Follow the Tokaido Highway
Highlights of the Area
OI RIVER, MAKINOHARA GREEN TEA PLAINS, SHIMADA MUSEUM, KAWAGOSHI RUINS
The Old Tokaido Highway became firmly established in the early 17th century as the main thoroughfare for travelers between the new capital of Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto.
The 24th Post Town on the Old Tokaido Highway was Kanaya Juku located between the sometimes treacherous Oi River & challenging the challenging Nissaka Pass section of the journey.
Kanaya Juku was a relatively large Post Station with over 1,000 buildings due to the fact that Kanaya Juku was situated between the tough Nissaka Climb and the Oi River.
The Tokugawa Shogunate had forbidden a bridge being built across the Oi River and, as seen in Hiroshige’s classic woodblock print, travelers on the Tokaido Road had to wade through the river – or be carried if they had enough money to pay for this service.
Without a dam up river to control water flow the Oi River did not flow passively as it does today, it flooded easily which made the trip across treacherous.
Many travelers could be stuck in Kanaya for days waiting for safe crossing of the river to Shimada Juku and as a result Kanaya Juku boasted three honjin, one sub-honjin and 51 hatago accommodations.
From Kanaya Juku the hike to Nissaka Juku is a great day hike for visitors who like to be active and enjoy a challenging walk – the trail from Kanaya to Nissaka Juku over the Nissaka Pass was one of the most difficult parts of the original Tokaido Highway.
The following itinerary focuses on the area between Kanaya and Shimada Juku and is for those who still want to experience the Tokaido Highway without as many hills.
Use this MAP as a guide for your journey from Shimada Juku to Kanaya Juku.
At Shimada Station North Exit you can rent a bicycle for 500 yen for the day from the Info center – this is a great option to help you get around.
This area North of Shimada Station is a nice place to find a coffee or green tea & chill – head up to Obi-Dori Street and see where the famous Obi Festival is held every 3 years.
From there cycle down to the historical Horai Bridge and over the Oi River to the green tea fields on the other side – on a clear day there should be a view of Mt Fuji.
Cycle back over Horai Bridge & head toward the Shimada Museum and try the soba at Sobayagen.
After lunch explore the Kawagoshi Ruins and old Shimada town area and remnants of the Old Tokaido Road – in late March the cherry blossoms in this area are highly recommended.
From there cross over the Oi River again and head to Kanaya Station via Shin Kanaya Station to check out Steam Locomotive and Thomas the Tank Engine trains – MAP.
When you get to Kanaya Station take some time to walk up and check out the remaining Tokaido Road leading to Nissaka Juku.
For a detailed map of Shimada and Kanaya Juku and Tokaido related attractions in English check www.shizuoka-tokaido.biz