Miho-no-matsubara and God's Road
One of Japan's three major pine groves (Miho-no-matsubara, Niji-no-matsubara [Saga prefecture], Kehi-no-matsubara [Fukui prefecture]) , it is also part of the Mt. Fuji World Heritage site entitled "Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration." Miho-no-matsubara's trees run for approximately 500 m along "God's Road," which connects Miho Shrine and the Hagoromo pine tree. Strolling along its boardwalk, one is enveloped in a sublime atmosphere. Miho Shrine is also famous for its spring cherry blossoms, and popular as a spiritual spot that creates harmony in marriage and new relationships.
Access: From JR Shimizu Station, take the Shizutetsu Justline's Miho Line for 25 minutes (other Justline buses can also be used). Then, get off at the "Miho-no-matsubara iriguchi" bus stop. From there, it's a 12-minute walk.
S-Pulse Dream Plaza (Maguro Pass Accepted)
S-Pulse Dream Plaza is located next to one of Japan's three most beautiful ports, the Port of Shimizu. It is the landmark complex of Shizuoka city's Shimizu district, and offers shopping, movies, dining, and events. Shimizu Sushi Court, filled with unique sushi shops and Shimizu Sushi Museum, great for learning about sushi, are popular among visitors.
Hours: 10:00-21:00 Open every day throughout the year. Some shops' hours may vary.
Access: Get off at JR Shimizu Station or Shizuoka Railway Shin Shimizu Station. Then, board a Shizutetsu Justline Miho Yamanote Line Bus heading towards "Tokai Daigaku Miho Suizokukan / Miho Shako Mae" and get off at "Hatoba Ferukeru Hakubutsukan." From there, it's one minute walk.
Nihondaira Summit and Nihondaira Ropeway (Maguro Pass Accepted)
Considered one of the top 100 tourist spots in Japan, this 307 meter-high hill is a prefectural natural park and a nationally designated site of scenic beauty. It offers a spectacular view, with Mt. Fuji (registered as a World Heritage site in 2013) directly ahead and Miho-no-matsubara (part of Mt. Fuji's Heritage Site) and Suruga Bay below. You can also take the ropeway up Mt. Kuno for a trip into history at Kunouzan Tosho-gu Shrine, a designated national treasure. Nihondaira Ropeway Fare: Adults - ¥1,100 (Round Trip), One Way - ¥600. Children are half price. Ropeway, Tosho-gu Shrine, and Tosho-gu Museum Combined Pass: Adults (High School Students and Older) - ¥1,750, Middle School Students - ¥1,300, Elementary School Students - ¥800 Access: Approx. 40-minute bus ride from JR Shizuoka Station (JR Shizuoka Station Bus Stop 11 to "Ken'ei chūshajō nihondaira hoteru iriguchi"). Approx. 15 min bus ride from JR Higashi Shizuoka Station.
Kunouzan Tosho-gu Shrine (National Treasure)
Tokugawa Ieyasu survived the Warring States period, unified Japan, and established the Tokugawa Shogunate, which ruled for 265 years. This very popular general spent his later years in Sunpu (present-day Shizuoka). Immediately before passing away at the age of 75 on April 17th, 1616, he asked his retainers to see that he be entombed on Mt. Kuno. Tokugawa Hidetada, the next shogun, did so immediately, and announced that a shrine in which Ieyasu is enshrined would be built on the mountain. This is how Tosho-gu Shrine began. The attached museum is a trip back through history into the age of the samurai. It stores and has on display the weapons, armor, and war camp tools of Tokugawa shoguns through the generations. Throughout the year approximately sixty festivals and events are held. The biggest are the "Goreisai" festival (held on April 17th, the anniversary of Ieyasu's death) and the spring and autumn festivals (February 17th and October 17th). At the Goreisai, a priest dressed up as the head of the Tokugawa family joins the procession.
Entrance Fee: Adults - ¥500, Children - ¥200 Access: Cannot be directly reached by car (there is no road to the shrine). Please take Shizuoka Railway's Nihondaira Ropeway or the walking route up Mt. Kuno. Please see the above website for details.
Shimizu Kashi Fish Market (Maguro Pass Accepted)
Local wholesalers gather at Shimizu's Kashi Fish Market to offer fresh and delicious fish. This lively market features astonishingly lost-cost and tasty items chosen by industry pros: in addition to fish, there are other marine products, vegetables, homemade tofu, and more. It also has restaurants where you can enjoy food made with recent catches.
Hours: Ichiba (Market) Building - 10:00-18:00, Maguro (Dining) Building - 10:00-22:00. Closed Wednesdays.
Access: 3 minutes walk from JR Shimizu Station's east exit.
Aoba Oden Alley and Aoba Yokocho
Shizuoka's Oden--veggies, hardboiled eggs, and more stewed in a soy sauce broth--is a soul food that locals enjoy with drinks at food stalls, as snacks at neighborhood shops , and of course for dinner as well.
All shops have counters that fit only about ten people. While they may be small, they are lively and fun places.
Hours: 16:30-1:00 (May vary depending on the shop)
Closed on Wednesdays (May vary depending on the shop)
Access: An approximately 15 minute walk from JR Shizuoka Station.
Kuno Ichigo Kaigan St.
Ishigaki Strawberries are grown using stonewalls on the southern side of Nihondaira. They span east to west for roughly eight kilometers along the Kuno Coast (Suruga Bay), from Suruga district's Nishi Matsubara to Shimizu district's Komagoe. They are a popular strawberry brand in Japan. The climate is mild, and during the January to May picking season so-called "Ichigo (Strawberry) Girls" appear along the road (see above map), inviting passersby to enjoy strawberry picking at the nearby tourist farms.
Access: (Ropeway) From the top of Nihondaira, take the ropeway down to Kunouzan. (Bus) 45 minutes via the Shizutetsu Justline that leaves from the Shizuoka Station's bus terminal (bus stop no. 4, north exit).
For more information on other Shizuoka attractions: