Getting to Izu in Shizuoka Prefecture is usually a straightforward affair. Board the JR Tokaido Line and ride for a couple of hours from Shinagawa to Atami before changing trains. If my wife is deciding then we usually take the more expensive Shinkansen (bullet train). She got her way the last time we went to her parents house in Ito though that was mainly down to having to take our dog.
This wasn’t his first time to ride on the trains and he is getting a bit more used to it all but the journey can be anything but relaxing at times!
Komuroyama Park is the one place which we visit on pretty much every single trip to Ito. We went up Mount Komuro on day one and spent more time than usual at the top as the rain clouds made way for clear blue skies and a beautiful rainbow.
The dinosaur space play area at the top features around a dozen large dinosaur structures.
Sometimes it’s the simple things which are nice and just eating out at beef bowl chain Sukiya seemed like a treat. I have hardly ever been to Sukiya but will definitely return after experiencing their cheese gyudon (beef bowl) for the first time.
Shirahama Shrine is one of the most mystical and picturesque power spots in Japan and on New Years Eve we went down the east coast of Izu to Shimoda to see this awe-inspiring place.
After a couple of hours there it was time to take the bus back to Izukyu-Shimoda Station and head back up the Izukyuko Line to the house ready for a pretty eventful countdown till the New Year!!
First though there were a couple of other shrines that I wanted to check out nearby the station but they really did no compare to what we had just seen.
There was no messing about with staying up till midnight this time as we were in bed around 10pm on New Years Eve as indeed was the case 12 months prior to that when we were in London! We tried to walk to Lake Ippeki early the following morning but gave up as the trail just wasn’t suitable for the dog’s paws! The highlight of that short hike was seeing these bags on trees but the response to this tweet told me it was nothing too novel!
Watching the Emperors Cup Final in the afternoon on New Years Day is my traditional way of starting the year when I’m in Japan and this year I managed to not actually fall asleep during it which usually happens.
Feeling a bit restless I headed out by myself for a half day trip early the next morning. I travelled to see two great spots for capturing the classic bullet train & Mount Fuji shot! This was still a few days before Japan went into another State of Emergency (basically a soft lockdown) due to Covid_19 but the trains in this part of the country were already fairly empty!
I needn’t have been so worried about coronavirus as on the way back I was completely alone for some of the journey!
Back in Ito I met Rina and we climbed Mount Komuro again. The following day too! There wasn’t much else of significance to report from this five night break but it was nice to just chill out somewhere away from Tokyo over the new year holiday. We will no doubt return very soon!
Click here to read ‘One Of The Most Mystical And Picturesque Power Spots In Japan’
Click here to read ‘Two Great Spots For Capturing The Classic Bullet Train & Mount Fuji Shot!’
Click here to read ‘Interesting Japanese Playground Structures #32 – Dinosaur Space’