Shizuoka Prefecture is located just to the east of Aichi, and offers a wide range of destinations. You can Climb Mount Fuji, or visit fascinating locations such as Hamamatsu, Kunozan Toshogu, Numazu City or Shimoda on the Izu Peninsula.

Hamamatsu is the closest large city to Aichi, and apart from being the home of Honda, has everything from the amazing Museum of Musical Instruments, incredible Zen temples such as Ryotan-ji, and one of the tallest underground waterfalls in Japan (it is in a cave). Hamamatsu Castle, and the extensive beach and sand dunes (an important nesting area for loggerhead turtles) of Nakatajima are just a short bus ride from the station. Throw in some excellent unagi and sake and Hamamatsu can really make your day.

More than 10% of Shizuoka is National Park. Recently, the amazing beach and pine trees of Miho-no-Matsubara were added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. The views of Mount Fuji across the bay are stunning – but prepare to be disappointed. That mountain has it’s own weather, and is often shrouded by cloud. Winter is usually the best chance to get a nice glimpse.

At the southern tip of the Izu Peninsula, the weather is almost sub-tropical, and the beaches such as Yumigahama are stunning. A popular playground for locals and visitors (especially from Tokyo and Kanagawa) during the summer, Shimoda is also historically significant as it was a key seaport during the Edo period, and also the site of the first American consulate in Japan.

Mount Fuji of course, steals the scene whenever it chooses. Visible on clear days from parts of Tokyo and Aichi, the mountain is huge, and looks even more so since it literally rises up from the coast. You don’t need to climb Mount Fuji to appreciate it, but many do. Sometimes too many.

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