One Day Trip to SHIZUOKA Perfecture

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1st Destination : Shizuoka City Tokaido Hiroshige Museum of Art

A long time ago, people used to travel the 500km or so from Tokyo to Kyoto on foot. The Tokaido route, joining Edo (now Tokyo), home of the Shogun, to Kyoto, home of the Emperor, was one of Japan’s greatest arteries. The 53 inn towns built along that Tokaido route were called the “Tokaido gojusantsugi” (53 stations on the Tokaido). Since ancient times, there have been many scenic spots and famous sites along the route, which are often taken up as the topics for ukiyoe-style woodblock prints, waka songs, and haiku poems. The best-known of them are the ukiyoe woodblock pictures by Utagawa Hiroshige. Shizuoka City Tokaido Hiroshige Museum of Art stands on the former site of the main building of Yui inn, the 16th post station along the Tokaido route.

Hiroshige is an ukiyoe artist of the Edo era. His work is said to have influenced famous foreign painters like Van Gogh and Monet. Bold composition and richly lyrical touches are characteristics of Hiroshige’s pictures.

Admission & Woodblock
Experience Fee

Adults: 510 yen
University & high school students: 300 yen
Jr. high & elementary school students: 120 yen
Woodblock Experience: 300 yen (3 sheets)
*Closed Mondays (Tuesday if Monday is a holiday)

The art museum bearing the name of “Utagawa Hiroshige” contains about 1,400 of his works, mainly scenic prints, including the Fiftythree Stations of the Tokaido. The homage work “Tokaido Road – Yui, Mariko” by the English artist Emily Allchurch should also not be missed.

Visitors can try multi-colored woodblock printing at the woodblock experience corner (fee required). Any given woodblock can produce a diverse range of prints, depending on how the paint is applied and the balen rubbing pad is used. You can make your own unique work of art here.

2nd Destination : Nihondaira

The peak of Nihondaira is a glorious viewpoint from which to enjoy a majestic view. Suruga Bay, the Izu Peninsula, and the grace of Mt. Fuji are spread out before you. A five-minute ride on the ropeway takes you to Kunozan, Shizuoka’s holy ground. It is the site of Kunozan Toshogu, a shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), who won through the Sengoku Jidai (Warring States period), unified the country, and led the way to peace. The shrine pavilion of Toshogu, built with all the arts and techniques of the time, are a designated national treasure, and a place where one can feel Japan’s history.

Kunozan Toshogu and Museum
Alight from the ropeway and climb about 100 steps to where the pavilion of Kunozan Toshogu, a designated national treasure, perches on the summit of Kunozan, 216m above sea level. The richly-colored pavilion, lacquered throughout, incorporates special techniques in its carving, patterns, braids, and other elements. It is the representative building of the early Edo era. The historic museum, which is highly regarded both in Japan and overseas, houses over 2,000 items in 500 exhibits, including the armor, helmets, swords, and calligraphic works of the Tokugawa shoguns. Among them, 185 exhibits in 75 categories are national treasures or important cultural properties.

Lunch information: Restaurants inside Nihondaira Park Center
Next to the ropeway station, you can find shops selling a range of local produce from Shizuoka prefecture, and affordable restaurants. Dishes using sakura ebi (sakura shrimp) are a staple of Shizuoka. Meals including set meals, rice bowl dishes, soba and udon noodles, and chirashizushi (sushi rice with sprinkled toppings) are available for around 1,000 yen each.

Discount ticket information

Ropeway round-trip ticket + Toshogu viewing + Toshogu museum admission set ticket
Adults: 1,650 yen
Junior High School Students: 1,200 yen
Elementary School Students: 750 yen
*The ropeway is closed for periodic inspection between December 16th and 22nd. At that time, you can drive to Kunozan Omotesando on the seaward side of Kunozan, and climb the stone staircase of 1,159 steps to the shrine. This stone staircase was the only way to reach Toshogu before the ropeway opened in 1957. Midway up the stairs, at the 909th step, there is a gate called “Ichinomon”. The magnificent view from there draws many to climb the stairs.

3rd Destination : Gyokuro-no-Sato

Taste Japan’s tea culture in a traditional building. You can experience making tea in the style of the tea ceremony, without worrying about the formalities, while enjoying Japanese cakes and the scenery of the season. A tea room with chairs is available for those who find it difficult to sit on the tatami mat floor.

Ryokucha (green tea) contains many substances which promote health, including catechin, theanine, caffeine, and vitamins. Do you think green tea is bitter? The highest grade of tea has a rich and sweet flavor! Gyokuro no Sato is the place to easily enjoy Gyokuro tea, said to be the highest grade even among green tea, a superb health drink.

Hyogetsutei, a tea room in the real sukiya style, stands amid the rich natural environment of a Japanese formal garden. The view of the garden and pool seen from the tea room, while enjoying specially produced gyokuro tea or matcha (powdered green tea), produces the finest space in Japan’s tradition and culture. Experience a luxurious way to pass the time. The shops offer a full range of tea utensils as well as tea leaves, so you can buy everything you need to enjoy delicious tea at home. Gyokuro no Sato also has a restaurant. Gyokuro-flavored ice cream is very popular at Gyokuro no Sato now. Ask for a sprinkling of Gyokuro tea leaves on top to get an unforgettable taste of Gyokuro no Sato.

Gyokuro Ice Cream 350 yen
Gyokuro or Maccha (with sweets) 510 yen
Double (Gyokuro and Maccha, 1 sweets) 820 yen
Tea Room “Hyogetsu-tei”
9:30AM-5PM (Reception until4:30PM)
Closed: 12/28-1/2
Restaurant “Chanohana-tei”
Shop 9:00AM-5:00PM
Closed: 12/28-1/2
*The Shidaizumi Brewery sake introduced below is also available here.

4th Destination : Shidaizumi Brewery

Shidaizumi Brewery treasures and continues the tradition of brewing sake by hand. The mother water that is the foundation of sake brewing is river bed water from the Seto River, a pure stream which flows in Fujieda City. It is soft water, idea for ginjo-style brewing, which ferments slowly at low temperature. The trace amounts of minerals in the water are used in the mother water, not filtered out. The Shidaizumi brewing style is to incorporate all the ingredients in their natural forms, making only subtle adjustments by hand. The result is sake with a clean scent and flavor, using the water from the hand, which explains the popularity of Shidaizumi.

While Shidaizumi preserves tradition, it is also trying innovative new ways of making sake. The leading examples are “Umemaru” umeshu (Japanese plum spirit), made with junmai genshu (undiluted pure rice sake) and a tart taste, and “Nyan-cup”, a cup sake with a cat design. Many cup sake products use refined sake or honjozo (pure brewed) sake, but Nyan-cup uses junmai ginjo (pure rice sake brewed in the ginjo style). The empty cup can serve as a charming drinking cup or pen holder. If you are in luck and Mr. Mochizuki, the master brewer, is around, he might show you around. Coming into direct contact with the master brewer’s sincere sake-making will greatly expand your appreciation of sake. * You need to make an appointment in advance.

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