There are four J-League teams based in Shizuoka prefecture and they were all playing at home on the last weekend in April. J3 side Fujieda MYFC were the only team to play on the Saturday so that was a given. The other three sides all had Sunday fixtures so I had to decide between seeing J3 team Azul Claro Numazu, Jubilo Iwata (where former Celtic hero Shunsuke Nakamura now plays) or Shimizu S-Pulse. Ultimately I chose the latter as I wanted to go to a top flight game and Shimizu was slightly the closer to our base in Ito.
Look closely and Mount Fuji can just about be made out through the circular architectural piece (below) situated just outside Shimizu station from where I took the bus six kilometres to the IAI Stadium Nihondaira.
It was a sweltering day and the kid below came up to me and spoke in English about Leicester City as I was again wearing my Continue reading
Due to my football commitments over the weekend in Fujieda and Shimizu, it was a few days before my Golden Week holiday started properly in terms of spending some quality time with my wife, her parents and of course Momiji the dog! First up was a drive down to the southern most point of the Izu Peninsula with some stops along the way.
Shirahama Beach provided a brief stop and it was quite stunning with its Continue reading
Route 135 is the main road that runs down the east coast of the Izu Peninsula and there are all manner of interesting places and sights dotted along it. With its large and imposing statue out the front, this museum caught my eye as we were driving down to Shimoda and Minami-Izu. On the way back, my parents-in-law stopped off (by chance) for a macha flavoured ice cream right next door to it so I took the opportunity to explore the shabby looking building whilst the rest of the family returned home.
It really is difficult to detail the contents of such a museum as it’s just so packed with random stuff akin to a recycle shop or collectors bedroom! There is very little in the way of Continue reading
After just a few hours in Shizuoka prefecture I was on a train heading back over the border to Kanagawa prefecture to visit Yugawara which is actually just the one stop from Atami. The reason being that I wanted to visit Fukusen-ji Temple (191 Izumi, Atami-shi) which was about twenty minutes away on foot.
Located just across a river, there were some steps leading up to this temple which included a quaint thatched roof on the main building and some wisteria flowers. I was only there for one thing though and that was to see the Continue reading
It was a gloriously sunny day when my Golden Week holiday started in Atami en-route to stay with my parents-in-law in Ito which is about 25 kilometres further down the east coast of the Izu Hanto Peninsula. My wife would be joining me later that night but I was free till the evening and armed with our suitcase which I dumped in a locker outside Atami station and then proceeded to walk for about 45 minutes up to the castle.
The views across the harbour are supposed to be reminiscent of Mediterranean Europe (above) and they were indeed very impressive on a fine day. Atami-jo Castle is located on top of a hill and I actually Continue reading
As mentioned in my last J-League post, I said that I hoped to go to a couple of Shizuoka-based games whilst in the vicinity during the recent Japanese Golden Week holiday. Having arrived at my parents-in-law’s holiday home in Ito only the night before, I left them all behind on Saturday 29th April to go on a fairly lengthy journey to Fujieda to see a J3 match between Fujieda MYFC and Kataller Toyama. Shizuoka prefecture is quite a large one so this was still a two hour plus trip and that was just between the relevant stations.
It was a fine day and Mount Fuji was clearly visible from the train window en-route to Fujieda station which I arrived at just after 11am. I then had to Continue reading
When it comes to planning what to do with my free time, I’m fairly organised but there are occasions when spontaneity does come into the equation and one such moment came on the back of our (pre-planned) trip to the school dinner restaurant in Shin Okachimachi. My wife and I were walking through Okachimachi leading to Ueno station and en-route we saw Owl Nest Cafe which my animal-loving other half couldn’t resist and so we Continue reading