Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Izu Peninsula

Izu Peninsula Japan
The Izu Peninsula (Izu Hanto) lies in the east-central part ofJapan out into the pacific ocean. Owing to its rolling verdant hills,numerous hotsprings, beautiful coastlines, beaches,and mild climate it is a world known peninsula resort . Izu is Japan's largest 'onsen' spa resort and accommodates millions of visitors annually, offering a wide-range of accommodations and amusement facilities to fit all budgets and life-styles. Over 6,000 'ryokans' (Japanese style inn), modern hotels and other styles of lodgings are found in Izu. Visitors can spend their leisure time in numerous ways, including water sports, hiking, museums and historic sites.

 Click here for IZU photos : IZU peninsula : The Surfers Paradise

 The Jogasaki Coast

The Jogasaki Coast Izu Japan

The Jogasaki Coast Trail Izu Japan
The Jogasaki Coast is a beautiful section of coastline along the Izu Peninsula's eastern coast.The Saw-toothed coastline extending for 9km from Futo to Yawatano, the south of Ito city. It is believed that about 4000 years ago the eruption of Omuroyama Volcano led to the lava to flow down into the Sagami Bay and further into the ocean where it got eroded by the wave, and formed the cliff having the height of 10m. There are about 80 capes and 20 reefs in the coast, with Japan's largest gregarious spot of wild peaches The deep forests on the hilltop are arranged with hiking paths where you can come across hares and swallows. An almost ten kilometer long hiking trail gives a beautiful view of the jagged cliffs and stone formations follows the coast.

The suspension bridge across the sea at Kadowakizaki Point is a truly thrilling sight with a length of 48 m and a height of 23 m. The section attracts the most tourists and is easily accessible from the parking area.

It is also possible to view the Jogasaki Coast from sightseeing boats. Cruises last about 30 minutes and depart every 40 minutes. The fare is 1300 yen per person.

The Jogasaki Coast can be reached in a 10 minute bus ride from Izu Kogen Station or in about a 20-30 minute walk from Jogasaki Kaigan Station. Izu Kogen and Jogasaki Kaigan Stations are located along the Izu Kyuko Line and can be easily reached from Ito and Atami.

Shuzenji Onsen

Shuzenji Onsen Izu Japan
Shuzenji onsen is located in the northern part of Izu .Shuzenji Onsen,a dense warren of inns and ryokans on both sides of Katsura River is one of the oldest and most famous onsens in the Izu peninsula, This pleasant hot spring resort of Shuzenji is named after the Shuzenji Temple which was founded about 1200 years ago by Kobo Daishi (Kukai), one of Japan's most important religious personalities.

Chikurinno-Komichi (Bamboo Grove Pathway), which is a beautiful pathway along Katsura Riveris a famous attraction here. Sky-high bamboos swinging with the wind create an elegant atmosphere. Tokko-no-Yu is another famous attraction here. The legend has it that famous monk Kobo Daishi broke a rock with the Buddhist altar article called Dokko, resulting the gush of hot spring about 1,200 years ago. Admission is free but note that bathing is prohibited.Hako-Yu is a famous spa where Minamoto no Yoriie, the second shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate, took a bath in the early 13th century. One can enjoy the nostalgia atmosphere bathing in a cypress bathtub.

Shuzenji is connected by the Izu Hakone Railway Line with JR Mishima Station on the JR Tokaido Shinkansen and JR Tokaido Main Line.
The hot spring area can be reached in a 7 minute bus ride from Shuzenji Station.

The Izu Cactus Park

The Izu Cactus Park Izu Japan

The Izu Cactus Park is located besides the strikingly shaped, grass covered Mount Omuro, an extinct volcano in Ito City on the Izu Peninsula.

This is a natural park featuring five pyramid-style greenhouses with 1,500 types of cacti and succulent plants from around the world. In addition to the cultivation of tropical plants, there are many big statues from Mexico displayed on the 20 hectare site. An exciting experience is to watch the Pelicans, squirrel monkeys, peacocks and kangaroos all living freely in the park . A chimpanzee show is held several times per day.
The Izu Cactus Park can be reached in a 15 minute bus ride from Izu Kogen Station. Izu Kogen Station is located along the Izu Kyuko Line.


Dogashima Izu Japan
Dogashima Izu Japan
The coastline of Dogashima in Western Izu is an approximately 2-kilometer-long extending from Sebama to Cape Ajo and is famous for its is a popular scenic spot featuring many uniquely shaped rocks and small islands , amazing stone formations and caves and cliffs, due to the past volcanic eruptions and the erosion by the sea, enhanced with greenery and absolutely gorgeous clear water .

.A "Tonboro Phenomenon," induced by the ebb and flow of the tide, allows the visitors to walk from Sehama-kaigan Coast to Sanshirou-jima Island at low tide. Boat service is also available from the Dogashima-onsen, a popular marine leisure spot for swimming and fishing. Visitors can enjoy a Dogashima Island Caves Tour that will take you around several islands, such as Sanshirou-jima and Zou-jima, as well as to the Tenso-do Cave that was created by sea erosion.

On the northern side of the Dogashima-kaigan Coast is the Golden Cape, named for its golden color at sunset. Created by volcanic lava that slid down into the sea, it is a cape, known for its rugged scenery, displaying powerful white capped waves that pound against the towering cliffs. Many tourists visit this spot.

The best way to see the coast is from constantly departing sightseeing boats, which briefly enter one of the large caves along the way. The cruise takes about 20 minutes and costs 920 .

Dogashima can be reached by Tokai bus from Shimoda (1 hour, 1360 yen, one to two buses/hour) and Shuzenji (90 minutes, 1970 yen, one to two buses/hour).

