Numazu

Numazu is a small city of about 200,000 people on the coast of Shizuoka. On clear days you have good views of Mount Fuji from the beaches, and the hills surrounding Numazu offer good hiking opportunities with terrific views over the town and the bay.

Most people who visit Numazu do so because of it’s convenience to the Izu Peninsula, but there are 2 destinations here which are particularly worth visiting.

Cape Osezaki:

This is a lovely sandy peninsula that despite storms, tsunami and tourism still stretches about 1 kilometer into Suruga Bay. It is fairly close to town and easy to get to. There is a good walking path (the hike isn’t strenous) to the end of the peninsula where there is a shrine (Ose Jinja) dedicated to the gods of the sea. The shrine is popular with families involved in the fishing industry, a major local employer. There is an excellent swimming beach, very clean on the bay side of the cape. It has good views of Mount Fuji and excellent scuba diving conditions. The conditions on the other side aren’t so good. One feature of the walk are the trees called “Byakushin”. Warped by extended exposure to high winds, it is these trees (and the pines) that keep the peninsula intact. They are designated by the government as a national natural treasure.

Numazu Imperial Villa Memorial Park:

This is the only place where you can get to see the insides of an Imperial Villa. Formerly known as “Karuizawa by the sea”, this villa was originally built in 1893 by the Meiji Emperor for Prince Yoshihito (Haru-no-miya), later the Taisho Emperor. It was used until 1969 when it was conferred on Numazu City and became a public park. The main focus of the public is the long beach with its strand of old pine trees, where visitors can enjoy the blossoms of the old apricot and peach trees.

Due to its location Numazu is a good spot for taking ferries to the Izu Peninsula, as it is a major station on the Tokaido Main Line. The Harbor area is interesting. One feature worth visiting is the huge gate protecting the harbor and local residents from the destruction caused by storm surges. It is pretty impressive engineering, and since you can take an elevator to the top of the gate where there is a large observation platform, a good view of the town and of Mount Fuji. If you walk inland from this gate for 5 minutes you reach the extensive fish markets. There are excellent restaurants specializing in the fresh seafood. If you want to splash out a little, visit “The Fishmarket Taproom“, a restaurant attached to the highly acclaimed boutique beer brewery owned by American expat Bryan Baird.

The ferry wharves are diagonally opposite the brewery. There are high speed boats to Heda, Toi, Dogashima & Matsuzaki. Sightseeing boats are also available from about 700 yen.

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