Are you keen on staying at the foot of Mount Fuji, in the land of green tea? Here’s where to stay in Shizuoka!
Shizuoka, the capital of the province of the same name, is a city of 716,018 inhabitants located on the Japanese island of Honshu, halfway between Nagoya and Tokyo, and surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Literally meaning “quiet hill,” Shizuoka is an important regional economic, educational, political, and cultural center in Japan. The city is, however, located in an area where the risk of earthquakes and tsunamis is very high. Populated since prehistoric times, Shizuoka was the homeland of Ieyasu Tokugawa (1543-1615), the founder of the Edo Shogunate (1604-1868). Set in the middle of lush natural scenery, the city offers beautiful and relaxing getaway opportunities to all visitors. Shizuoka is world-renowned for its 330 feet-high waterfalls, fruit trees, and green tea, with tea fields extending as far as the eye can see over the mountains and surrounding hills. As everywhere in Japan, accommodation rates in Shizuoka are rather high.
Nestled between the mountains to the north of the city and the dense urbanization near the coast where most of the inhabitants live, Shizuoka houses some of Japan’s most important historical remains: the remains of Senpu Castle, the Toro Archaeological Park, the Kunozan Toshogu Sanctuary and the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple. Here is our selection of the best areas to stay in Shizuoka.
Shizuoka Station District
The district around the Shinkansen (high-speed train) station is also a great place to stay in Shizuoka. It is home to many classic Western-style hotels. The neighborhood’s streets are dotted with a myriad of cafes, bars, and restaurants. Stroll around the quarter and delight your taste buds with Japanese culinary delights, and discover the area’s many shops of all kinds. Sengen Dori Street, northwest of the station, is a shopping hotspot. Overlooked by a torii (traditional Japanese gate), Sengen Dori Street ends in Shizuhatayama Park. Set on a hill, it features an array of cherry trees, as well as Shinto and Buddhist temples.
To the south of the district, you will find the unmissable Sunpu Castle and its park surrounded by the old moats. In this district of Suruga-Ku, don’t forget to visit the Toro Archaeological Park and Kunō-zan Tōshō-gū, a Shinto sanctuary – I. Tokugawa’s grave -, the oldest tōshō-gū shrine in the country. Stay in the western part of Shizuoka to discover the modern and developed part of Japan. Immerse yourself in the frantic local lifestyle surrounded by modern architecture: Japanese daily life at it’s best. An excellent place to stay in Shizuoka.
The Shimizu station district
To the east towards Shimizu station, extends Shizuoka’s “second” downtown area: Shimizu. It is an old traditional fishing village that has been transformed into an industrial and commercial city. The district around Shimizu station offers a splendid view of Mount Fuji. The area is mainly known for its fresh seafood. If you feel like escaping the hustle and bustle of the industrial port, head towards Miho no Matsubara beach along Suruga Bay, a definite must-see. This area is in many ways Shizuoka’s second city center: with a population of 233,184 inhabitants, Shimizu used to be a city on its own before it was merged in 2003 with Shizuoka. Offering a different atmosphere, Shimizu is an interesting area to stay in Shizuoka.
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