10 amazing things to do in Shizuoka, Japan!
Apr 15, 2021
Located in central Honshu, Shizuoka Prefecture is best known for sharing Japan’s largest mountain, Mt. Fuji, with its neighboring prefecture, Yamanashi. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Shizuoka is a great destination for a weekend getaway from Tokyo or Osaka, as this prefecture isn’t far from both cities.
Shizuoka is a home to many scenic spots like Izu Peninsula, Shuzenji, and also Mishima Skywalk. This prefecture is also known for its amazing local delicacies like its juicy Beni Hoppe strawberries, mouthwatering unagi, and premium green tea.
Brimming with beautiful nature and interesting tourist destinations, how about visiting Shizuoka to have both, an extraordinary, yet a novel adventure?
Shizuoka Prefecture is accessible by several different transportation methods, including trains and highway buses. The two major cities in Shizuoka are Shizuoka and Hamamatsu, and the main transportation hub in Shizuoka is Shizuoka Station.
The most convenient way to get to Shizuoka from Tokyo is by taking the JR Tokaido Shinkansen using the Hikari or Kodama trains. The one-way trip costs around 6,000 yen for non-reserved seats, and around 7,000 yen for reserved seats, and it’s fully covered by the JR Pass.
You can also travel from Tokyo to Shizuoka using the highway bus, which takes around 3 hours and costs around 3,000 yen one-way.
Shizuoka has become one of the most popular destinations of Japan, and many tourists from all over the world visit the prefecture to see the great Mt. Fuji. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Shizuoka is home to Izu Peninsula, which is famous for its beautiful seascape, and Shuzenji, which is best known for its beautiful, yet mystical bamboo forest.
Shizuoka is just one prefecture over from Tokyo, making it a perfect destination for a day trip, or as a weekend getaway from Tokyo. This prefecture is also close from Osaka, so you can visit it as a pit stop when traveling to Osaka from Tokyo. In addition to its wonderful sightseeing spots, Shizuoka is also known as a home to many delicious local treats like unagi and strawberries.
Ready to take yourself to Shizuoka? Here are our picks for the best things to do in Shizuoka, Japan!
Izu Peninsula is a resort area in Shizuoka that is best known for its amazing hot springs, scenic coastlines, and beautiful beaches. Many Japanese choose Izu Peninsula as a weekend getaway spot as it’s not so far from Tokyo, and some of the most popular cities in Izu are Atami, Ito, and Shimoda, which all are popular for their amazing beaches and hot springs.
Shuzenji is an old hot spring city in the center of the Izu Peninsula. This area is named after Shuzenji, a historical Zen temple near by the Katsura River, which offers a Zen meditation exercise to the public on Tuesdays. When visiting the temple, you can visit the main hall and the treasure house of the temple.
In addition to the Zen temple, there is a small bamboo forest along the Katsura River, where the tomb of Minamoto no Yoriie, the second shogun of Kamakura Shogunate is located. The bamboo forest of Shuzenji has that mystical and mysterious atmospheres, and it looks extremely beautiful at night during the light-up.
Jogasaki Coast is one of the most scenic spots in Izu where you can enjoy the scenic views of the ocean, mountain, and forest without having to go too far from the city.
Loved by hikers and trekkers, Jogasaki Coast is about 10 kilometers south of central Ito, and it has an attractive hiking trails with beautiful views of the cliffs and the rock formations of the coast.
When you visit Jogasaki Coast, make sure to stop by the Kadowaki Lighthouse and the Kadowaki Suspension Bridge, the two iconic spots of Jogasaki Coast that are loved by everyone!
Shiraito Falls is in the southwestern of Mt. Fuji, and it is ranked as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Japan. This waterfall is a 20 meters in height and 150 meters in width, and it has thin white streams that resemble hanging threads of silk, just like its name. You can get closer to the waterfall by walking through the path near the waterfall while enjoying the sound of the waterfall.
Mishima Skywalk must be included in your must-visit list if you’re a fan of picturesque scenery, as it offers great panorama views of Mt. Fuji, Suruga Bay, and mountains of Izu, which all can be seen together from the skywalk. The great suspension bridge of Mishima Skywalk stretches over a valley on west Hakone, and it has a total length of 400m and a height of 70m.
In addition to the beautiful panorama, there are shopping centers, cafes, and restaurants by the bridge, so you can buy souvenirs and eat some local treats there.
- Business hours : 9:00 – 17:00
- Open throughout the year
- Admissions : 1,100 yen (adults), 500 yen (junior high school students), 200 yen (elementary school students)
- Google Map
- Website (Japanese)
- English Pamphlet
Kunozan Toshogu Shrine is one of the most important shrines in Japan, and it is a shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), a famous leader who ended the civil wars and united Japan. There are a lot of shrines dedicated to Ieyasu in Japan, but Kunozan Toshogu, which is in Shizuoka, is second to Nikko’s Toshogu in importance.
