Feeling with anticipation and excitement while approaching Mt Fuji Shizuoka Airport, I eagerly fixed my eyes on my seat’s window expecting to see a bird’s eye view of Mt Fuji. (Sign) To my dismay, I realised I was seated on the opposite side. Nevertheless, I can see beautiful tea plantation as my flight landed.
After a simple and easy procedure, I’m out of the immigration in a jiffy. I checked on the bus schedule and realised I still have 30 minutes to spare.
I ran back into the airport building and grabbed myself a hot drink & sandwich as I was feeling a bit hungry and cold. Feeling “re-charged” I went out of the building. Right before my very eyes I spotted Mt Fuji just diagonally behind the bus stop! What a pleasant surprised !
At 12:20pm I boarded the bus to Shin-Shizuoka station where Ms Yoshizumi, staff of Shizuoka Prefecture kindly waited for me. We took a short walk to Shizuoka Kita Washington Hotel, leave my baggage and headed to Shizuoka Prefectural office. Ms Yoshizumi kindly introduced the staff to me and showed me the various divisions. We went up to the 21st floor of the building and I was very delighted as I was able to view clearly 360 degree of Mt Fuji (unfortunately, I left my camera behind).
I bid farewell to Ms Yoshizumi, check-in the hotel before meeting up with her again for dinner at JR Shizuoka Station. As Shizuoka Prefecture is famous for its green tea, here is a shops dedicated to all kind of green tea in Shizuoka. You may also sample a cup of green tea for 200yen.
We strolled towards my hotel, bid farewell again and headed to my room for the night.
Check-out at 8am and hopped into the “Kodama” shinkansen that depart exactly at 8.48am towards Mishima station. As the window seats were all taken, I settled for the aisle seat on the left. I managed to snap a photo of Mt Fuji after politely asking the guy seated beside me let me do so.
Shinkansen ticket view of Mt Fuji from shinkansen towards Shin-Fuji station.
At JR Mishima station, I changed to Izu-Hakone Sunzu line to reach my destination in Shuzenji.
At Mishima Tourist Information Centre I bought a sakura-flavoured snack among other flavours.
My train to Shuzenji station.
in the train on my way to Shuzenji Here, you may take a picture of yourself as a station master
Head towards Shuzenji Bus terminal and took a bus to Shuzenji Spa area.
Shuzenji is totally different from the modern Japan I know today. Here, time seemed to stand still, back to those nostalgic traditional Japan that we know on television.
After walking for a few hours, I head towards the hotel, had a wondeful soak, where I enjoyed both indoor and outdoor variation of the onsen followed by a luxurious sumptuous 10 course dinner.
Before calling it a day, I headed towards Niji no sato where the “momiji” autumn leaves light up festival has just began. It was very cold but truly a worth visit.
The day started early with breakfast at 7am, check out and took a bus to Shuzenji bus terminal to catch a Tokai bus to Ito city. The journey across the mountainous area took about an hour and I arrived in Ito city at 9.30am.
I dropped my luggage at the hotel and headed back to JR Ito station where the Tokai bus information centre is. Check with the staff and bought myself a tokai free pass (1300yen). With the free pass, I was allowed to board the tokai buses in this area without any hassle. (highly recommended).
Tokai Bus in Ito city Directions showing the way to Jogasaki Coast
The hiking course took me almost 2 hours as I was too mesmerized by the beautiful coast that I nearly miss my next bus to my next destinations, that is Omuroyama and Shaboten.
Here, at the foot of the Omuroyama, I took a “lift” up the mountain where you can have a panoramic view of Mt Fuji and its surrounding. You can also walk down the crater and play archery at the bottom. I could spend the whole day here admiring the 360 degree panoramic view !
Next, I crossed over the road where Shatoten koen is located. As I overlooked the time once again, I nearly couldn’t make it as I was there 15 minutes before closure.
However, I managed to run to the main attraction, but not in ime to watch the capybara soaking in the onsen. Nevertheless, I managed to capture them basking in the open.
After much walking and running from here and there, it was time for me to catch the last bus back to Ito station. The weather got colder as the sun disappear for the day, I find myself and a couple of other tourists quietly waiting in the “open air” bus stop, probably thinking what should we eat for dinner.
Had my breakfast and head out to Tokaikan for a stroll before checking out and heading towards Numazu, my next stop.
Walking along the Matsukawa River will take you to this old building, Tokaikan. This former hotel operated from 1928 to 1997. The old Japanese hotel building has an impressive observatory tower. At present, the hotel is closed, but the hot spring bath house in the building is open to day trippers
From JR Ito station I took a train to Atami station and changed into another train to JR Numazu station. As the train was very packed that day, I was force to take the very front cabin of the train. This came as a surprise as I was able to see how the train staff operate the train plus the panaromic ocean view.
Upon reaching Numazu station I headed straight to my lodging for the day before heading back to the station to catch a bus to Numazu Port. I was very lucky to get information from the hotel staff that there was a free shuttle bus from the station about to leave now. So I quickly rushed back.
Numazu Port was full of people that day. As I was not hungry just yet, I headed towards Numazu Deep Sea Aquarium. At first I was taken aback by the steep entrance fee (1600yen) but after visiting, I really felt that every penny is worth it. The sea creatures were truly out of this world and beyond your imaginations !
As I wasn’t hungry that day, I settled for a burger in “Numazu Burger” café. After eating this burger, I wouldn’t want to eat McDonald’s burger anymore, it’s simply fresh and delicious !
The fish burger tasted heavenly !
With full of energy, I stepped out of the café and strolled around the place with the company of Mt Fuji in sight.