Shirahama Beach

Shirahama Beach Izu Japan

Shirahama Beach is well known for white sand, shallow beaches, and crystal clear water.. During the summer the beach is lined with palm trees. This gives the beach the atmosphere of a tropical resort. It is one of Izu's most famous and popular sand beaches and is also known for relatively good surfing conditions. The official swimming season begins in mid July and lasts through August, but air and water conditions remain pleasant through September. The beach is located just outside of Shimoda, next to Shirahama Jinja, a pretty Shinto shrine. Senjojiki is a beautiful rocky point near Shirahama beach. The view at this spot is best late in the afternoon. Engetsu Island. is a small island in Shirahama bay. It is a 20 minutes walk from the beach. There is a rock formation with a hole in the middle that allows to see the Sun set through it. It is an enjoyable view and stroll in any time of day. Sandanbeki is a beautiful view from cliffs on the ocean edge that are 50 meters high. There is also a guided tour into to the caverns inside the cliffs. It is said that pirates (kumano suigun)used to inhabit the caverns and the remains of their dwellings can be seen.

Shirahama is about four kilometers outside of Shimoda's city along the main road in the direction of Ito. The beach can be reached by taking buses from the Shimoda Station.

Kawazu Seven Waterfalls

Kawazu Seven Waterfalls Izu Japan
The Kawazu Nanadaru are seven waterfalls in the mountains above Kawazu Town in southeastern Izu. The falls are located upstream on the Kawazu River and are called Kamadaru, Ebidaru, Hebidaru, Shokeidaru, Kanidaru, Deaidaru and Odaru Falls in order from upstream. The largest one is Odaru ("large waterfall"), with a drop of 30m and the smallest is 2 meter tall Kani daru ("crab waterfall"), The other waterfalls have abundant water volumes, and are lovely in the spring and autumn. There is a hiking path along the river to visit these waterfalls, which leads for about one kilometer through the forest.

Along the walking trail visitors come across beautiful statues that depict the heroine of the famous short story "Izu no Odoriko" (The Izu Dancer, 1926), one of several works by Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972). Kawabata won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1968.

Kawazu Seven Waterfalls Izu Japan
At the base of the trail visitors can spot the small hot spring resort Nanadaru Onsen and the imposing Kawazu Nanadaru Loop Bridge, a two storied spiral bridge along National Route 414 high above the valley floor.

The Kawazu Seven Waterfalls can be reached in a 25 minute bus ride from Kawazu Station

 MOA Museum of Art

MOA Museum of Art Izu Japan
MOA Museum of Art Izu Japan


The MOA Museum of Art (MOA Bijutsukan) is located in the slopes above Atami. It was established in 1982 by the Mokichi Okada Association (MOA) to house the art collection of their founder, Mokichi Okada. Mokichi was an avid art collector who lived from 1882 to 1955. After the World War II, Okada began energetically collecting works of Oriental art. To prevent these art works from being sold abroad, he established the Tômei Art Preservation Society (currently the MOA Art and Cultural Foundation) and opened the Hakone Museum of Art in Gôra, Hakone.

The museum has spacious exhibition rooms allowing easy viewing of the collection, which consists of around 3,500 works, including three National Treasures and 61 Important Cultural Properties, focused on East Asian art. Particularly famous is the National Treasure Kobai-hyakubai-byobu (Red Plum, White Plum Folding Screen) by the artist Ogata Korin, who was active from the end of the 17th century to the 18th century. The museum also has paintings by Rembrandt and Monet, and sculptures by Moore, as well as a reconstruction of a golden tea room said to have been used for the tea ceremony by military commander Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 16th century..

MOA Museum of Art can be reached in a 7 minute bus ride from Atami Station.

Hours  9:30 to 16:30
           Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time.

Closed: Thursdays (unless Thursday is a national holiday)
              December 25-31 and January 4-10
Admission: 1600 yen

Joren Falls

Joren Falls Izu Japan


Joren Falls is a  famous waterfall in Izu in the headwaters of the Kano River. Joren Falls is situated among deep forests, and drops from basalt cliffs 25m high and 7m wide. The cold mountain air and water spray feels chilly even in the summer. Downstream from the plunge pool is the regular Amagi international trout fishing site. There is wasabi plantation around the fall and their wasabi is known as one of the most tasty wasabi because of the cold and pure water from the fall. Visitors can try fresh wasabi here. At the parking area, there are many hotels and gift shops. They sell wasabi ice-cream which has a very interesting taste

Joren Falls isapproximately 30 minutes by bus  from Izuhakone Railway Shuzenji Station,
Hours 8:30 - 17:00

Mt Omuro

Mt Omuro Izu Japan

Mt Omuro is located near Ito and Izu Kogen. It is a a tidy cone-shaped dormant volcano covered in tall grass. A short 4 minute ride on the chair lift will take the visitors to the top of the mountain which is 580 meters above sea level. A lovely path can be walked around the crater, which is 300 meters in diameter. And the the panoramic views from here are breathtaking. On a clear day you can see the Izu Islands, Hakone, Mt. Fuji, the Amagi Mountains, and the resort town of Izu Kogen. The crater is hollowed out like a mortar , in which there is now an archery range. Visitors can try your luck at archery. A festival is held every 2nd Sunday of February for the burning of grasses on the mountain. There is also a park at the foot of the mountain called 'Sakura-no-sato'. It contains over 3000 cherry trees of 35 different varieties, which bloom off and on from September to April. 
Mt Omuro Izu Japan

Mt. Omuro can be reached by bus from Ito Station (35 minutes) or Izu Kogen Station (15 minutes).

Izu Map


Click here for IZU photos : IZU peninsula : The Surfers Paradise

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1 comment:

  1. Shirohama beach is famous for unique white sand, plan two days for covering the popular places