Shizuoka Prefecture settles itself on the eastern coast of Honshu, Japan’s main island. Its most popular feature is undoubtedly Mt. Fuji, which falls along the borders of both Shizuoka and Yamanashi Prefecture. It is easily accessible from Tokyo and Osaka by taking the Tokaido Line on the Shinkansen, which is often referred to as the “bullet train.”
Although most look to Mt. Fuji related activities in Shizuoka, the prefecture offers so much more than meets the eye. Dig deep into some research and you’ll find a good number of gems! To get you started, I’ll tell you about a few.
The MOA Museum of Art perches atop a hill that overlooks the town of Atami. Although it is comprised mostly of pottery, cultural appliances and a replica of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s famous Golden Tea Room, the architecture of the museum is a masterpiece of itself. The quiet tea house in the garden of the museum is recommended for a sip of matcha and traditional Japanese sweets.
Akao Herb & Rose Garden and Coeda House are best on sunny days for their view of Atami’s oceanside cliffs. Grab a coffee, sit outside. Enjoy a ride on the swing before walking back down through the picturesque flower gardens.
Take a rest in one of the onsen in the area. Atami is famous for its natural hot springs! And if the onsen isn’t your thing, that’s okay! Outside of Atami Station, you can relax with locals at the public Ieyasu no Yu foot bath.
Nihondaira and Yume Terrace are the spots to hit up for a breathtaking view of Mount Fuji. Looking for more than just the view? Nippondaira Hotel has a gorgeous afternoon tea set or a delicate dessert platter perfect for two to share.
Pick strawberries along the water in Shimizu. A skip and a hop away from the city is this beach-y town with a good number of strawberry farms. Pay a fee, pluck them off the vine and eat as many as you can in one hour!
Kakegawa Kachouen allows you to get up close and personal with a wide range of bird species. Though it’s definitely not an experience for everyone, it can be appreciated simply for its aesthetics if birds are not in your interest. Afterwards, hop across the street to Cafe Frais and order a watermelon smoothie for the most delightful pick-me-up!
Grinpia Makinohara shows the process it takes to make a cup of the ever so famous Japanese green tea. During designated times of the year, guests are even able to go tea picking! It’s truly a tea lover’s paradise.
Hamamatsu Flower Park looks and feels like a fairytale. Take the train around the park to skip the walking. Go during sakura season and lay on the grass, and watch the sakura petals float away when the wind blows.
Unagi Pie Factory is the perfect for foodies and dessert lovers. See how this Hamamatsu specialty is made, then waste the day away trying all the treats at the factory’s cafe.
Nukumori No Mori calls all Ghibli lovers to this small but dreamy village. With a very limited amount of activities, this attraction proves to be more picturesque than anything else. Be that as it may, it’s a fun time — and the fancy desserts at the cafe are truly a must try!
Hamamatsu Fruit Park Tokinosumika is a strange little oasis in the middle of nowhere. Pick in-season fruit, from strawberries to peaches, to oranges and pears and everything in between! And if you’d rather appreciate fruit in a different way, grab a bottle of wine from their store, pop off the top and just enjoy a glass. Or the entire bottle.. Who’s judging?!
Now that I’ve given you a head start on your Shizuoka itinerary, make it the next stop on your upcoming visit to Japan! There’s so much waiting for you here~