Tokyo Notebook

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Posted by Kinakinw | --:-- | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | スポンサー広告

09 2012

East Coast of Izu Peninsula

I spend New Year days with my best friend and her mother in hot spring resorts for several years. As I have already noted in the two previous posts, we visited the East Coast of Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture that is a popular recreational area for people of the Tokyo region. There are literally hundreds of hot springs in the peninsula, and on the East Izu also abounds with major resorts: Atami, Ito, Atagawa, Inatori, Imaihama and Shimoda (in ascending order according to distance from Tokyo).

East Coast of Izu Peninsula1 East Coast of Izu Peninsula2

On New Year's Day, we took express train, Odoriko, from Tokyo to Atagawa (about two hours).

East Coast of Izu Peninsula3 East Coast of Izu Peninsula4

East Coast of Izu Peninsula5 East Coast of Izu Peninsula6
We had lunch at a famous seafood restaurant, Nishiki, in Atagawa. The dish shown right is its specialty, a bowl of rice topped with finely chopped horse mackerel.

We stayed overnight at a small inn in Katase hot spring resort that was once called Minami (southern) Atagawa Hot Spring because of its location in the southern part of Atagawa Hot Spring. The family-run inn (4 rooms in all) named Koiso was located right on the ocean, and we could get a view of the Izu Islands. The inn had a nicely small bath into which the water was poured directly and served good homemade meals.

East Coast of Izu Peninsula7 East Coast of Izu Peninsula8

East Coast of Izu Peninsula9 East Coast of Izu Peninsula10
The inn served traditional New Year's food for breakfast.

Then we returned to Ito for another day and nigh next day.

East Coast of Izu Peninsula11 East Coast of Izu Peninsula12

After we checked into a large hotel, I visited one of communal bathhouses nearby alone. Many historic hot spring resorts have these hot spring bathhouses for low rates for residents, and they function as a place for social interaction. It was the first day of business in 2012 for the bathhouse, so it was packed with locals exchanging New Year's greetings. So, the condition of the water wasn’t good.

East Coast of Izu Peninsula13 East Coast of Izu Peninsula14
The Oka bathhouse

I've traveled all over the area many times from when he was a child, but for the last dozen years or so, I didn’t extend my visit farther than Ito. I revisited Atagawa area after so long and felt that levels of the service at inn, meals and hot spring water are better in the farther parts of the peninsula - of course, it depends on facilities. Different from the accessible resort, Atami, that is located near the top and has the Shinkansen bullet train station, I thought inns in relatively small resorts in the central part and the tip of peninsula make effort to draw more customers.

Though I like the convenient resort, Atami, now I want to explore Atagawa, Inatori and Shimoda areas once again for the future.

Posted by Kinakinw | 17:48 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Travel & Hot Spring

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