Follow the Tokaido Highway
Highlights of the Area
Chojiya Restaurant, Sunp Craft Village, Utsunoya Pass, Hanazono Sato Village
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 20th Post Town of Mariko is a small village on the outskirts of Shizuoka City that is working hard to protect what remains of the Old Tokaido Highway and preserve the town’s heritage.
The town of Mariko is perhaps most famous for the iconic Chojiya Restaurant, established in 1596, that was immortalized in Hiroshige’s woodblock print image of the restaurant and its patrons.
For visitors with limited time it is possible to do a half day tour to both Chojiya and the Sunpu Craft Village, get a great insight into life during the time of the Tokaido Highway, learn a new craft, and enjoy a new culinary experience.
For the more energetic visitors to Shizuoka that would like to stretch their legs and gain a deeper experience into what life would have been like on the Tokaido Highway 400 years ago take a day to explore.
Although the Sumpu Takumi Craft Center is within walking distance of Abekawa Station on the Tokaido Main Line it is recommended to take a taxi from Shizuoka Station.
The Center opens at 10am and it is worth allocating at least a couple of hours to try some of the craft experiences on offer and grab a coffee at the cafe.
From the craft village the Chojiya Restaurant is within walking distance and it is a great place to enjoy the traditional Wild Yam meal and view the small Tokaido themed gallery.
For visitors that are interested in stretching their legs and exploring more of the Old Tokaido Highway, after enjoying a meal at Chojiya it is time to follow in the footsteps of past travelers and head to the infamous Utsunoya-toge Pass.
It’s a 3.5km walk to the Utsunoyatoge Rest Area from the Craft Village – it is a relatively uneventful walk so taking a taxi ride will save your legs for the rest of the trail and save some time.
Before you realize the residential area gives way to mountains and nature and it becomes easier to get a picture of what traveling in this area would have been like during the peak of the Tokaido Highway.
A short walk from the Rest Area and you arrive at the Utsunoya Pass.
For more information on Tokaido related attractions in English check www.shizuoka-tokaido.biz