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A lifestyle blog by a London gal who loves plants, metal, bleaching my hair and Osaka

Friday 27 September 2019

Shizuoka City, Japan Travel Guide: What to do, where to eat, access etc!

Traffic cones coloured to look like Mount Fuji- the best thing about Shizuoka city tbh

I'm living in Shizuoka city at the moment, and as the Rugby world cup is bringing a lot of people to the area very soon, I thought it's the perfect time to share my guide to the area.
Shizuoka has got tonnes to offer tourists- from the obvious (mount Fuji, lush tea fields, amazing coastline and hot springs) to other more unexpected aspects- there are loads of trendy craft beer shops, vintage clothing boutiques and cafes. It's also nice to get a taste of the 'real Japan' as well as the big tourist hotspots. I've lived here for nearly 10 months, and here are my favourite places to hang out:

Before I get into the main post, a couple of tips:

  • just Get the JR pass!! It's suuch good value, and it means you can whizz to Tokyo in just 50 minutes on the Shinkansen. Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya are also within day-trip distance!
  • Shizuoka Prefecture's Mt Fuji Live Camera will be your best friend when planning your trips- no point going to Nihon Daira to see Mount Fuji if it's too cloudy
  • Shizuoka doesn't have that great public transport - some of the places below are only easily reached by bus or car. Definitely make sure you have pocket wifi/ a sim card with data, as otherwise it would be easy to get v lost...

How to get here:

Getting to Shizuoka city is super fast on the Shinkansen as I mentioned earlier, but you can also take a bus from Tokyo if you're cash-strapped like me. It takes about 2 and a half hours on the bus, and I've found JR Tokai's buses are usually pretty cheap, from 2300 yen each way

What to do:

Kunozan Toshogu in Shizuoka Japan

Kunozan Toshogu//

This shrine is a Japanese National Treasure and is different to a lot of other shrine and temple architecture- it's very lavish. The remains of Tokugawa Ieyasu are enshrined here. You can also get the ropeway over to Nihon Daira, which offers amazing views of Mount Fuji on a clear day
Mount Fuji as seen from the mountain behind Sengen Jinja, shizuoka city

Sengen Jinja//

Shizuoka city's biggest shrine, and it doesn't disappoint. Huge and peaceful (except on New Years or during a matsuri festival), Sengen Jinja is set at the base of a gorgeous hiking trail with amazing views of the city and Mount Fuji. It's also walkable from Shizuoka city

See Mount Fuji//

 hikes like Satta Touge have a great view of fuji, or for less effort, hit up Shizuoka Prefectural office viewing lobby for the perfect view of Mount Fuji and the city with seats, free wifi and free entry.

Miho no Matsubara// 

Part of the Mt Fuji world heritage site, this pine tree lined beach is stunning and well worth a visit- I'd recommend an afternoon- evening trip, because the pines at sunset are gorgeous.

Shimizu S Pulse Dream Plaza//

the perfect place to pick up souvenirs, visit Chibi Maruko-chan land and then grab some sushi from their sushi market.
Sunpu castle park shizuoka city japan

Sunpu castle park//

 a big park housing the remains of Sunpu castle. Grab a bento and chill and watch the world go by

Drink some green tea// 

Shizuoka is famous for its green tea (ryokucha, not matcha) , and it makes a great souvenir to bring home. I'd recommend checking out the chamachi area of town as its packed with cute little old tea shops! Or, for somewhere more central, try Maruzen Tea Roasters on Gofukucho dori.

Where to go in Shizuoka prefecture: 

Shizuoka prefecture is large and full of nature, so you're really spoilt for choice with where to go for a hike or a day trip!
Mount Fuji as seen from Fujinomiya, Shizuoka prefecture

Fujinomiya- the Sengen Shrine here is huge and you get amazing views
Izu- hot springs and an amazing coastline, a night in a ryokan in the the Izu peninsula would be the perfect relaxing getaway.
Kakegawa castle, Shizuoka prefecture

Kakegawa castle- it's a gorgeous teeny castle, and unlike many places in Japan, it was reconstructed using traditional Japanese methods and materials. Kakegawa is also famous for it's green tea!
Okushizu- a little less accessible unless you hire a car, inner Shizuoka has some gorgeous teeny hot springs I'm dying to visit.
Oikawa railway- a cute steam railway running through gorgeous countryside and over a lake- it looks absolutely dreamy and the perfect day trip.

What to eat:

Shizuoka oden//

 This looks scary and some of the textures are a bit... strange... for a western palette, but oden is definitely one to try! Try ordering one portion at an izakaya (I recommend chakkiriya bc it has and english menu and is pretty affordable) to share and see if you like it! If you do, then you can go hit up oden alley, and if you don't... you can always grab some yakisoba or chips.

green tea//

As I mentioned earlier, Shizuoka green tea is great, and you really can't miss it if you're visiting.

nama shirasu and sakuraebi//

being a port town, Shizuoka has lots of yummy seafood. Nama (raw) shirasu is a bit of a stretch but definitely one to try for foodies. Sakuraebi are teeny tiny prawns.

Shizuoka strawberries// 

super yummy! Japanese fruit is often expensive but these strawberries are not to be missed, I promise! Strawberry season is from December to May.

Where to eat/drink:

Bongin// @bonginbon

Japanese craft gin bar. The staff are suuper friendly! The other shops in this group are also worth checking out- I really like Shin Bettei too.

Hug Coffee// @hugcoffee

A Shizuoka institution, Hug coffee is where the wavey kids get their caffeine. It's really welcoming and they also do a great curry!

Chakkiriya ちゃっきりや//

a fun and friendly Izakaya- the perfect place to sample loads of Shizuoka local food, and, importantly, an English menu.

Ethicus coffee roasters//
They are serious about coffee and the shop is so stylish and the owners are lovely. I always recommend this place to my friends.

Golden Yokocho ゴールデン横丁// this place is perfect for 'vibes'- a small alley under the train tracks with loads of lanterns, neon signs and a great choice of food- Ramen, Kushiyaki fried skewers. Yakitori fried chicken, Seafood, Horimon...if you're looking for greasy soul food, you'll find it here!

Shizuoka Aoba Oden alley and Oden Street青葉おでん横丁 おでん街 //

Like I said earlier, Oden is definitely a love it or hate it, but shizuoka is famous for its' oden, and oden and beer is a pretty great way to spend an evening!

Hakuritabai Hanbey 薄利多売半兵// 

This one is a chain, with stores in Tokyo too, but I've put it on the list because it's such a cool concept- it's a showa themed izakaya, with loads of weird and cool food and drink like denki bran and suiton! It's also super reasonably priced, but beware, you'll end up eating loads because it's yummy! They also have an english menu!

Maruzen tea roastery// @maruzentearoastery

A stylish tea shop in town which does green tea roasted to different degrees- from lightly roasted gyokuro tea to smoky houjicha. Definitely sit in, because the interior is gorgeous, and definitely try the ice cream too!
green tea and sweets in Chamachi Kinazaburo Shizuoka city

Chamachi Kinzaburo// 

This is one of many tea shops in the chamachi area of Shizuoka, but they do a great variety of souvenirs, and they have an eat in area on their second floor, where you can sit on tatami or at a table.

Daybreak// @daybreak.shizuoka

This one is really near my work, and they do really nice coffee, food and a banging cocktail. Need I say more?

Let me know your favourite area of Shizuoka if you've ever been!! It's a small city for Japan, but it's pretty all right!
Thanks for reading! -Amy xoxo

Here are some more of my travel guides, make sure to check them out too if you're headed to Japan ;)
What to do with two weeks in Japan: My Itinerary and Japan travel tips //
Hiroshima travel guide // If you only have a day in Osaka... 

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