Spotlight – ITO CITY
Stretching out along Izu Peninsula’s rugged East Coast, Ito City is famous for its abundant nature, stunning coastlines and onsen bathing Capybara.
Izu PENINSULA’S RUGGED EAST COAST
HIKING, GOLF, STUNNING COASTLINE, MT OMURO, ONSEN BATHING CAPYBARA, LAKE IPPEKI, TOKAIKAN RYOKAN
Making up a long stretch of the East Coast of Izu Peninsula just South of Atami Onsen is Ito City – a popular tourist destination for Japanese due to the wide variety of attractions, hot spring options and spectacular nature.
The area around Ito Station is a popular hot spring town which showcases not only touches of modern influences but retains some of its historical buildings in the centre like Tokaikan.
A former, historic ryokan, Tokaikan is one of the few remaining hot spring ryokan constructed from wood during the early Showa era.
It is now a historical and cultural sightseeing spot, where one can indulge in Japanese sweets and tea after enjoying the public baths on the premises.
The baths are only open on the weekend and public holidays at an additional cost.
HIKE JOGASAKI KAIGAN
Located in the Izu Kogen area, is the beautiful Jogasaki Kaigan, a stretch of coastline which has a popular hiking trail that traverses for about 10kilometers.
The trail showcases the stunning jagged cliffs and craggy stone formations of the coastline.
A highlight of the trail is the pretty Kadowakizaki Suspension Bridge (which is about 48m long and 23m high) and the lighthouse not far from it.
The lighthouse offers a lovely free observation deck of the surrounding coastline and panoramic views of the ocean.
If you’re not up for walking the entire 10km trail, there are shorter routes available and a few parking spots in between if you want to break it up – LEARN MORE
MT OMURO – “MT FUJI’S LITTLE SISTER”
South of central Ito, is Mt Omuro, an extinct volcano known for its beautiful silhouette which is reminiscent of an inverted rice bowl.
The peak of the volcano offers breathtaking 360degree views of the area, including that of Mount Fuji & Oshima Island on clear days.
Mt Omuro is about 580m high and it’s caldeira’s diameter is about 300m which you can walk around in roughly 15-30mins. To access the footpath around the caldeira, one must take the chairlift.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, paragliding down one side of the mountain is possible as is participating in archery down in the bowl of the crater – LEARN MORE.
CAPYBARA @ IZU SHABOTEN ZOO
Izu Shaboten Zoo lies near the base of Mt Omuro, a fusion of a botanical and zoological garden.
The botanical garden features over one thousand cactus and succulent varieties, of which visitors can select and purchase to take home.
However perhaps the most popular attraction of the Zoo is the adorable Capybara relaxing or snoozing away in their onsen baths filled with local citrus fruits.
Originating from South America, the Capybara is the world’s largest rodent, and has been known to squeal like a guinea pig and purr like a cat when stroked.
Depending on when you visit, you may be able to see some baby Capybara happily wandering around the zoo in search of treats – LEARN MORE.