"In 2012 we started this project called Venezia x Izu, to help creating a connection not only between Venice and Izu, but also between Izu and the rest of the World. In 2020 Japan will host the Olympic Games and Izu will host the cycling events at Shuzenji Velodrome. A big chance for less known local areas to become more open to foreign tourism and to build worldwide connections. Please feel free to contact us for whatever needs you should have while visiting Japan (including camping, water and electric supply)!"
Izu Peninsula, lesser known destination you must see in Japan (part 23)
Travelling with small children is not easy.
I do it once a year, every year, going back home in Venice with my family.
Those 20 hours are one of the most stressful time ever. I must entertain the babies for all that long time in such a narrow space...
But even in the ordinary days here in Japan it could be hard to find the best way to please our children.
One of me and my daughter favourite spot is a park in IzuNagaoka, where she can run, climb a little bit and have fun on a small slide.
It is called Yuurakkusu Koen (Park) and there you can also sit and enjoy a foot hot spring and a course to walk barefeet and have a foot massage.
Also in Nagaoka there is the Riverside Park, a little bit bigger and equipped with also a swing.
This is one of the reason to spend somedays in this area if you have children.
There are plenty of green areas in the Izu Peninsula, mostly for sightseeing but also many amusement areas for children are located in some particular spots.
This is a green area that surrounds the Omuroyama Mount, in the Southeastern IzuKogen area.
It is not easy to do a comparison between here and my hometown in Italy.
Venice is a very particular city, where children still play ball everyday outside in many small squares, but there is only one big green area, well equipped with amusement tools.
I was extremely well impressed by the great attention paid for children amusement in the Italian Alps, where I went with my family two years ago.
Parks and places for children to play everywhere, very clean and fully equipped.
Places like these, that can be enjoyed both by children and parents, will be never enough.
Every city and small town must focus also on creating and keeping clean and renovate constantly these kind of areas.
The fact that Izu has many of these places is another good reason to visit the Izu Peninsula, also with small children!
反対派市民団体「No grandi navi（ノー・グランディ・ナーヴィ、大型船反対）」
この機会を利用して、反対派市民団体「No grandi navi（ノー・グランディ・ナーヴィ、大型船反対）」の声がまた強く上がりました。
Izu Peninsula, lesser known destination you must see in Japan (part 22)
Today we came back at work, after one of the longest "golden week" I had since I came back to Japan 8 years ago.
We had 10 days off and much time to spend with our kids and families.
There has been also a hystorical event, the change from the Heisei era to the Reiwa era, which is due to the change from one emperor to another (his son).
It is maybe the first time that an emperor leave before his death.
The new emperor and his wife have only one daughter and this will be a problem in the future, as the Japanese society is still ruled by men and it is unclear if a women could become empress.
Anyway, in these days I had the chance to be with my family everyday and travel around Izu with my daughter as she and I like to.
In the past years I saw this bus in many different places and finally I took the chance to stop by to try their handmade pizza and eat it at the Odoi beach.
For us (Italians) it is not easy to find a good pizza here in Japan, as most of the places are under the influence of the "American piza", stuffed with a lot of ingredients that we don't use in Italy, or they cook the pizza in the Japanese way, which means very small and light that is most like an appetizer than a real meal.
So in these years I made some "research" to find some good pizza here too.
In this case I must say that I expected a little bit more, especially about the price/quality ratio.
1700 yen for a quite small Margherita is too much for me, even if the quality was pretty good and it is one of the best lunch we can have while chilling on the beach.
For this reason I will try it again sometimes, for sure!
For the good quality of the ingredients I put it in my top five pizza I had in the Izu area until now:)
Izu Peninsula, lesser known destination you must see in Japan (part 21, Mishima City)
In these 8 years I've been living in the Izu Peninsula I moved from here to there, but I spent most of the time living in Mishima City.
Together with Numazu, these are the two biggest cities of the Peninsula.
One of the main differences is that the Shinkansen train stops in Mishima and not in Numazu.
This made Mishima grow and be able to modernize itself, even if it still remains the typical small-medium sized Japanese town, with a long history, the famous Mishima Taisha Shrine and some beautiful gardens to visit (Rakujuen Park).
If you're planning to come to visit the Izu Peninsula it is the most convenient station to stop and drop off the shinkansen (besides Atami station).
Be aware that only the Kodama and Hikari shinkansen stop at Mishima (not the Nozomi).
Exit Mishima station from the South Exit and you will find many buses that go south to Shuzenji and Mount Amagi direction.
By exiting from the North side you will face Mount Fuji and you can head up to Susono, Fuji and Gotenba.
Don't expect to find the "Tokyo nightlife", but you can find some fun in the southern part of Mishima too.
Hirokoji district is full of dining places where to drink until late.
RAI4 bar is one of them:
There are not so many hotels to stay so it would be better to do the reservation in advance.
If you'll not be satisfied you can move to Numazu in the evening (15/20 minutes by taxi).
So, if you're coming to Izu, Mishima could be a good place to stay and move around the peninsula (and visit Mount Fuji) starting from there.
Rakujuen Park and Mishima Taisha Shrine (http://shizuoka-guide.com/english/detail/page/detail/3664) are worth a visit too!
Izu Peninsula, lesser known destination you must see in Japan (part 20)
This week's blog is for adults only.
Beers, my favourite alcoholic drink, are very similar but also with some differences all over the world.
The main difference between Japan and Italy is the difference in coldness when it is served.
In Japan they always say that when they drank a beer in Italy it was too warm.
After some years in Japan I understood why they say so.
Here in Japan beers are served extremely cold and in many places they put ice into the glass before pouring the beer inside or the glasses are already been stored for some time into the freezer.
I would say that it is not good for the stomach to drink such cold beers, but on the other side I understand that a cold beer is refreshing, especially after one day at work.
Anyway, if a beer is good, it can be served also not so cold to be enjoyed.
That been said, there are many good beers in Japan.
The most famous are Asahi (now sold also in many places in Italy), Sapporo (named after the biggest city in Hokkaido), Ebisu and Kirin.
Until 1994 you couldn't find other beers than the ones above, but now there are many small beer factories all over Japan, so the choice is becoming wider and wider. This was due to the fact that in 1994 the Japanese government softened the strict laws that governed the granting of brewing licences.
Up until then, to become licensed, a brewey needed to be able to produce 2 million liters of beer each year, but with the change of regulations, breweries needed only to demonstrate a capacity of 60,000 liters.
Yona Yona, Captain Crow, Izu's Izu Kogen Beer, Izu no Kuni Beer, Usami Beer are just a few names of microbreweries.
In Italy, in Europe and in the US is the same. You have major beers, like Moretti, Peroni, Forst, Carlsberg (Denmark), Heineken (from Holland), Becks (Germany) and also smaller local productions, such as Pedavena, Ichnusa (Sardinia), etc.
Beers in Japan are usually with a drier taste than Italy and the most famous ones, to me, has very similar taste and are more easily drinkable than the beers coming from smaller productions.
Local microbreweries have many differences in taste between one another, with many different flavours, so we can enjoy different tasting experiences, but if I'm going to drink more than two beers I prefer "normal" ones as I feel they are less heavy than the others.
However, after a long day at work, when resting at home, when visiting a new country, a good fresh beer is the best drink you can have to relax and have a nice conversation with friends.
So let's enjoy, consciously and mindfully, also to avoid a bad hangover.