With Mount Fuji standing at its northern tip, Shizuoka forms the middle part of the Tokaido, the historic road that connected Edo (now Tokyo) to Kyoto. Its mild climate nurturing high-quality agricultural products, the prefecture is noted for the Izu Peninsula, a famous region for natural hot springs, calm weather and fresh seafood, making it a popular destination for residents of the greater Tokyo area.
Imperial Villa Memorial Park
Numazu City is the gateway to the Izu Peninsula, appreciated for its slightly milder climate compared to Tokyo. The Japanese Imperial Family even chose Numazu for its vacation house in 1893.
After three generations of imperial use, the villa was opened to the public as the Imperial Villa Memorial Park, marked by a fabulous Japanese garden, a panoramic view of Mount Fuji over the city, and architecture that perfectly combines Japanese traditions with 19th-century Western styles.
The Izu Peninsula stretches out to the south of Numazu, marked by numerous hot springs and rolling hills, with fabulous views of Mount Fuji and Suruga Bay on its western side. Izu is home to several high-quality ryokan (Japanese-style inns) that can make for a luxurious weekend trip from the nation’s capital.
Arai Ryokan was established in 1872, and its 15 structures are now recognized as Registered Tangible Cultural Properties. The ryokan is known as a place where celebrated Japanese artists and writers spent their days for inspiration, with peaceful natural views from every guest room, many of which were designed by artist Yukihiko Yasuda. Tours of the site are available in English, introducing each architectural detail.
Harmony with the surrounding nature one of the ryokan's greatest assets, and the view of the path through the bamboo thicket along the Katsura River from the Hana and Yoshino Wings received two stars from the Michelin Green Guide in 2011.
With service also available in English, this is the perfect, indulgent getaway accommodation for both relaxation and inspiration.
You’ll find hot springs with breathtaking views in Izu. Yamatokan is a ryokan in Shimoda, a city on the southeastern edge of the Izu Peninsula. The entire fifth floor of the ryokan is dedicated to hot springs, featuring six large bathing rooms, each with a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. Thanks to the beachside location, the ocean view is available in the guest rooms as well.
For deeper indulgence, Yamatokan offers private outdoor baths in its suites. Located on the terrace of each suite, the hot spring water lifts the natural cedar aroma from the tub. The heavenly view of the ocean, beach and rolling hills in the distance will lull you into drowsy comfort.
Yamatokan’s highlight is the Spa Villa. Open for hourly use as well as to guests, the spacious wooden deck has a Zen-style relaxing bath with an ocean panorama. Soaked in the natural hot spring water and breathing the ocean air, the Spa Villa is the ultimate escape from the urban grind.
Want to learn more about what you can expect to find in Shizuoka? Read on at CHOPSTiCKS NY!