Eating, drinking and sleeping basically covers the rest of our time in Izu but for those who have got past that first sentence let me tell you about all the other stuff starting with Ito City Hall.
Now that may sound like something really dull but this trip was just to see the modern architecture of its building rather than doing some boring administrative work.
My wife recently passed her driving test so she was practising a fair bit which meant going on lots of drives but they were usually without too much aim so there’s not too much to report on there. Route 135 is the main road which runs down the east coast of Izu from Atami to the southern tip and so was used many times which was like a drive down memory lane as we passed by many of the places visited on previous trips. She wanted to go to Kainz furniture store one day so I used it as a chance to visit a few places.
Cafe Be (below) is one of those places that’s caught my eye every time we’ve driven by it due to its facade with three old cars (or parts of cars!) used as a decoration. I had no interest in the actual cafe but was just intrigued by the cars.
A further ten minutes walk up the road was the Ayashi Shonen Shojo (Mysterious Boys & Girls) Museum. No-one needs to visit such a place twice so this time I just took a few pictures outside and only then did I realise the museum (below) was in the foreground of Mount Omuro.
Back in the other direction I came across a store called Orange Box (below) which was something of an otaku store specialising in figures, cards, books, DVD’s, toys and so on. Of most interest to me were two full shelves of figures from ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace‘ (1999) which I’m sure remains the most over indulgent film in terms of all the merchandise that came out ahead of its release…..and that’s saying something given the amount of stuff churned out in recent years for episodes VII and VIII!! That just happened to be across the road from the Dog Cafe & Run place which we visited back in May last year.
It’s fair to say that a lot of time was just spent playing with Momiji and taking her for walks. Not only are there a few pictures below but a short video too on the fledgling Tokyo Fox YouTube channel.
My brother-in-law’s family arrived on New Years Eve just after I had headed back to Tokyo to see the Oji Fox Pageant. I got to catch up with them on New Years Day and the day after though and messed around with my nephew for a bit.
New Years Day usually signals the start of things but the Emperors Cup Final (below) basically brings the curtain down on domestic Japanese season and watching it usually fills a couple of hours on a day where not much really happens. However, this year the exertions of the previous nights Oji Fox Parade caught up on me and I ended up sleeping for most of the match! Funnily enough though I did see all the goals but was just asleep between the first two which were scored on 8 and 65 minutes by Yokohama F. Marinos and Cerezo Osaka respectively!
Traditional seasonal food osechi (above) is one of those things which is really nice on New Years Day but by the next day I was pretty sick of seeing it appear each meal time!
Kawana Beach (below) was admittedly not one place I thought I’d find myself returning to after my inaugural visit back in October. However, that was one of the places we went to by car whilst my wife continued to hone her driving skills. It was a nice sunny day then as indeed it was for almost all of the holiday and the water appeared to be so clear too.
For my wife and father-in-law the all-important first shrine visit of the year (Hatsumode) came on January 3rd at Kasama Shrine in Ito Park (just behind Ito Station) followed by nearby Myoeiji Temple.
After that we went to Muruyama Park (below) which contains a huge long distance hiking course which loops back to Ito station. I’d like to do that one day as this time we only had time to cover a small fraction of the place which Momiji absolutely loved.
Komuroyama (below) is the most immediate sight in relation to my parents-in-law’s house and I must’ve visited there around half a dozen times in a fortnight! Click here to read ‘Dinosaurs + Amazing Drinking Water Fountain (Video) On Mt Komuro’
If Komuroyama is the nearest sight then Lake Ippekiko (below) is probably the next closest one and I spent an enjoyable afternoon walking there, around the lake itself and exploring the abandoned ruins (haikyo) of the Lakeside Hotel Ippekiko. Click here to read ‘Lake Ippeki-ko & The Abandoned Ruins Of It’s Lakeside Hotel’
Click here to read ‘A Week In Ito On The Izu Peninsula’