Sandwiched in between our Okayama/Hiroshima and Thailand travel was a family trip to Atami in Shizuoka prefecture back in late August. The rest of the family all congregated on the Friday and I joined up with them straight after work on Saturday evening having taken the regular train rather than the Shinkansen (bullet train). There were seven of us in total plus Momiji the dog of course!
My parents-in-law had rented out a wooden cabin for the weekend which had a view of Matsushima Island from the balcony. Sadly, the weather was never too good to really enjoy either the balcony or the view so the majority of our time in Atami was spent inside!
The last time I was in Atami was six years ago and back then my friend Michael and I only really went to Atami-jo castle and the sex museum. The latter certainly wasn’t an apt place to visit on this trip that’s for sure! Instead, we stopped at a place called Jukkoku Pass on the Sunday afternoon which was basically a car park with some fine views available from across the road. There was your typical Japanese omiyage (souvenirs) shop packed full with original foods and drinks only available in this area.
On the second floor was a ropeway but as it was such poor weather there really wasn’t much point in going further up into the mountains. Instead we had a dango stick (below) which is basically a a Japanese dumpling and sweet made from rice flour. A nice enough snack but probably not worth the effort in terms of distance covered!
It’s not easy to taking an 18 month old boy out for the day and sadly he had felt a bit car-sick on the journey to this place so we headed back to our lodgings afterwards but not before a quick stop at a family restaurant for some refreshments. Someone needed to stay with the dog though so I volunteered for that and spent half an hour or so walking her around the little park next to the sea seen below.
Just because I have some Star Wars figures and toys at home my wife seems to think that I might always one or two of them in my bag! Sadly not but I did have a set of kids flashcards from my Saturday kindergarten class so I whipped them out and was quite surprised how well they went down with my nephew. They kept both him and my father-in-law entertained for much longer than expected!
On the Monday morning, we checked out and drove back to near the station where we returned the rental car and went our separate ways with my wife and I taking the regular JR train back to Tokyo where I went straight to work. It wasn’t exactly the most action-packed weekend but that was never really the aim for it was a weekend family get-together akin to New Years Day in Japan (or Christmas Day back in the UK if you prefer!) where not much really happens!
Click here to read ‘Top 10 Day Trips Beyond Kanagawa, Saitama & Chiba’
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