Shizuoka : Peace in the Shadows of Mount Fuji
At the foot of Mount Fuji , Shizuoka was the former home of Tokugawa Ieyasu, whose shadow still hangs over the city. The city epitomises the Japanese lifestyle and its connection with nature. A haven harboring some gems just an hour from Tokyo.
The Homeland of Ieyasu Tokugawa
The year 2015 will be particularly busy in Shizuoka for the 400th anniversary of the death of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1615), founder of the Edo shogunate (1604-1868). Ieyasu had in fact chosen Shizuoka as his homeland. The Sumpu Koen is now located on the ruins of his castle, now a leisure park with many cherry trees. Each year his memory is celebrated at the Shizuoka Matsuri (on the first Saturday of April).
It is on the hill of Nihondaira, overlooking the coast, that we find the pearl of Shizuoka, Kunozan Toshogu Temple, which was the first resting place of Ieyasu. The temple is a replica of Nikko, or rather original, since it is here that Ieyasu Tokugawa rested before being moved to Nikko.
All the Glory of Mount Fuji from the Tokaido
Abandoned by history after the death of Ieyasu, Shizuoka remained none the less one of the important stages of the Tokaido Road, maintaining Arai, one of the famous gates that controlled travelers, as well as a hostel for the lords traveling to Edo.
Several portions of the Tokaido can still be used today, some with beautiful scenery. The walk under the pine trees to the beach of Miho (Miho no Matsubara) is famous for its view of Mount Fuji in all its splendor, a landscape immortalized in his time by Hiroshige. A nice little museum is also dedicated to him.
A Land of Water and Tea
Another trademark of Shizuoka is its natural wealth and in particular its waterfalls. Most notable are Shiraito Falls on Mount Fuji, and those of Otome, both higher than one hundred meters.
Shizuoka is famous for its green tea and its landscape is marked by the tea fields covering the hills and the surrounding mountains. Numerous stalls allow you to enjoy this miracle potion or participate in tea ceremonies.
A visit to Shizuoka would not be complete without going through Suruga Bay and enjoying some of its delights, available each day on the fish market in Shimizu. The latter is much less crowded than the market Tsukiji in Tokyo , but its products are just as tasty and fresh.
It is customary to assume that Shizuoka offers one of the best qualities of life in the archipelago. A serene area, rich and tied to traditional arts, which inevitably attract people wanting to visit Japan on foot.