Shizuoka city(静岡市)

A historic mid-point metropolitan for Fuji, seafood, and green tea lovers

Shizuoka city is the capital of Shizuoka prefecture(静岡県)facing Mt. Fuji(富士)in the north east and the Pacific ocean along Suruga bay(駿河湾). Located conveniently just one hour shinkansen (Hikari) ride from both Tokyo(東京)and Nagoya(名古屋), the city can be more attractive and easier destinations than most tourists and travelers might imagine.

Around Shizuoka Station(静岡駅周辺)

Home of Tokugawa Ieyasu(徳川家康)and the largest post town on the way

The city is a home of Tokugawa Ieyasu(徳川家康), who brought a long period of civil wars to an end to unite the country and started Edo Shogunate in 1603, in that he was raised here as hostage of Imagawa clan(今川氏), built and completed Sumpu castle(駿府城)in 1589, and then further expanded it until 1610 after returning from Edo(江戸)or current Tokyo.

Sumpu Castle(駿府城)

 

Kunozan Toshogu(久能山東照宮)is a shrine dedicated to Ieyasu, who spent the last decade of his life at the castle and expressed his wish for a mausoleum on Mount Kunozan. The shrine is second in importance among his many Toshogu shrines only to Nikko’s Toshogu(日光東照宮).

The city was developed during the Edo period as the largest post town along Tokaido(東海道), one of the five highways at the time. After Meiji period(明治時代), part of the castle area was converted into a municipal park, which is the current Sumpu Castle Park(駿府城公園).

Multi-angle Fuji landscapes enjoyed historically

Perhaps the most popular Fuji viewing location in the area is Miho-no-matsubara(三保の松原), one of the registered constituent assets of the “Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration” UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Nihondaira(日本平)is another popular spot for enjoying a landscape with Fuji(富士), Suruga bay(駿河湾), and green tea plantation, and can jointly be visited with Kunozan Toshogu(久能山東照宮)using Nihondaira Ropeway(日本平ロープウェイ).

A secret spot that even many Japanese are not aware is Satta pass(薩埵峠), a ridge to enjoy the combined scenery of Mt. Fuji and Suruga bay (and now highways and railways as well), which was depicted in Utagawa Hiroshige’s(歌川広重)ukiyo-e(浮世絵)wood block printing in the Edo period.



Colorful gifts from Suruga bay(駿河湾)

In addition to Shimizu Port(清水港), which deals with most frozen tuna in Japan, Shizuoka city facing the deepest bay in the country boasts Mochimune port(用宗漁港)and Yui port(由井漁港)for baby sardine and cherry shrimp respectively. The easiest way to enjoy the seafood is to visit Kashi-no-ichi fish market(河岸の市)at Shimizu Port, which is just a few minutes walk from JR Shimizu station(清水駅).

Green tea leaves, strawberry, and “Shizuoka Oden”

Shizuoka prefecture is also long known as the number one producer of green tea leaves by controlling about 40% of the production in the country. Tourists can enjoy a number of tea experiences throughout the prefecture.

Strawberry picking is another popular activity from winter through spring and Ishigaki area, the bay side of Kunozan.

Shizuoka oden, a soul food of the city, can be enjoyed in the “Oden street” near JR Shizuoka station.

Center of plastic model

Shizuoka is also the #1 producer of plastic model in Japan – there is Shizuoka Hobby Square in a nearby building, where you can enjoy hundreds of display items (even if you have only one hour free time at the JR station). The city hosts the annual Shizuoka Hobby Show as well.

Shizuoka Hobby Square(静岡ホビースクエア)

Access to Shizuoka

The fastest and easiest way, if you are already in Tokyo/Kyoto/Osaka, is to simply use Tokaido shinkansen(東海道新幹線).

Shizutetsu(静鉄)express bus connects the city directly with Narita airport(成田空港)and semi-directly with Haneda airport(羽田空港)with a connection at Yokohama station(横浜駅, YCAT). The bus company also provide a route to directly connects Tokyo with Miho-no-matsubara(美保の松原).

Mt. Fuji Shizuoka airport(富士山静岡空港)is about 50 min by Shizutetu bus from Shizuoka station and is connected with Sapporo(札幌), Izumo(出雲), Fukuoka(福岡), Kitakyusyu(北九州), Kagoshima(鹿児島), and Naha(那覇)as well as internationally with Seoul, Taipei, Shanghai and other cities in China(杭州, 西安, 寧波, 南昌, 連雲港, 煙台)

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