Kunozan Toshogu is at Mt. Kunozan, where Tokugawa Ieyasu’s mausoleum is located. You can enjoy the view of Suruga Bay and the Izu Peninsula from there, and there is a museum called Kunozan Toshogu Museum near the shrine, where you can see the Tokugawa family’s treasures, including armor and helmets.
Kunozan Toshogu Shrine
- Business hours : 8:30 – 17:00 (April to September), 8:30 – 16:00 (October to March)
- Admissions : 500 yen (age 15 & above), 200 yen (children)
- Google Map
How about exploring Shizuoka with traditional steam locomotives?
Oigawa Railway is one of the most famous traditional steam locomotives in Japan that runs regularly for more than 300 days a year. The trains run between Shin-Kanaya Station and Senzu Station from one to three times a day, and all seats are available upon reservation only.
One of the best things you can enjoy from taking the Oigawa Railway is the stunning view of Oi River and its surrounding nature, including the gorgeous Sumata Gorge.
- Visit the website to check the fare and train schedule >> Website
Miho no Matsubara is known as one of the best spots in Shizuoka to see Mt. Fuji, and the beach has been featured in many traditional Japanese ukiyo-e paintings. The beach, which sometime is called as “The Black Beach”, is best known for its black sand and pine trees. The beach was also registered as a part of Mt. Fuji’S World Heritage Site in June 2013.
Miho no Matsubara
Hamamatsu Castle stands at the center of the city of Hamamatsu in Shizuoka, and the castle was the home of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate who ended civil wars and united Japan. The castle was originally built in 1532, but it was later destroyed by an air raid during World War II.
The castle was rebuilt in 1958, the castle has become a popular spot for cherry blossoms viewing for the last decades. There is a Japanese garden, a teahouse, and a large green area where live events are hosted sometimes.
- Business hours : 8:30 – 16:30
- Closed from December 29-31
- Admissions : 200 yen (adults), free for age 14 and under
- Google Map
Lake Hamanako is a large lake in west Shizuoka, near the Pacific Coast. It was originally a freshwater lake, but it got connected to the ocean after an earthquake hit Japan in 1498, and ever since then Lake Hamanako’s water turned salty. The lake is mainly known for its hot spring resort called Kanzanji Onsen, and you can enjoy the surrounding scenery by cruising along the lake with a boat.
Shizuoka Prefecture is in southwest of Tokyo, and it is best known for its amazing nature – enormous mountains, crystal-clear rivers and lakes, amazing hot springs, fertile land, and beautiful ocean. This prefecture also produces some of the most popular regional cuisines of Japan, including the nation-wide famous Beni Hoppe Strawberries and the Savory Unagi from Hamamatsu.
Ready to fill your tummy with Shizuoka’s local treats? Here are our picks for the best foods to eat when visiting the prefecture!
Shizuoka is one of the largest strawberry producers in Japan, and the prefecture is best known for its delicious Beni Hoppe strawberries. Comes in a vivid red color, Beni Hoppe strawberry is known for its perfect balance of sweetness and sourness. There are a lot of strawberry farms in Shizuoka offering strawberry picking experiences, and these strawberries are usually in season from December to May.
Hamamatsu is a city in Shizuoka Prefecture, and it is best known for its savory unagi (freshwater eel), which are taken directly from the crystal-clear Lake Hamanako. Lake Hamanako has been the No.1 producer of unagi in Japan for more than 100 years, and Hamamatsu City is home to the best unagi restaurants in Japan.
Shizuoka is also famous for its amazing quality of green tea, which was introduced to the prefecture for the first time in 1200s by a monk called Shoichi Kokushi. The monk brought back tea seeds from China, and ever since then, Shizuoka became one of the largest green tea producers in Japan. There are many tea tours across the prefecture you can participate.
Abekawa mochi is a traditional Japanese sweet featuring mochi rice cakes dusted in kinako powder (roasted soybean flour). Abekawa was a traditional mining region for gold, and people back then believed that Abekawa mochi was dusted with the gold powder taken from the mines there.
Some of the most famous harbors in Shizuoka are Yui Harbor and Oigawa Harbor, and those harbors, which both overlook the Suruga Bay, are best known for producing Sakura Ebi. Sakura Ebi are tiny, dried shrimp which color is like the color of cherry blossoms. Made with a traditional sun-dried process, Sakura Ebi has light and crispy textures.
Now that you have an idea of how many fabulous spots are in Shizuoka, all you must do is plan your itinerary to enjoy unforgettable experiences in Shizuoka!