Given the number of visits we make to to Izu each and every year, there will surely be a time when there is nothing blog-worthy to report. Unbelievably, that time is not now though! As soon as we got the dog’s travel bag out of the cupboard, he was excitedly wagging his tail and couldn’t wait to get inside and get on the road.
We disembarked at Atami station as my father-in-law said he’d pick us up from there but before his arrival we had a quick walk around the area in front of the station which is a nice open area full of people sitting around, most of them without their shoes and socks on! That’s because there is a public foot bath which is not too surprising given its status as a premium hot spring town resort!
Once reunited with my wife’s dad and the family dog Cocoa we then drove down Route 135 (the main road winding its way down the east coast of the Izu Peninsula) towards Ito City. Nagahama Seaside Park was the first port of call and a place we’d wanted to go to for a while with the dogs.
I didn’t realise it immediately but I had actually been there before on my own as it’s very easily accessible from Izu-Taga station. On this particular occasion it was a nice sunny Autumn day in late October and the dogs enjoyed the rarity of being able to walk and play in the sand.
There was a brief stop at Ito Marine Town 13 kilometres further down the road but it was much busier than expected so we just had a quick walk around but didn’t hang about too long.
Ramen restaurants seem to actually be quite scarce in Izu but my father-in-law knew of one just beyond Ito Orange Beach so we stopped off at Izan ramen (5-5 Shizumicho, Ito) and had a sizeable bowl of tonkotsu ramen. It’s amazing how the use of bean sprouts can make it look bigger and therefore more cost effective! The noodles were large and flat and there was a generous serving of char siu meat. The soup was thick and pretty tasty but it wasn’t anything special enough to have me wanting to return.
The final stop of the day before going to my in-law’s house was Lake Numaike which is the smaller and quieter lake across the road from the much grander Ippeki-ko Lake. You’re unlikely to see too many people at either to be fair but there are certainly fewer at Numaike.
After a few meetings now the two dogs certainly know each other but it still takes a bit of time for them to adjust to having the other one around.
Ever since we first went to the secluded Oe-in Temple back in June, my wife has wanted to revisit it and show it to her parents. As a result, we went there by car one morning and could yet again explore the ghibli-like temple grounds on our own.
It’s a common occurrence for me when in Izu to take a quick walk from our house to see what fruits or vegetables are on sale in the nearby vending machine. This time it was mikan which are basically a Japanese satsuma or tangerine.
Other than that, the rest of the time was just spent pottering around the house or wandering the local area until it was dinner time. We had sukiyakai a couple of times which is always nice as it’s a dish which we just don’t usually eat when back in Tokyo. For the unitiated, it’s basically a communal pot of beef, vegetables and tofu in a soy-based soup with each person dipping their chosen items into a raw egg mixture. It’s absolutely delicious and basically two dishses for the price of one as udon noodles are usually later added to the leftover soup part to make udon suki(yaki).
No Izu post is complete without the line “no Izu post is complete without a trip to Komuroyama Park” so here is one closing shot of the dogs from there.
It will probably be a few months before we return to Izu so that gives me plenty of time to scour google maps and the internet to see if I can find any new spots!
Click here to read ‘The Forest Temple Which Has A Slight Ghibli Feel To It’
Click here to read ‘Cold Lemon Ramen, A Ghibli-Like Temple, Local Green Cola, Video Cassette Tapes, Spicy Chicken McNuggets & An Awe-Inspiring Sea Cave’
Click here to read ‘Izu Coastal Adventures; Mountains, Beaches, Lakes, Parks, Bridges, Temples, Food, Dogs, Football, Abandoned Ruins & Chainsaws!!’
Click here to read ‘Exploring An Abandoned House In Izu Plus Chainsaw Action, Hot Spring Baths, Lakes, Parks & Dogs’