Spotlight – KAWANE AREA

The Oi River is one of 2 major rivers that have cut through Japan’s Southern Alps  and forged deep valleys in the heart of Shizuoka.

the HeartLAND of Shizuoka.

SUMATAKYO ONSEN, STEAM LOCOMOTIVE, BRIDGE OF DREAMS, GREEN TEA FIELDS, HIKING IN THE SOUTHERN ALPS

THE OI RIVER RUNS THROUGH

The Oi River starts as rainfall and snow melt deep in Japan’s Southern Alps mountain range.

The water travels from peaks of some of Japan’s highest mountains such as Mt Akaishi 3,120m and Mt Kita 3,193m (Japan’s 2nd highest mountain after Mt Fuji 3,776m) .

The Oi River winds it way to the city of Shimada where it flows out into Suruga Bay.

The water that flows in the Oi River is used for irrigating gardens and green tea fields along both sides of the river as it makes its way down to the sea. 

‘OKU SHIZ’ – THE HEART OF SHIZUOKA

Head North from Shizuoka Station and you quickly find yourself surrounded by mountains, rivers, valleys and green tea fields.

This sparsely populated mountainous area of Shizuoka is locally referred to as ‘Oku Shiz’ and makes up almost 60% of the entire prefecture.

The Kawane area of Oku Shiz is argueably the most popular destination for visitors to Shizuoka as it is easily accessible on the Oikawa railway line and is blessed with an abundance of easily accessible nature and natural hot springs.

EXPLORE

Many times when visiting a new country or place the best way to really get a feel for it is to get off the beaten path and find places that are not on the usual tourist maps. Shizuoka is a unique destination in Japan as you can pick any of the stations on the bullet train as a starting point and without going too far you can find some hidden travel gems. 

MISHIMA STATION

From Mishima Station you have all of the Izu Peninsula at your doorstep. If you want to get off the beaten track jump on a bus or grab a rental car and head to Nishi Izu, Matsuzaki or Minami Izu - long stretches of rocky coastline that are waiting to be explored.

 SHIZUOKA STATION

Shizuoka Station is a great stop if you want to explore the foothills of the Japanese Southern Alps. Rivers that flow from Nagano Prefecture have carved through the steep mountains forging a path to Suruga Bay. Take a trip on a Steam Locomotive to the Kawane Area and Lake Ikawa to use as your starting point to explore some of Japan's highest peaks and most spectacular scenery.

 KAKEGAWA STATION

From Kakegawa Station jump on the Tenryu Hamanako Railway Line and explore the small towns and villages along the Tenryu River. Or jump on a bicycle and cycle through some of Japan's biggest green tea fields to the coastal towns of Makinohara and Omaezaki and explore the Pacific Ocean coastline.

Explore-Izu-Coastline
Explore-Izu-SUP
Explore-Mt-Fuji-from-afar
Explore-Boat-on-Lake-Ikawa
Explore-Bridge-of-Dreams-Sumatakyo
Explore-Mt-Akiha-Tenryu

CHECK MT FUJI TRAVEL TO FIND MORE WAYS TO EXPLORE SHIZUOKA

TRAVELING BY TRAIN

The Oikawa Railway operates a number of trains from Shin Kanaya Station, close to Shimada, all the way up to Ikawa Station on Lake Ikawa.

Many travelers to the area choose to take the Steam Locomotive Train which offers a nostalgic journey following the river into the valley.

If you are traveling with kids though they will be excited to ride on an authentic Thomas the Tank Engine.

FARMSTAY EXPERIENCES

One of the most unique experiences that you can have in the Kawane area is to stay at one of the many Homestay / Farmstay accommodations available.

In addition, most accommodation providers will let you help them prepare your meals with fresh produce sourced from their gardens and farms.

An opportunity to stay with a local resident and learn what life is like living in the area and a  truly unique experience for visitors who like to get off the beaten path.

Kawane Green tourism helps facilitate these experiences and help to overcome any language barriers.

Learn more about Kawane Green Tourism

HOT SPRINGS AND SWING BRIDGES

If you are looking for a hot spring and swing bridge experience there is no better place than Sumatakyo Onsen area.

Take a bus from Senzu Station further into the mountains and discover this magical hot spring town and its famous bridge.

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