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General
Japan 


Izu Peninsula

The Izu Peninsula (Izu-hanto) is situated to the west of Tokyo and  is nowadays a part of Shizuoka Prefecture. A popular recreational area for people in the Tokyo region, the Izu peninsula is above all known for its onsen hot springs, including Atami and Mishima. The peninsula abuts Mt Fuji and is a part of Fuki-Hakone-Izu National Park

A mountainous interior and a dramatic coastline, fine beaches and many hot springs make the peninsula very popular with visitors from Tokyo so expect crowds especially during summer months. From Atami at the eastern point of the peninsula, bus and train services operate to Ito and Shimoda - both excellent if rather busy spa resorts on the eastern coast. The excellent climate make these  year-round resorts. Shimoda is in fact the place where the first trade treaty between Japan and America was signed in 1854 - effectively opening up the country to the outside world.

The west coast is less developed with no rail network and subsequently is less visited by tourists but the determined visitor should aim for the resort of Toi to experience some of the best hot springs in the region.

 

 

Norihama Beach (Dogashima)

 

 

 

Central Izu is the cultural heart of the peninsula with Taisha-jinja in Mishima in the north (before the peninsula proper) revered as Izu’s first shrine. Shuzenji is a traditional and rather upmarket spa resort set in the mountainous interior - approachable only by road. The main attraction is in fact the trip via the mountains to get there. Dogashima on the west coast is a quiet leisurely fishing village perfect for a bit of relaxation and to escape the crowds on the east coast.

Atami itself can be quite a gregarious town frequented mostly by businessmen, with the only real attraction being its Museum of Art with its many European, Chinese and Japanese exhibits as well as its noh theatre.

It is possible to take a bus around the southern tip of the peninsula travelling west from Dogashima to Suzenji where the scnerey along the rugged coastline is quite dramatic.

Onsen minshuku can be found throughout the peninsula- a variation on the traditional onsen theme only where the traveller pays for a room in a large family-run house that has been fitted with a public bath fed by underground hot springs.

One major attraction of the peninsular is its easy access from Tokyo (approx one hour by train to Atami) which makes it possible to visit in a day for those on a tight schedule.

 

 

 
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