Izukogen Travel Guide | Shizuoka
Izukogen is a popular resort area for Tokyoites because its location on the eastern coast of the Izu Peninsula it is not far from Tokyo. There are many beaches, hot springs, and sightseeing spots around the peninsula. Let us introduce you to the best spots in Izukogen, Japan!
Jogasaki has an intricate coastline that was created by lava. The lava flowed from Mount Omuro during a big eruption about 4,000 years ago. This lava coastline spreads about 9 km, and there is a fun hiking trail along the coast. It is a comfortable walking course with some nice view spots on the way.
The most popular part of the coast is the area around the Kadowakizaki Lighthouse. You can walk on the black lava and look down at the ocean’s crashing waves. There is a suspension bridge over the ocean from one lava cape to another. It is very thrilling, walking above the ocean. Many movies and TV dramas have been filmed here because of the picturesque surroundings.
Mount Omuro is an active volcano with a height of 580 meters and a beautiful cone-shape. It was created by an eruption about 4,000 years ago. They think that the eruption lasted as long as 10 years. The lava from the mountain created the unique coastline of Jogasaki. There is a crater on the summit with a diameter of 250 meters and a depth of 40 meters. They burn the grass on the slope every year on the second Sunday of February. This tradition started about 700 years ago in order to grow good pampas grass.
You can reach the top by chair lift, it takes 6 minutes to get there. Then you can walk around the crater while enjoying a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean and Izu-Oshima Island in the distance. On a clear day, you may even see a few more of the Izu Seven Islands. You can see Mt. Fuji on the other side.
The area around the mountain is called Sakura-no-Sato. Cherry blossoms‘ main season is from late March to early April, but there are 40 species of cherry trees here, so you can enjoy the flowers from September to June.
Izu Shaboten Zoo
Izu Shaboten Zoo is a theme park of cactus and animals that opened in 1959. Its location is close to Mount Omuro. There are five greenhouses full of cactus. They are the South American Pavilion, African Pavilion, Madagascar Pavilion, Mexican Pavilion, and Forest Cactus Pavilion respectively. Many types of unique cactus are exhibited year-round by keeping the best environment for the cactus.
Other than cactus, they showcase several animals, such as chimpanzees, lamas, ling-tailed lemurs, squirrel monkeys, etc. Among them, the most popular animal is the capibara. They have become very famous because they enjoy taking baths in a hot spring in the winter. You can get pretty close to the animals, so kids like this park too.
There are restaurants and souvenir shops in the park, and they do an impressive illumination year-round in the nearby Izu Granpal Amusement Park.
Lake Ippeki is a beautiful lake near Izu Koge, a small crater lake with a size of 0.23 km2. It is shallow, the average depth is only 2.2 meters and the maximum depth is 7 meters. It was created by a hydrovolcanic explosion that happened about 103,000 years ago.
The lake is nicknamed the ‘Eye of Izu’. You can walk around the lake which is about 3.7 km. In the lake live bluegills which were released by the Emeritus Emperor more than 70 years ago when he was still a Crown Prince.
Cherry Blossom Street in Izukogen
There are many cherry blossom viewing spots in Izu Kogen, including Mount Omuro. Among them, the most famous place is called Sakuranamiki which is a three-kilometer sloping road. There are about 600 cherry trees on both sides of the road and when the season arrives in late March or early April, it becomes like a long cherry tunnel.
There are some coffee shops and souvenir shops along the road.
Izu area has a moderate climate and people can enjoy nature and a nice view of the ocean. So, the area attracts a lot of tourists. It is also a popular area to buy a second house for those who can afford it, and to move after you retire. Izukogen is one of the most popular areas for multiple-home owners and retirees because of its proximity to Tokyo and the convenience of transportation and many shops, supermarkets, and restaurants in the area.
Relaxing in Izukogen
Another reason why many people choose Izukogen as a destination for travel or living is because of the hot springs. There are many hot spring hotels and day-use facilities. Also, if you live there you can build taps that give hot spring water in your house and bathe in it every day. Japanese people really love hot springs.
You can also enjoy fresh seafood in the area. There is a fish market close to Izukogen station, and there are many seafood restaurants. Amanokoya offers very good food and a cozy atmosphere. They built a restaurant over the ocean, so you will feel as if you are in the middle of the ocean. One of their specialties is a seafood miso soup served in a huge cup.
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Access: From Tokyo Station: Take the JR Odoriko-go Express. This train goes directly to Izukogen Station and it takes about 2 hours 15 minutes.
Izukogen Area Map