Plenty of Spots with Superb Views! Top 5 Must-See Places in Shizuoka
Shizuoka is a place in the Tokai region that is extremely famous for Mt. Fuji. Aside from Mt. Fuji, though, there are many other famous spots in this area that will make you marvel at the beauty of nature and feel the Japanese culture. Below are some of the scenic spots in Shizuoka that are blessed with lush nature and temperate climate.
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1. Shuzenji Temple (Izu City)
First on this list is Shuzenji, an onsen (hot spring) district in Izu Peninsula that is a popular sightseeing destination and has even served as the setting of many literary works. This town is characterized by its emotionally moving landscapes that are created by the bamboo forest filled with a refreshing atmosphere, the vermilion bridge that shines through the green environment, the ancient Shuzenji Temple that boasts a history of more than 1,200 years, and other old-fashioned buildings. The views here have led to this place being called “Izu no Sho-Kyoto” (Izu’s Little Kyoto). Shuzenji town is also famous for its natural beauty that changes every season. You have got to see the plum blossoms in bloom against Mt. Fuji on the backdrop, and the autumn leaves, colored a deep red that make them look like they are ablaze.
2. Mishima-taisha Shrine (Mishima City)
An ancient shrine dedicated to Mishima no Kami that is regarded as the greatest deity in the Tokai region, Mishima Taisha Shrine is famous for the many carvings set on such structures as the Maidono (music/dance pavilion) and Shinmon (shrine gate). In particular, you must check out the decorations in the Honden (main shrine), Heiden (hall of offerings) and Haiden (hall of worship) that are designated as important cultural properties of Japan. The Shaden (main building) is decorated in engravings that have a high degree of perfection and artistic value, starting with the masterpiece called Kaerumata that is found on top of the offertory box on the south side of the Honden. This shrine is also a beloved hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spot where around 200 trees of 15 kinds of sakura (cherry blossom) are planted, with the approximately 200m distance from the shrine approach to the Honden painted in pink every spring. There is usually a nighttime illumination display held from late March through early April each, too, making the landscape even more magical.
3. Jogasaki Coast (Ito City)
The Jogasaki Coast is a volcanic rock coast that stretches over a distance of about 9km. The lava that flowed out of Omuroyama (Mt. Omuro) that erupted about 4,000 years ago got washed away and scraped by the erosion caused by the sea, thereby forming a complex topography in the area. The cape with an infinite variety of shapes, the layered and intricate reef, and the dozen meters of precipice along the coastline will make you feel the grandeur of nature. Within this coast, the most scenic spot is the Kadowaki Tsuribashi (suspension bridge) in the middle of the Picnical Course. This 48m-long and 23m-high suspension bridge between cliffs creates such a thrilling sight. The view from the observation deck near the bridge is also recommended. There, you will catch an unbroken spectacular view of Izu Peninsula from afar.
4. Dogashima Island (Nishi-Izu Town)
Dogashima is a coast that is located on the western side of Izu Peninsula, packed with must-see attractions such as Sanshiro Island that is a mysterious island that is known for the “tombolo” (a phenomenon wherein the island is connected with the coastline during low tide). One of the most scenic spots in this island is the Tensodo sea cave that has been designated as a national natural monument of Japan. As beautiful light pours from the ceiling, the color of the water changes into different colors depending on the season, time of day and weather, thereby creating a moving sight. It is also famous for its sunset view, with the Tagojima especially known as a great spot for taking photos. Another fun way to go sightseeing here is to explore aboard a pleasure boat.
Pleasure boat fare: Adult: 1,200 JPY, Child: 600 JPY
5. Kinomiya-jinja Shrine (Atami City)
Kinomiya-jinja Shrine has attracted many worshippers over the years, as it is believed to be where the deity of good fortune and luck resides. The top must-see spot here is the sacred tree called “Okusu”, which is located to the far left of the Honden (main shrine). More than 2,000 years old, this giant tree with a trunk circumference of about 24m is designated as a natural monument of Japan. It has a miraculous life force that’s shown by its continuous growth, allowing you to feel the permanence of nature. This tree is also famous as a power spot that is said to “extend your life by a year if you go around it once”. Inside the shrine’s precinct, there are places like rest spots where you can enjoy matcha (green tea) outdoors. It’s a popular place among foreign visitors, too.
In addition to the spots showcased above, Shizuoka is home to many other spots where you can fully enjoy spectacular views. So, if you’re interested, then by all means, go and visit Shizuoka!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.