Whilst there are many great places off-shore on the Izu Peninsula, it is naturally the coastline which takes the glory when it comes to the most popular destinations.
The Izu Kyūkō Line runs down the east coast and I try to venture further south every time my wife I visit her parents in this part of Shizuoka Prefecture. It`s not always possible due to family commitments but on our last visit in September I managed to get out one afternoon early on in the trip. I took the train down to Izu-Hokkawa Station which is an unstaffed station with a nice vantage point of the bay from the platform itself.
Steps lead down on the north side of the station to the IC card reader machines, a few recycling bins and not much else!
There is then an underpass to take in order to get to the seaside.
Just a short walk down the road from the station is Kashima Shrine which sits at the top of some steep steps. I didn`t feel the need to take a closer look this time. Besides, my time was rather limited.
As I`d got ready and left the house quite suddenly and without any major plan I hadn`t eaten so on noticing a local convenience store by the sea I decided to pop in and get something. Among my snacks was this bottle of unagi (eel) cola which I had heard about before but never seen. I`m not sure if this is a local one or not but Shizuoka does seem to produce a few of it`s own cola flavours! I couldnt really taste the eel at all it has to be said and so on a warm afternoon, and with a thirst to quench, it just tasted like any other cola!
My main destination was an outdoor hot spring bath where the access point was through a tight tunnel going under the main road (Route 135). Click here for more details on that place.
A few minutes away from there was this haikyo (abandoned building) which looks pretty normal on first viewing but the backside of the apartment block was actually missing and open to the elements. There sadly wasn`t really anything left in the rooms to provide an insight into what life had been like in the past for the residents.
Izu-Ōkawa Station is the next station up the line from where I`d disembarked earlier that afternoon. There is only 2.4 kilometres between the two stations.
This one is basically unstaffed in terms of there being no ticket gates or staff regularly present. However, there is a station manager not that I realised it at first!
I was just perusing some of the notices in the waiting room (below) when an older man approached me using broken English. I just assumed he was a stranger also waiting for the next train but then he said what his job was and asked if I had any questions for him! I was quite surprised by that but I guess he just wondered if I needed any help with train information, which was nice.
I was unaware of Lion Rock until I saw this billboard in the station (below) whilst waiting for the train to take me back to Ito. It is located about a kilometre up the road from the onsen so that will be something for me to check out on a future visit to Izu.
That wasn`t the end of the coastal walks though as there was a family trip to the Jogasaki coast a couple of days after that. We went to a couple of places with a few spots near the first one being ones I`d seen the previous month when it almost constantly rained for the duration of our week trip. We wandered past Renchakuji Temple and ended up in Izu Oceanic Park which is a resort for divers to stay in. Halloween may have been and gone but back in September this giant Jack O`Lantern (below) was my first sighting of anything related to the end-of-October event.
We then drove the very short distance to the New York Lamp & Flower Museum (below) where we parked the car in the huge car park opposite it.
To the side of the museum entrance gate is a path leading down to the rugged volcanic rock shore created by a huge eruption 4000 years ago.
The sun wasn`t out on this particular morning and as we began to eat our onigiri (rice balls) for breakfast it began to slightly drizzle for a bit.
Admittedly it was early morning (just before 8am!) so you wouldn`t really expect too many people anyway but with Japan soon about to reopen to the rest of the world such lone experiences may start to be less common.
Click here to read `The Outdoor Hot Spring Baths In Izu With An Access Point More Like A Bond Villain`s Lair!`
Click here to read `A Wet Walk Around The Rugged Volcanic Rock Shore In Izu`
Click here to read `Another Abandoned Building On The Shores Of Lake Ippeki And The Regular Visit To Komuroyama`
Click here to read `A Floating Conveyor-Belt Restaurant, A Station By The Sea, A Disappointing Heritage-Listed Site, Wet Mountain Climbing & Live Olympic Cycling`