The majority of my time in Izu back in early May was mostly just spent at home with the family but on about the sixth day I finally found some time to get out on my own for an afternoon. Subsequently I headed down the east coast to find a big buddha which I had found completely by accident whilst scouring Google Maps one day. Shojoji Temple is part of the Izu 88 Temple Pilgrimage which I had never heard of until I later did some research on this place.
As there was a lighthouse a few minutes further south I decided to check that out, and nearby to that was a shrine with some trees that were far from upright!
Unlike the phallic-shaped lighthouse in Jogasaki (back up the coast), the 72 metre-tall Inatorizaki Lighthouse wasn`t really interesting to look at all! It has been there since 1972, and is supposedly located in a difficult place for maritime traffic on the cape.
Walking back to the station, it began to drizzle a bit but I still took the far more scenic tour through some thin, winding backstreets.
There were a couple of micro-shrines along the way.
Closer to the station was Sumihiroshi Temple (285 Inatori, Higashiizu, Kamo-Gun, Shizuoka-ken); a quite interesting, traditional temple with ancient relics, gardens, sculptures, a red footbridge and a 750 year old tree.
750 years may be old but when you`ve seen a sacred tree which is over 2000 years old (located near Kinomiya Station which is one stop from Atami) you do tend to turn your nose up at such things a bit. Impressive or not I didn`t spend too much time here as the rain was getting a bit heavier, I had no umbrella and I needed to get the train.
The following day I returned to the same area albeit a couple of stops further down the east coast, and yet again I had the train pretty much to myself.
The unstaffed station of Inazusa was the first stop.
After a short bus ride, I then had to walk for about ten minutes to my destination but along the way I came across a fairly unique vending machine. It is unlikely you`ll see this kind in the city but in the countryside these are a bit more common and often sell all kinds of fruits and vegetables. It was 400 yen for some strawberries but as tempted as I was I didn`t bother as I`d had lunch before I left and so wasn`t even slightly hungry.
The Uehara Museum of Art was the reason I went out that way as I was curious about it having often seen it advertised inside the stations and trains in Izu.
Back at Inazusa Station I then got to ride on the Kurofune train but sadly it was just for a few stops. Not really a problem though as I’ve ridden on this cool-looking train a fair few times now but never have I had the whole carriage to myself!
Like the old London bus adage you wait ages for one and then two come along at once, and similarly I then came across yet another vending machine selling strawberries. There were some tomatoes too. This time there were two sizes priced at 300 yen and 500 yen respectively. I still didn`t splash out on any though as there`s a limit to what one can spend just for getting a few likes on social media!
When I`d left Izu-Inatori Station the previous day I found out about a fairly unique and interesting little museum devoted to hina dolls so I knew I wanted to return. Little did I know that it would be the very next day!
Just outside of the Hina Doll Museum was a footbath which I`d have liked to use to soak my weary feet but I didn`t have a towel or anything I could dry my feet with.
Izu-Inatori Station is something of an arty one as a load of paintings line the platform walls on one side. Impressive they are too.
Despite countless trips to Izu I had actually never really noticed the area of Inatori on the map until this trip so it was nice that I went there this time and I will return soon to see a few other places in the vicinity that I didn`t have time for.
Click here to read `Visiting The Museum In Izu Which Is Dedicated To Hina Dolls`
Click here to read `The Search For A Big Buddha Statue As Part Of The Izu 88 Temple Pilgrimage`
Click here to read `This Museum of Art Is Not Easy To Get To & You’d Buddha Believe It!`
Click here to read ‘Unstaffed Stations Of Japan #3 – Inazusa’