Minshuku Stay in Shizuoka
Stepping off the beaten path, traveling into the countryside, interacting with locals, and experiencing their everyday way of life is the one of the best ways to enjoy Japan and explore a different side of the country.
‘Minshuku‘ are the Japanese equivalent of a Bed and Breakfast and provide an intimate experience for visitors to Japan. Shizuoka is a large prefecture, and the region’s natural assets include everything from mountainous interiors to jagged coastlines and long stretches of beach – every area provides a different experience.
This means that the region provides a wide variety of experiences and opportunities to explore and discover the real Japan. Minshuku accomodations can cater to couples, families, small and large groups, and will always offer a unique experience that will create stories that will stay with you for years to come.
Some Minshuku are rustic and quaint and adhere to traditions hundreds of years old, while others are modern expressions of Japanese traditional architecture – no matter where you stay the one constant is the amazing Japanese warmth and hospitality that Japan is famous for.
There are three areas explored in this article:
Minami Izu, an area at the bottom of the Izu Peninsula, hosting scenic drives and hikes, surf and kayak beaches, and riverside cherry blossoms.
Omaezaki, on the opposite side of Suruga Bay to Minami Izu, is an area with sensational seafood and an emerging surf and wind surfing culture.
Kawane, is a town nestled amongst valleys of green tea fields in Shizuoka’s interior, with farm to table experiences and nature walks rivalled by few.
If you visit one or make the effort to visit all 3 areas you will find the locals here are friendly and welcoming, proud of their village or hometown, and they look forward to hosting visitors from all corners.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE AREA
GREEN TEA, JAPANESE HOSPITALITY, STEAM LOCOMOTIVE
Take a step back in time and ride a Steam Locomotive up the valley to Kawane. A collection of local minshukus have opened their doors to tourists and are leading the way for local Japanese farm to table experiences.
As you stay with the locals you can gather food and prepare the meal together with your hosts. Spend your days walking through iconic tea fields, beautiful valleys, and by the flowing river. Your nights can be spent relaxing in onsens, enjoying the locals stories, and gazing at endless stars.
Travel to Kawane to transcend cultural and language barriers and experience some “Inaka” hospitality!
HOW TO GET THERE AND AROUND
TRAIN FROM SHIZUOKA OR KAKEGAWA STATIONS
Hop off the Tokaido Bullet Train at either Shizuoka or Kakegawa Stations and take a short ride on the local train to Shin Kanaya station. If you time it right you will be able to catch either a Steam Locomotive train or even Thomas the Tank Engine for the 1 hour ride up to Senzu Station.
Most of the Minshuku owners will be able to pick you up from Senzu station or alternatively there should be some taxis waiting that will know the location. Once you are in the area the main modes of transport are taxi or bus.
For more information check – Kawane Green Tourism
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE AREA
BEACHES, STUNNING COASTLINE, VIEWS, SUNSETS, SEAFOOD
Minami Izu is located right at the bottom of the Izu Peninsula. The area is famous for its stunning coastline, a mountainous interior dotted with beautiful waterfalls, and amazing seafood. There are plenty of marine activities for the more adventurous, such as surfing, sea kayaking and scuba diving, making it a popular destination in summer.
Try sea kayaking, see the Kawazu cherry blossoms in early spring along the river, or simply kick back on Yumigahama beach. You can stay within walking or biking distance of the beach, but if you want to explore even further, drive around the southern tip of the peninsula to Koura, a quaint seaside village with short hikes all around the surrounding hills that take you out to superb views over the sea and, if you’re lucky, an epic sunset.
HOW TO GET THERE AND AROUND
LOCAL TRAIN FROM ATAMI to IZUKYU-SHIMODA STATION (1.5 Hrs)
CAR or BUS to MINAMI IZU (30 mins)
The best way to get there is to take the local bullet train from Tokyo (or Kyoto) to Atami station. From there take the local train to Ito Staiion and jump on the Izukyu Railway which has trains every hour or so that go directly to Izukyu-Shimoda Station. With train carriages on the Izukyu that have seats looking out to sea you can sit back and enjoy the views of the stunning coastline as it passes by making the journey feel like an adventure.
From Izukyu-Shimoda station renting a car will give you access all around the coast, from Shimoda to Yumigahama beach to Koura.
For more information check the – Biizu Facebook Page
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE AREA
SURFING, BEACHES, VIEWS, SEAFOOD
There is something about a beach town. It doesn’t matter where in the world it is, but from the moment you arrive and hear the sound of waves lapping on the shore, time seems to slow down and you know its time to relax.
The Omaezaki coastline in Shizuoka is no different. It could be because of its relative seclusion and location just off the beaten path, but when you arrive on the cape it feels like you have discovered a secret that has been hiding in plain sight. Like many of the other towns dotted along the winding Shizuoka Coast, Omaezaki was established primarily as a fishing town, but since then has evolved with surfers and windsurfers drawn here by the waves and the wind and the area has a distinct a beach culture and atmosphere.
HOW TO GET THERE & AROUND
BULLET TRAIN TOKYO TO KAKEGAWA STATION (90 mins) BUS/CAR/TAXI/BICYCLE KAKEGAWA STATION TO OMAEZAKI (1 hour)
Omaezaki is a coastal town tucked about 30 mins drive from Kakegawa station. There are regular buses from Kakegawa to the cape and you can usually arrange to have your accommodation pick you up from the bus stop. For a group of 2 or more the taxi ride is also an option and not too expensive. But the best way to really explore the area and give you the ability to move around freely is to hire a car and then go pedal power.
Your Minshuku host may be able to do drop off and/or pick ups at various activities or attractions that are further away, but please note this option may be limited during the busy season.
For more information check the Omaezaki City Website.
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