Back to the hotel at Toyoko Inn Fujisan, the staff was very friendly and cheerful. As my camera was out of order, I asked them where was I able to buy one. They took out a map and slowly showed me the location.
Toyoko Inn is a very cosy hotel, small but they have everything!
After a quick trip to the local departmental store, I managed to buy a new camera at a very good deal with the help of a very kind and knowledgeable staff there.
Check out of the hotel, left Numazu station to Fuji station where I’ll be meeting Mr Akaike (staff of Shizuoka Prefecture). We planned to visit some attractions in Fujinomiya city !
First stop is the Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine, World Cultural Heritage site. The shrine is well known as the headquarters for over 1,300 Sengen shrines nationwide. The object of the worship at this shrine is Mt. Fuji itself, the highest mountain in Japan and a symbolic entity.
The temple guide guiding me on the proper prying procedure.
Adjacent to the temple, is the Wakutama-ike (Gushing jewels pond), formed by the melted snow of Mount Fuji, this pond has been designated a special natural treasure.
The water is so crystal clear. In the older times, climbers would purify themselves in this sacred spring before climbing Mount Fuji.
We took a short ride further up to another World Cultural Heritage Site called Yamamiya Sengen-jinja Shrine. There is no building in the place for inner shrine, but there is a place to worship Fujisan, showing a form of ancient Fujisan worship.
You can see there’s no building in the inner shrine.
As the weather didn’t look promising, we quickly headed to our next stop that I’ve been anticipating. The Shiraito and the Otodome Falls. Both falls have been selected as two of the 100 great waterfalls of Japan.
Shiraito falls gushes out Fujisan’s spring water across approximately 200 meters. You have to be there to witness how beautiful the falls are.
By now the cloud seemed to hover above us. We decided to do a quick lunch nearby. Mr Akaike highly recommend me the famous B-Class Gourmet “Fujinomiya yaki soba”.
It’s different in terms of toughness & elasticity. Here, you can help yourself to the Fuji water from the little fountain along the food street. The water is straight from the springs. Yummy !
It started to drizzle and we headed back to the car. Thinking we might have a chance to visit another spots before it starts to pour, we moved on to Asagiri Milk Land. Upon reaching there, it started to pour. We rested a little while, had ice cream and left Fujinomiya city for Shizuoka city.
Reached Shizuoka City around 5pm and check into my hotel for the next two days, Shizutetsu Hotel Prezio Shizuoka, located just within 5 minutes’ walk from JR Shizuoka station.
Meet up with Ms Yoshizumi, Mr Akaike and some staff from Shizuoka Prefecture for dinner at a nearby Izakaya. Thanks to their hospitality and treat I had a very sumptuous dinner.
Had my breakfast in my room bought from the convenient store next door before meeting up with Ms Yoshizumi.
We started our journey at 9am and reached Hamamatsu City around 11am to explore Ryugashido Cave. The temperature inside the cave hovers around 18Cº all year long. This 250 million year old 1064 meter long cave is one of the largest in Japan. The centerpiece of it all is the Grand Golden Waterfall, a 30 meter tall underground cascade that flows all year long. The lighting in the cave makes the water droplets pouring off the falls glimmer like gold dust, hence the name.
Next we drove to Hamamatsu Fruit Park.
Then to Unagi Pie Factory. Visitors can see how Unagi Pie is made and stop at Unagi Pie Café for a snack.
Together with Ms Yoshizumi, we left Shizuoka city to Kanaya area, where Ocha-no-sato Museum is located. During our drive, I was very delighted and excited to see Mt Fuji behind us.
This is a place to promote the culture and industry of tea and as a tourist facility. There is a tea museum where you can taste unusual teas from around the world and a reconstructed tea house and garden of Enshu Kobori, a great tea artist in the 17th Century.
After Ocha-no-sato, we rushed to Shin-Kanaya station to board the nostalgic Steam Locomotive. With our pre-ordered lunch bento collected at the counter, we headed towards the train.
We alighted at Senzu station in Kawanehoncho Town and met up with the local staff of Kawanehoncho office, Mr Omura & Mr Ogura.
Kawanehoncho is a very beautiful rustic Japanese Town that offers lots hot springs and amazing sights to both locals and foreigners. Mr Omura drove us to our first destination as my eyes were busily feasting on the colorful autumn leaves along the way.
We reached Yume-no-tsuri-bashi suspension bridge in Sumatakyo. Unforturnately, the dam was under maintenance so there’s no water in the reservoir (pic on the left), if not, the water in the reservoir will be amazingly beautiful turquoise-blue (pic on the right).
At the start of the bridge there was signage that limit the number of people to not more than 11 as the walkway is only 30~35cm wide, plus the whole bridge sways and bounces as you walk across.
We continued our journey and visited many wonderful sights:
Sesso-kyo Okuoi-Koji sation
Fudo Waterfall Camping ground
As I was still enjoying the spectacular landscapes and hoping to see more, it’s time to catch our train. I reluctantly bid farewell to Mr Omura and Mr Ogura, bought our train ticket and settled in the train seat.
After arriving at the Kanaya station, Ms Yoshizumi kindly dropped me at my hotel in Route-Inn Shimada Ekimae. This was my last night in Shizuoka Prefecture before flying back to Singapore via Seoul the following morning.
Next morning, after breakfast, I checked out of the hotel and walk towards the station to catch my bus to Mt Fuji Shizuoka Airport.
arrived at Mt Fuji Shizuoka Airport bus-stop Bought some souviners
enjoying my last moment with Mt Fuji at the boarding gate and taking off
And finally waving “Goodbye and Thank you” .
I definitely have a great and memorable time in Shizuoka and rest assured I’ll be back again.