"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 8)
As I wrote last week we've now arrived in Izu Nagaoka.
It is a small town located in the middle of the Izu Peninsula, from where you can reach both the East coast, the West or head South to Mount Amagi and North to Mishima and Mount Fuji.
For this reason I think it is really a convenient place to book a hotel if you plan to travel through Izu.
Last month I went with one of my colleagues to eat lunch at a small guesthouse which have also a small curry restaurant (Nouka).
The food was delicious and we had the chance to eat inside an old typical Japanese house.
The owner rents it to foreign and Japanese guests. He also rents original kimono dresses so you can relax and feel like living in the real Japanese style.
I've been working here in Izu Nagaoka at a Ready Mix Concrete plant for about eight years, but never lived here (I'm living in the City of Mishima). If and when I will own my own house I want it to be here.
Panorama Park is one of the best places to have a stunning view of the Izu Peninsula.
You can reach the top of Mount Katsuragi by a quite long lift and enjoy a drink, some good food, of course the view, but also a warm foot bath!
Nearby there is also a big acquarium, the perfect place to bring your family and kids, to discover a lot of the fishery that lives in the Suruga Bay.
It is called Mitohama Sea Paradise.
Here there are also some dolphins, that perform some shows everyday especially for the young kids.
Honestly, I don't like a lot these kind of places where the animals are kept confined, but since I became a father I must say that they are the only places where our kids can see and play with the animals. And so become conscious about the respect they must have for them.
When in Nagaoka you can choose between many beautiful and comfortable Japanese style hotels and ryokan, all with relaxing onsen inside and outside (rotenburo), so I won't suggest this or that, as you won't be disappointed by none of them.
Finally I suggest and I can organize a visit to a marvellous Buddhist Temple, Shourenji, located in the small village of Ema, right next to Nagaoka. The chief priest Mr. Watanabe run also a kindergarten and is involved in a lot of activities for the locals (but not only).
Next week we will move South again to Shuzenji Town and Mount Amagi and discover the Izu Peninsula mountains!
Acqua Altaってご存知ですか？ Have you ever heard about Acqua Alta?
Here some pictures of yesterday's acqua alta in Venice:
Izu Peninsula, lesser known destination you must see in Japan (part 7)
After leaving the town of Heda following the Suruga Bay coast we will have to drive on a quite narrow and tortous road.
I suggest by the way to take some time to stop and take pictures as much as possible, as there are various places to park the car and enjoy the beautiful views of the ocean.
Until you will reach Izu Nagaoka or get closer to Numazu you will not find any convenient store, for about 1 hour driving, so if you need anything I suggest to buy it at the Daily Yamazaki in Heda.
Even if it may sound strange, this is one of the reasons why I like the Western part of Izu the most.
Now they are improving the road construction works also there, but it is still a quite uncontaminated place. Difficult to reach and I guess to live in, but the surrounding natural beauties compensate everything.
One of the few small villages that you will find on the way is named Ita and to reach it you must turn left and head down towards the sea. It worths a visit, as it is really a beautiful village and you can have a stunning view of Mount Fuji from a different prospective.
Because of its rocky coast you won't find many sandy beaches in this part of the Peninsula, until you get to Osezaki and LaLaSan Beach.
Then you will finally reach a 7-11 convenient store and from there you can go straight to reach Numazu City or turn right to Izu Nagaoka, that is the place where I'm working since 8 years ago and I will focus on it on my next week blog.
Izu Nagaoka is famous all over Japan for its onsen. I will write about it next time!
Izu Peninsula, lesser known destination you must see in Japan (part 6)
Last week we left the town of Toi with its beautiful and peaceful white sandy beaches.
Following the narrow road on the coast you can continue heading up to Numazu City.
After about 30 minutes driving from Toi you will arrive in another very beautiful town called Heda, which is already part of Numazu City.
You will immediately realize that Heda is famous for its delicious fishery products as there are always a lot of fishing boats and ships inside Heda Port.
Heda's landscape is so particular and beautiful!
The beach is located behind a small forest and so it is at repair from the strong wind that normally strikes the Suruga Bay coasts. I don't know why but when I'm in Heda I always feel safe, from wind and waves. Of course nothing can save it from a big tsunami, but until then (hoping that will never come!) it is a very pleasant town to stay.
Like Toi, it is quite crowded during summer holidays, but if you go in any other period of the year you probably will find a few people on the beaches and in the near fish restaurants.
Heda is a jem, not other word can describe it and of course the people living there is very proud of it and its fishery products.
Same as Toi, you can leave the town by two different ways.
Going up to the Heda Pass from where you can then reach Mount Amagi, Shuzenji Town and the inside part of the Izu Peninsula, or continue to follow the coast and reach Numazu City, with many small villages in between, like Ita, but I will talk about it next week!
Have a nice weekend,
Izu Peninsula, lesser known destination you must see in Japan (part 5)
Almost every Sunday, wintertime, summertime, I come to a small beach called Odoi near the small town of Toi.
I come with my daughter, as we both like to ride by car through the Izu Peninsula. It relaxes me and she seems relaxed too.
So, last week we came up from Shimoda through some very beautiful and still quite wild landscapes, to reach the town of Matsuzaki. From there you can go both inside to Mount Amagi and the Nishina Pass or follow the coast to reach the town of Toi.
It is a small town but it has everything you might need. Two supermarkets, three or four convenience store, banks, post office, etc... And plus, it is not as crowded as other parts of the Peninsula, except maybe during the most popular Japanese summer holidays.
It is also famous as many other Izu towns for its hot springs.
The Odoi beach is very quite and lesser known than other beaches, so it is perfect to take a relaxing day off with family and children.
It is a small thing that probably only a father or a mother can understand, but its white and coarse sand can be easily removed from children hands and clothes after they have played on the beach.
Toi (and so Odoi) are reachable also by the Suruga Bay ferry that connects Toi and Shimizu City, on the Shizuoka coast:
Then from here it is also possible to reach Mount Amagi or to continue to drive on the coast to reach the beautiful town of Heda which is part of the city of Numazu. The coastal road is tortous but very fascinating!
Next week I will write about Heda and its beautiful beach and port.