5 Things to Do in Shizuoka City
Shizuoka City is the capital and 2nd largest city of Shizuoka Prefecture. A cosmopolitan city with a fascinating samurai history there is no shortage of things to do in Shizuoka City – here is a list of the top 5 attractions on offer.
1. Cafe Hopping
If you enjoy green tea and enjoy cafe culture then Shizuoka, even just for a morning cafe fix, should definitely be on your itinerary.
In recent years a number of green tea cafes have established themselves in the metropolitan area of Shizuoka City and you can enjoy anything from a traditionally brewed cup of the freshest leaves to a shot of green tea espresso or enjoy tasting various types of green tea ice cream or gelato.
For an excellent list of some of the best green tea cafes in Shizuoka City check out this Japan Travel Article
If you are looking for a caffeine boost to start your day Shizuoka City also provides a few options – aside from the ubiquitous chain coffee stores probably the most popular cafe in Shizuoka is HUG Coffee which has 3 stores in the city.
2. Sunpu Castle Park
Built by local superstar, Tokugawa Ieyasu, in the early 1600s, Sunpu Castle is the perfect place to let your imagination run wild with thoughts of ninjas, samurai, geisha and feudal lords.
After stepping down and passing on the title of Shogun – Supreme leader of Japan – to his son, Tokugawa Ieyasu chose Shizuoka City and retired to Sunpu Castle and it is said that even though Edo (Tokyo) was the capital at the time the real power was still controlled inside this castles walls.
The castle is situated in the middle of Shizuoka City and 10 mins stroll from the Tokaido Bullet train station – pick up a coffee or green tea from one of the cafes on the way and relax in the park situated within the castle walls. #sunpucastle
To find out more about this amazing castle and its history check out the Explore Shizuoka article here.
3. Shizuoka Sengen Jinja
A short walk from Sunpu Castle grounds is Shizuoka Sengen Jinja – a collective of three beautiful Shinto shrines.
The Shizuoka City Cultural Assets Museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts from the ‘Warring States’ and Edo periods connected with famous Samurai families of the time particularly Tokugawa and Imagawa.
Perhaps Japan’s most famous Samurai warlord Ieyasu Tokugawa was a resident of Shizuoka City in his twilight years building Sunpu Castle and he sponsored the rebuilding of these shrines – wandering through the grounds is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in Japanese Samurai history and culture.
For more information: Shizuoka Guide
4 – Fugetsuro Gardens
Just a 2 minute walk from Shizuoka City Station is Fugetsuro Gardens.
The beautifully Japanese garden soaked in traditional samurai history is a popular spot for weddings and it is easy to see why.
Home to Tokugawa Yoshinobu (the last Shogun samurai of the Tokugawa reign) this residence and garden has been impeccably kept and visitors can now stroll through the garden and enjoy a traditional Japanese Kaiseki course meal in one of the many rooms looking out onto the grounds transporting you back 200 years.
Check the Shizuoka City Website for more information.
5 – Eat, drink and meet the locals
Where neighbouring Hamamatsu City is known for its industry and craftsman Shizuoka City has traditionally been known more as a artisan, culinary, and it is fair to say, cosmopolitan type of place.
As such, in Shizuoka City you are more likely to see more fine dining and variety of different culinary delights. There are old favorites like the Aoba Koen Oden Alley which is an entire alley dedicated to Oden, lined with cozy restaurants known for fantastic oden and great conversation. #shizuokaoden
Recently there has been a surge in craft beer and coffee culture, specialty gin bars opening up and a variety of modern style green tea cafes that offer green tea espressos and a range of green tea gelato options.
Check the English Shizuoka Shopping Map here : Shopping Map (PDF)
Check the Shizuoka Craft Beer Map for details of all 13 craft beer bars close to the station here : Craft Beer Map