettable Ryokan stay experience. Take a pleasant stroll through a small bamboo path known as Chikurin-no Komichi which welcomes visitors with beautiful autumn colors in fall. Shuzenji Temple and Hie Shrine are also located within walking distance from Shuzenji Onsen station.
Shimoda offers epic landscapes, beautiful sandy beaches, stunning coastlines and a range of outdoor activity options. Enjoy swimming at Shirahama Ohama Beach with your family and friends, or head to Tatadohama beach which is the perfect spot for surfing and water sports. Enjoy a peaceful walk along the lovely Perry Road whil allows you to unwind and veer off the path away from the crowds. Try fresh seafood dishes or get on an exciting sightseeing cruise at Shimoda Port!
Shizuoka boasts fun things to do, a warm climate, beautiful nature and a world full of adventure just waiting for you. If you are thinking about spending a weekend away from Tokyo, but still withing arms-reach, then Shizuoka is just for you!
Don’t forget to check out our exciting tours!
Planning a trip to a foreign country alone is never easy! If you need some help to organize your trip to Japan and want to see Japan like a local, you should definitely check out our tours complete with an English guide! We’re glad to help you make your trip to Japan a safe, comfortable, and unforgettable memory!
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Miho Shimizu is a Japanese freelance writer settled in Shizuoka with her husband and two rabbits. Fascinated with traveling at the age of 18, she has spent most of her long holidays exploring incredible spots around Japan. Also love to listen to music, draw, and read novels over a cup of green tea.
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