Shizuoka is a prefecture known for its tea production, hot springs and stunning views of Mount Fuji. The area makes for a perfect addition to a Tokyo itinerary as it is just 120 minutes from the major city by train. If you find yourself craving some nature and to take some beautiful shots of Mt. Fuji, look no further than Shizuoka! There are countless amazing things to see in the prefecture, but we’ve put together our top 10 spots you must see when visiting!
1. Hamamatsu flower park
This botanical garden boasts over 3000 different species of plants across 30,000 square meters next to Lake Hakama. You won’t need to worry about what season to visit as stunning flowers bloom throughout the park the entire year! The park features fields of Japanese cherry blossoms, wisteria, hydrangeas, irises, roses, apricots and tulips to name a few. In addition, there are sculpted flower gardens, a water fountain show and a flower train for you to enjoy. Anywhere in this park is Insta-worthy and we highly recommend you visit on your next trip to Japan!
【Admission】March – Jun: 1000 yen, Jul – Aug: Free, Sep – Feb: 500 yen
【Access】40 min bus ride from Hamamatsu station
【Opening hours】 May – Sep 9:00-17:00, Oct – Nov 9:00-16:30, Dec – Feb 10:00-16:30
2. Izunokuni Panorama Park
Izunokuni is one of the best viewing spots for Mt. Fuji hands down. You can take the 1,800m cable car up to the park for amazing panoramic views of Mt. Fuji, Hakone and Suruga Bay. The park includes views of beautiful seasonal flowers, an observation deck and Katsuragi Shrine. Near the shrine is the Hyakutai Jizouson (100 statues of Jizo Buddha), which have been resting in the spot since the Kamakura period (1185-1333). Multiple restaurants and cafes are also at the summit for you to enjoy. After taking in the view, you can go on one of the four walking trails down the mountain. If you need a rest after that, you can visit the free Fujimi-no-ashiyu footbath to ease your fatigue.
【Admission】1800 yen round-trip ropeway fee
【Access】 15 minute bus ride from Izu-Nagaoka Station on the Izuhakone Railway
【Opening hours】 9:00-17:00
3. Mt Omuro
This perfectly cone-shaped dormant volcano offers stunning 360 degree views including Mt. Fuji and Oshima Island. It is 580m tall with a crater of about 300m in diameter and is uniquely covered in bright green grass. The chair cable lift takes you up the mountain where you can then walk around the crater and enjoy the fantastic views. More adventurous travellers can try archery in the crater and even paraglide down the volcano. Near the base of the mountain is Izu Shaboten Zoo, making this spot the perfect way to spend an afternoon!
【Access】 40 min bus ride from Ito Station
【Opening hours】 9:00-17.15
4. Shiraito Falls
Listed as one of Japan’s top 100 waterfalls, Shiraito falls is a gorgeous World Heritage Listed site with its beauty being praised in poetry for centuries. The name Shiraito (‘white threads’) comes from the long thin strands of water that resemble threads from the 150m wide cascade. Along the trail you can also view Otodome falls, a 25m roaring waterfall known for its high-power flow. There are also a dozen souvenir shops lining the trail that leads to the falls, as well as nearby hot springs to make this the ultimate overnight trip!
【Access】 30 min bus ride from JR Fujinomiya station
【Opening hours】 24hrs
5. Nukumori no mori
Nukumori no mori (‘Forest of Warmth’) is an adorable fantasy forest village near Hamamatsu. The village is known for its beautiful European-style cottages and buildings surrounded by a magical forest. Charming shops, a café and restaurant are inside the attraction for you to take in the fairyland atmosphere. The café and restaurant present luxurious French cuisine from award-winning chefs, so the food alone is a reason to come!
【Access】40 minute bus ride from Hamamatsu Station
【Opening hours】 10:00-18:00
6. Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival
If you’re a little too early for cherry blossom season in Tokyo but are dying to see some – this festival is where to go. Kawazuzakura is an early blooming variety of cherry tree that bloom for about a month around the start of February. You can find a 4km stretch of them planted along the banks of the Kawazu River in Kawazu city. As the trees blossom, festival stalls also line the river with various street foods and local produce from farmers. Night illuminations of the trees are also held (18:00 – 21:00) which are a sight to behold. The trees eventually lead to the trail of the Kawazu Seven Waterfalls, making this spot the ultimate day trip from Tokyo!
【Access】 5 min walk from Kawazu Station on the Izukyu Railway Line
【Opening hours】 24hrs
7. Ryugashido Cavern
This 250 million year-old limestone cavern is 1,046m long, with a 400m course open to the public. Within the cavern lies a hidden 30m high subterranean waterfall known as Ogon no Otaki. The cave is 18 degrees year-round so you can enjoy it comfortably throughout the year. After exploring this natural wonder, you can dip your feet into the calcium-rich waters in the free foot bath. Next to the cave is a delicious local gelato store for you to also enjoy.
【Access】Bus ride from Hamamatsu station to Ryugashidou Iriguchi bus stop
8. Kakegawa Bird and Flower Park
If you’re an animal or flower lover, this is the place for you! Dubbed as the best bird park in Japan, Kakegawa Bird Park offers a variety of up-close experiences with exotic birds. Almost all the birds in the park are not caged, letting visitors directly feed and take photos with them. The park features bird shows, ponds, and spectacular year-round blooming flowers in the greenhouse. From penguins to emus and toucans, you’re sure to have a special one-of-a-kind encounter!
【Access】 15 min walk from JR Kakegawa Station
【Opening hours】 9:00 -16:30 on weekdays and 9:00-17:00 on weekends and holidays
9. Grinpia Makinohara
Shizuoka Prefecture produces around 40% of Japan’s tea. So it is a must to check out some tea plantations when you’re in the area, especially if you’re a tea lover! Grinpia Makinohara is one of the more hands-on experiences you can get with green tea. This plantation lets you pick your own tea leaves to drink or even eat as tempura. It also offers an exhibition on the history of tea in the area, as well as a factory viewing on the tea making process from leaf to bag. In addition, it features a restaurant using tea in exciting and experimental ways using local ingredients. Make sure to come here for something different on your trip!
【Admission】Factory tour: Free, Tea picking (reservation required): 820 yen
【Access】 Approximately 7 minutes by car from Sagara-Makinohara Interchange
【Opening hours】 10:00-17:00
10. Obuchi Sasaba
If you’re after a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji, look no further than Obuchi Sasaba. When visiting Shizuoka, tea plantations is a must. While you’re in the area after tea tastings and farm tours, make sure you pop over to the tea plantations in this area for breath-taking views of Mt. Fuji. The contrast of the immaculate rows of tea plants and the snow-capped mountain make this a popular stop for photographers. So if you’re into photography, make sure to bring your camera for an unforgettable shot!
【Access】 20 min walk from Sobina Shita station on the Fujikyu Shizuoka Bus line
【Opening hours】 24hrs
As you can see, Shizuoka is a special area of Japan well worth a visit! There is much more to discover in the prefecture and we hope you can uncover new must-see spots on your trip there. What place would you like to visit the most? Let us know in the comments below!