White sandy beaches and azure seas await just less than two hours from Tokyo. The Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture offers uncrowded beaches accessing to some of the clearest diving and snorkeling spots in Japan. The Kuroshio (also known as the Black or Japan Current) flows nearby so the waters are teeming with colorful tropical marine life.
Swim with seahorses, colorful fish and even hammerhead sharks! Some of Izu’s best diving locations include Kujuppama Beach where you can see the remains of a submarine volcano.
Snorkeling and Kayaking
Kayak into Sotoura Bay then enjoy the marine life below by snorkeling with schools of tropical fish. You can even try “sports kayaking” in spring and autumn when the waves are stronger.
Even if it’s your first time surfing, you’ll be riding waves in no time in Shimoda, one of Shizuoka’s best surf spots.
Embark on a fishing excursion just off the coast. Join a fourth-generation fisherman and try your hand at catching local delicacies like madai (red sea bream), snapper, isaki (grunt), moroko (grouper) and warasa (amberjack).
Take the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo to Atami Station (45 minutes). From there, take the local bus or the local Ito train line, then the Izukyu train to Izu Peninsula.
Lake Hamana in west Shizuoka is Japan’s largest brackish lake, which leads south into the Pacific. Over 800 types of fish and shellfish live in this lake and feed off the nutrients from the saltwater and freshwater. Its environment makes it an ideal place to produce some of Japan’s finest seafood including oysters, unagi (eel) and seaweed.
Experience the dramatic takiya-ryo, a 100-year-old local tradition of night spearfishing. Night fishing starts at sunset in a small boat. The fish caught by spear are grilled on Takiya Base, a floating dining raft close to shore.
Fly high (up to 100 meters) above Lake Hamana. Harnesses for small children aged three or older are available so families can enjoy this bird’s eye experience together.
Competitive boat racing (kyotei) is one of Japan’s four sports that allow people to legally place bets. Tour one of Japan’s top boat race facilities, Boat Race Hamanako, watch a race and place your bet!
In the winter, enjoy large, mineral-rich Lake Hamana oysters, which you can only get around this region. A boat takes visitors to the oyster farm, then afterwards you can enjoy traditional cuisine using local ingredients and hot steamed oysters in the lakeside hut.
Take the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo to Hamamatsu Station (90 minutes). From there, take the local bus or the local Tokaido train line to Lake Hamana.