Photos by James-Paul Jacob
Photos by James-Paul Jacob

Soothing Shizuoka: Sandy beaches, deep blue waters await

by James-Paul Jacob
Stripes Japan

Editor’s Note: At Stripes Japan, we love to share your stories and share this space with our community members. If you have a story or photos to share, send them to japan@stripes.com.

The weather is getting warmer and the water is becoming more and more enticing. But, you don’t have to travel all the way to Okinawa for white sandy beaches and exceptionally blue waters. Just a short drive from Tokyo, the beaches out of travel magazines await.

Shizuoka was our destination when we had visitors from the States in search of great beaches, scenic landscapes, and places to treasure as memories. Unknown to most travelers, this peninsula south-west of Tokyo is a much-needed change of scenery compared to the bustle of the big city.

For our stay, we booked Japanese traditional inn, or ryokan, Suzukado Hotel Shima Tenyu. Since an inclement thunderstorm rolled through on our first night, we relaxed at the hotel’s outdoor onsen and enjoyed a four-course Kaiseki meal offered there.

The following day, the weather was perfect, and was thus spent traversing the coast and exploring its nooks and crannies.

Our hotel was near Zo, Nakanoshima and Takashima, a group of small islands only accessible via a small land bridge. Each day for one hour, the Tombolo land bridge appears, allowing visitors to get up close and admire the rock formations on these small islands. Be advised, you should probably wear some kind of water shoes and shorts to cross; the rocks are slippery and the waves, although small, can still get you wet. Surfers are a common sight here because the waves are pretty gnarly.

The rest of our day was spent visiting the Ryugu Sea Cave, which also appears depending on the tide. Here, you can see the ocean swell from a little opening that connects to the sea. Nearby, there is also a sandbar with great views of the water and tiny islands, where tourists can try sand-sledding.

As the sun set, we enjoyed the final light of day at Kisami Ohama Beach. A nice beach great for some quite time as it is away from the main tourist attractions.

Japan has so many hidden treasures, some of which are right around the corner. Our time in Shizuoka was well spent and our friends really enjoyed the off-the-beaten-path adventures we had there. A great place to cool down with beautiful beaches and areas only accessible at certain times of the day, make Shizuoka your next vacation spot!

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