At the Gateway to Izu Peninsula the Small Town of Izunokuni is a hidden Gem
A World Heritage Site, Authentic Geisha school, World-class bike rental facility, easy day hikes and soothing hot springs, a gondola ride with views of Mt Fuji and a craft beer brewery – Izunokuni is full of surprises.
BEFORE STARTING YOUR JOURNEY INTO IZU PENINSULA TAKE A MOMENT TO DISCOVER THE HIDDEN GEMS IN THIS HISTORIC TOWN
150 YEAR OLD CANON SMELT, CRAFT BREWERY, SPECTACULAR VIEWS OF MT FUJI, TRADITIONAL GEISHA PERFORMANCES
Just over 20 minutes South of Mishima Station on the Izu Hakone Train Line is the modest city of Izunokuni.
Easy to overlook on a trip to better known Shuzenji or on a trip to Izu Peninsula this area is easily worth at least a day to explore or even spend a night in one of the famous onsen hotels.
Grab a rental bicycle and check out some of the sights.
MERIDA X BASE
Renting a bike is a great way to get around Izunokuni and thanks to Merida you can do that in style with some of the best bikes available at their X Base a short walk from Takyo Station.
If you are a serious cyclist this place is a crazed dream come true as you are able to pick up a top of the line model Merida bike to use for a very reasonable price.
For the novice there are a range of e-bikes also available and something for everyone.
PANORAMA PARK –
A great place to spend a couple of hours relaxing while you enjoy a morning coffee or traditional serving of Shizuoka Green Tea and Japanese sweets while you take in the expansive view of Suruga Bay and, on a clear day, majestic Mt Fuji in all her glory is Izunokuni Panorama Park.
NIRAYAMA REVERBATORY –
In 1857 the Tokugawa government an iron smelting facility in Izunokuni in order to build canons to help defend Japan in the time when foreign vessels such as the black ships in Commodore Perry’s fleet had started to arrive at nearby Shimoda further south in Izu Peninsula in an attempt to open Japan after 250 years of self-isolation.
Today the remaining chimneys from the original Reverberatory Furnace are classified as a World Heritage Site.
On the grounds of the furnace there is also a Japanese BBQ restaurant, craft beer brewery and small green tea plantation where visitors can get dressed in traditional green tea picking attire and pick green tea.
IZU NAGAOKA GEISHA –
Currently in Japan there are only 2 official Geisha schools – one is in Kyoto and the other is in Izunokuni – Izu Nagaoka Onsen area.
When the Tokaido Bullet train was completed in 1964 Izu Nagaoka Onsen area was home to more than 400 Geisha that welcomed visitors to the many Ryokan / Hot Spring hotels in the area and entertain guests.
Today there are only approximately 40 Geisha in the area but they still strictly adhere to Geisha tradition and culture.
If you have interest in this fascinating art form and way of life Izunokuni offers an authentic opportunity to better understand the traditional Japanese Geisha way of life.
GET ACTIVE IN IZUNOKUNI
From cycling to abseiling, hiking to golf there are plenty of ways to get active and outdoors in Izunokuni.
For anyone looking for a chance to get outdoors and get active Izunokuni has a surprising number of very easily accessible options in a small area.
HOW TO GET THERE –
From Mishima Station the Izunokuni is an easy 20 minute train ride on the Izu Hakone Train Line.
The Izuhakone Line 2-Day Pass gives you the freedom to jump off and on the train between Mishima and Shuzenji and catch some of the buses in the area, for just 1,200 yen which is great value.
A 3 Day 2 night trip from Mishima to Izunokuni and Shuzenji is a great way to relax, unwind and enjoy some real Japanese hospitality.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
For clear views of Mt Fuji the cooler months between November and March give you the best chance of making the most of your trip to Panorama Park.
If you like to get out and active, hiking or on the bike, aim for early Spring from April until mid-June or later in the year from Sep – late November.