In summer, the Izu Peninsula is ideal to spend a refreshing week-end. Located a hundred kilometers away from Tokyo, I strongly suggest to rent a car to enjoy the fabulous seaside (using the national 135). Here is what is possible to do during one day.
Shirahama Beach (Shimoda)
This beach is definitely the highlight of the Izu Peninsula. White sand, turquoise water, little waves and a cute, very red tori. Well, welcome on one of the best beaches in Japan!
Shimoda is a historical place. Before 1854, the country was closed to the foreigners and if any of them were found on the territory, they were killed instantly. However, after the arrival of Matthew Perry and his Black-Ships at Shimoda, Japan was forced to open its doors.
Anyway! Where are the Japanese girls wearing nice bikinis? Actually I am really sorry about that, but I will disappoint you. Most of them are bathing wearing horrible shorts, t-shirts and Crocs shoes. Too bad!
But don’t worry. If you are that hungry there is a really nice restaurant nearby with a huge ikura-don : “伊豆高原ビール本店レストラン“.
The Seven Waterfalls of Kawazu
Not far from here, in the mountains, there is a location even more refreshing. It’s a walk of one kilometers that goes through seven waterfalls. It’s a bit of a famous place for Japanese people because the story of The Dancing Girl Of Izu is told along the path.
The Cactus Park
The Izu Shaboten Park was a real surprise for me. It is a botanical park but it also has many animals, especially birds, rodents, monkeys… and many of them are free to roam around! And it is a real pleasure to meet them randomly.
We can meet the famous capybaras. They are the biggest rodents in the word, they weight as much as human beings, run as fast as horses, bark like dogs but can also purr like sweet cats. Isn’t this incredible 😉
If you have some more time, you must visit the Mount Omuro. It is a beautiful extinct volcano covered by a fur of very green grass. It is located right next to the Shaboten Park.
Ishibu Ricefields (石部の棚田)
I have always dreamed of seeing terrace ricefield around Tokyo and finally I think I have found one of the best ones! Here are the Ishibu Ricefield. You will find them on the West coast of the Izu Peninsula. They are perfect to enjoy a romantic sunset.
If you manage to find a ryokan for the night on the East coast of the peninsula then wake-up early. The sunrise is also really lovely.
Izu is a nice place to relax. Don’t try to do too much and to plan too many things since it takes some time to get from one point to the other. Go there and enjoy your day the way you like it 🙂
PS: Seen any mistakes? I am sure you did ^^ Please notify me, thank you!