5 THINGS YOU CAN’T MISS IN SHUZENJI
Shuzenji has long been a place for relaxation & reflection – make the most of your time here by checking out these 5 things to do.
5 ThINGS TO DO IN SHUZENJI
Just a couple of hours outside of Tokyo is the small hot spring town of Shuzenji.
Said to have been established by the famous Buddhist Monk Kobo Daishi more than 1,200 years ago Shuzenji has long been a refuge for people looking to refresh, unwind and forget about the stresses of everyday life.
Here are 5 things to do in Shuzenji to make the most of your time there.
1. STROLL AROUND TOWN IN YOUR YUKATA
Shuzenji is often referred to as Shizuoka’s ‘Little Kyoto’ and for visitors to Japan that do not have time to travel down to Kyoto, or prefer to avoid the crowds, Shuzenji offers a ‘highlights’ package version of Japan’s old capital.
A perfect way to immerse yourself in the history and culture of Shuzenji is to visit Machi Navi Yururi and get outfitted in a Kimono or Yukata when you arrive.
Stroll through the streets, visit the temples, historical buildings and step into the bamboo forest and you will feel as though you have stepped back in time.
2. EAT SHUZENJI’S FRESH SPICY WASABI
Izu City, where Shuzenji is located, is famous for its wasabi locally grown in nearby streams.
As a result many of the local restaurants, cafes and ryokan inns provide wasabi root that is served freshly grated.
If you are a fan of wasabi but have only ever eaten it as a paste from a tube then visiting Shuzenji just to try freshly grated wasabi freshly picked from a stream should be on the top of your Japan to do list.
In Shuzenji the most popular ways to eat freshly grated wasabi is together with Soba noodles, as part of a Ryokan Kaiseki meal or with a healthy dollop added to your soft served ice cream or dessert.
3. SOAK IN NATURAL HOT SPRINGS
Legend has it that it was Kobo Daishi himself that discovered the natural hot spring in Shuzenji by hitting a rock with his walking stick.
The hot spring system in Shuzenji now provides thermally heated water to all of the local Japanese Ryokan accommodation which provide both indoor and outdoor bathing – LEARN MORE.
There are also many hot spring footbaths dotted around the town which are a great place to rest those weary legs from walking around the town.
4. WALK THE SHUZENJI 88 PILGRMAGE TRAIL
Kobo Daishi is famous for establishing the shrine at Mt Koyo and also the modern day 88 Temple Pilgrimage in his home province of Shikoku.
Because of the strong connections between Shuzenji & Kobo Daishi priests from the Shuzenji Temple travelled to Shikoku to do the 88 Temple Pilgrimage and from each temple they collected dirt that they brought back to Shuzenji and buried at strategic locations around the town.
Instead of traveling to Shikoku and walking the 1,200 km trail in Shikoku the locals in Shuzenji were then able to visit all 88 sites and pay their respects – which they still do today every November – LEARN MORE.
5. DRINK LOCAL CRAFT BEER AT BAIRD BREWERY
Baird Brewery was first established out of Brian and Sayuri Baird’s apartment in Numazu City in the late 90’s as a passion project.
From these humble beginnings the Baird Brewing Company expanded to a local Tap Room in the Numazu fish market district and have not looked back.
In 2013 they found a location just outside of Shuzenji to break ground for a new brewery realising their long held dream “to build a beautiful rural brewery that
demonstrates naturally the intricate connection existing between land and beer” – LEARN MORE.