"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 16)
Last week on the way to my father in law's house in Inatori, I drove thru the near city of Ito, on the Izu Peninsula's East Coast.
I've always enjoyed to drive on the seaside road and I think that it looks more like a California road, with palm trees on both sides and the beautiful Ocean close by.
In summertime and during national holidays it is always very crowded, especially the Ito Marine Town, where you can find many small restaurants and cafe and take a rest while watching the ocean.
But in autumn and wintertime it is more easy to spend some relaxing hours in this beautiful city.
It can be also reached easily by train, by changing train at Atami Station or even directly from Tokyo with the Odoriko Line:
A view of the small Ito Station
On the other side Ito is surrounded by mountains.
By crossing them through the Usami Pass you can get to Izunokuni City within less than one hour.
Due to the Amagi mountains, that have a volcanic origin, as all the Izu Peninsula it is famous for its hot springs.
As all the Izu Peninsula it is also famous for its delicious fishery.
The Kinmedai fish (splendid alfonsino) of east Izu is famous all over Japan and what better place to try it, if not here in Ito?
It really worth a visit and maybe also some relaxing nights in its beautiful hot spring-furnished ryokan(s)!
Izu Peninsula, lesser known destination you must see in Japan (part 15)
Mount Fuji, in Japanese Fuji-san is the most known symbol of Japan and of Izu too.
It stands between Izu and the Yamanashi Prefecture and can be seen from all the Izu Peninsula.
If watched from the Yamanashi Prefecture's side it is called Man Mount Fuji.
If watched from the Shizuoka Prefecture (Izu)'s side it is called Woman Mount Fuji.
It is the highest mountain in Japan, with its 3,800 meters.
Like Italian Vesuvio, it is a dormant volcano, that last erupted in 1707-1708.
Since 2013 it is also a World Heritage site and no need to say that worths a visit, which for climate reasons it would be difficult during winter.
Here some pictures I took from different places in the Izu Peninsula and other nearby areas:
Two pictures taken in the West Coast of the Izu Peninsula, one in Koganezaki and the other near the village of Heda.
This was also taken in the West Coast near Heda, but in summertime
This is Mount Fuji from Ema Village (Izunokuni City) in the early morning
Mount Fuji from the Izu Skyline road
Another beautiful view is from the Hakone's Lake in Kanagawa Prefecture
This picture was taken in the Susono-Gotenba area (closer to Mt. Fuji)
As you can see, Izu is one of the best places to enjoy Mount Fuji's beautiful views (both in summer and wintertime).
This should be another reason to come and visit!
Izu Peninsula, lesser known destination you must see in Japan (part 14)
Numazu is one of the biggest cities around the Izu area.
It is located between Mishima Fuji City, Izu City and it extends down to Heda, on the Izu Peninsula's west coast.
It is one of the most animated city during evening and night time, with many restaurants, bar and clubs and also a beautiful city to visit.
Here you can find the official website of Numazu City in english, with some useful info:
And also on Trip Advisor:
Numazu Port is big and with plenty of sushi and sashimi restaurants, where you can experience some delicious fresh fish.
You can also visit the Numazu Deep Sea Aquarium, where you can see many uncommon species of the Suruga Bay's deep sea.
The Numazu coast extends from Heda to the Senbonhama Park and can be a very nice spot for walking and running.
As I wrote before at night the city, especially around the train station, is always very busy and crowdy.
The shinkansen train doesn't stop at Numazu and so if you come by train you'll have to get off at Mishima or Shin Fuji and change to a local train to get to Numazu.
On the contrary, if you come by can it is easiest to get to the city center, as there is the Numazu exit from the Tomei Highway, which must be used also to get to Mishima.
Just for the record, this is where I met my wife and I have many good memories and friends:)
Izu Peninsula, lesser known destination you must see in Japan (part 13)
Izu has many beautiful places to visit and sometimes also some mysterious things to see.
I've already wrote about the Old Amagi tunnel, where is said that ghosts come out at night.
As unfortunately there aren't many opportunities for young people to work and live here you can also see many abandoned buildings too.
I've always been curious about old abandoned buildings and stuff. It is fun to imagine and create a story in my mind about how they were when the business went well.
So, sometimes I try to drive on narrow mountanious roads, ending most of the times at a point where it is not possible to move on with the car, because of fallen trees or broken asphalt.
In Akazawa, south-east of the Izu Peninsula, you can still see a road that was supposed to go from there to the central part of Izu, but was left uncompleted after a while due to the bankrupcy of the construction company in 1993.
Soon or later I will visit it, but until then you can see some pictures of it in this interesting blog (in Japanese):
A few weeks ago I've seen this old looking bus when driving near Izu Nagaoka.
It is named "The Jack Knife" and it looks like it was used as a restaurant in the Yokohama Bay.
Its place has always been nearby the sea and maybe also for this reason now is here, just in front of the sea.
But why is it here??
This is what I thought when I went back home.
So I started searching on the internet some info about it and found out that it is here temporarely, to be renovated and will become "The Old Bus", probably to become another bar and restaurant in the city of Numazu.
It was supposed to be renovated within summer 2018 but... it is still there in bad conditions.
Hope it will "recover" soon!
Come on Jack Knife!
Izu Peninsula, lesser known destination you must see in Japan (part 12)
Mount Fuji can be seen from many different spots in the Izu Peninsula.
It can be seen from Izu Nagaoka, from Toi, from the small village of Ita and all of these are spectacular views.
Now we are heading north, going to the upper part of the Peninsula and getting closer to Mount Fuji, which is located almost between the cities of Fuji and Gotenba (and Yamanashi on the other side).
It is the symbol of Japan, especially in its autumn/winter version, with snow on top.
One of the best ways to travel up north from Izu is to ride on the Izu Skyline, which goes from Ito up to Gotemba, dominating the Izu Area from the top of the mountains.
It extends for 40 kilometers from the Atami Pass Interchange at the northern end to the Amagi Plateau Interchange at the southern end.
There are eight observation platforms alongside the road, where you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of Mount Fuji and all the major cities around (Mishima, Numazu, Atami).
It is a toll road, but a drive on it worth the small amount of money it costs.
It is not crowded for the most part of the year and it is often chosen by bikers to have a nice ride without traffic and traffic lights.
Alongside you can also find some restaurants and places to buy food and souvenirs.
Once you get to the last interchange up north you can choose to go down to Atami on the right or go straight to Gotenba, a big city close to Mount Fuji, where many people comes also from Tokyo to go to the big Gotenba Outlet, to go skying at the Yeti resort or to bring their children to the Grinpa park.
There are many places to see there and it is also one of the starting points to climb Mount Fuji.