5 Places to EXPLORE ALONG IZU’S EAST COAST
Izu Peninsula is a popular destination for its dramatic coastlines, beautiful valleys and mountains, abundant seafood and healing hot springs.
IZU’S ICONIC EAST COAST
Just 45 minutes from Tokyo Station is the stunning coastal onsen town of Atami.
Not only one of the closest tradtional hot springs towns to Tokyo Atami is the gateway to the the spectacular East Coast of Izu Peninsula.
1. MUSEUM OF ART & OCEAN VIEWS – Atami Onsen
Start your Izu East Coast journey in the picturesque hot spring town of Atami – only 45 minutes from Tokyo Station on the bullet train.
Stepping out of Atami train station you automatically feel like you are on holiday – the Atami Ginza shopping street is a great way to try some of the local cuisines.
On the hill above Atami town area is the impressive MOA Museum of Art which is home to a wonderful collection of Japanese art and calligraphy, a Noh theatre, a Japanese garden, and stunning views of the ocean.
Head to the Japanese tea house for a traditional green tea ceremony experience – LEARN MORE.
2. JOGASAKI COAST & MT OMURO – Ito City
Travel down the Coast to Ito City which offers traditional ryokan experiences around Ito Station for those looking to relax and outdoor and underwater activities for travelers that are a little more adventurous.
The coastline of Ito is famous in Japan and a popular destination.
Thousands of years of volcanic activity have shaped the Jogasaki coast producing sheer rockfaces and cliffs both on and under the water.
Many scuba diving enthusiasts flock to Ito to explore the abundant underwater life and sea caves in the area.
If you prefer to stay on land take the chairlift to the top of Mt Omuro and enjoy 360 views of Izu Peninsula and its surrounds.
Due to its conical volcano shape Mt Omuro is known locally as Mt Fuji’s big sister green with envy of its much more beautiful younger sibling – which can be seen from the top of Mt Omuro on a clear day – LEARN MORE.
3. LAKE IPPEKI & CAPPYBARA – Ito City
Close to Mt Omuro is the Izu Shaboten Zoo, a small petting zoo with a number of kid-friendly animals and a sprawling cactus garden is a great place to spend a few hours with the family.
The stars of the show are without a doubt the Onsen-loving Capybara that roam freely and enjoy warming themselves in the natural hot spring pools.
Also worth a visit is Lake Ippeki in the Izu Highlands area of Ito City.
The early Spring cherry blossoms and late Autumn leaves provide make this relatively easy 1.5 hour hike a great option for those who love the outdoors – LEARN MORE.
4. WATERFALLS & ONSEN – Kawazu Town
If you enjoy waterfalls and Japanese onsen then make sure to put the coastal town of Kawazu on your travel itinerary.
Famous for the Kawazu Sakura – a type of cherry blossom tree that generally bloom from early-February to early March – Kawazu is also blessed with hot spring water, wasabi fields and the Nanadaru Waterfalls.
Nanadaru translates to 7 waterfalls – the last of the 7 waterfalls is the impressive 20-meter Odaru Fall which can be viewed while bathing in the surrounding outdoor onsen.
If you prefer an ocean-view while you bath check out the outdoor hot spring facilities at Funado no Banya close to Imaihama Kaigan Station.
5. HISTORY AND SURF BEACHES – Shimoda
The last stop on the Izukyu train line is the popular beach resort town of Shimoda.
Shimoda is famous for surf beaches such as Shirahama, Iritahama, and Kisami beach and in the Summer months is a popular destination for sun lovers.
While in Shimoda make sure to take some time to delve into the history of the area and learn about the integral role Shimoda played in opening Japan up to the World in the mid-1800s – More Info.