This month’s postcard comes from the beautiful but relatively unsung Izu Hanto (Izu Peninsula), Japan.
Located just to the west and south of Tokyo, most visitors to Japan travel through Izu without even realizing it.
The shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Kyoto passes through the northern end of Izu, but—without any desire to disparage these portions of Izu (where there are some great places, too)—Izu’s real gems lie to the south.
While possible as a day trip, you should probably only travel to Izu if you plan to spend at least one (which would be a bit rushed) or two nights or more taking in its natural beauty, onsen (hot springs), and plentiful seafood and produce.
Getting to Izu from Tokyo is easy: trains depart from Tokyo and most of Izu is accessible using Japan’s extensive rail network, though to explore the interior even further it can’t hurt to rent a car.
But for a stay of one or two nights renting a car shouldn’t be necessary, as you’ll probably spend most of your time relaxing in yukata (the Japanese robe you wear at a ryokan), soaking in onsen, eating delicious food, and perhaps hiking along the coast or in the forest.
The Izu Peninsula is full of great bases—including Shimoda (all the way on Izu’s southernmost point), Shuzenji Onsen, Izu-Kogen, and Yugashima Onsen—and is home to some of our favorite ryokans.
If you are looking for a relaxing getaway that isn’t too far from Tokyo, with beautiful nature, plentiful onsen, and great ryokans, Izu is a fantastic alternative to the more popular (and thus crowded) Hakone.
Our Latest Article:
Speaking of onsen, don’t miss our latest article on onsen (hot springs), one of our absolute favorite things about traveling around Japan!
Japan Travel News & Insights:
Know anyone thinking of traveling to Japan this winter or next spring? Let them know it’s a good time to start planning, as Japan continues to receive almost more travelers than it can handle, and in some cases hotel and ryokans are becoming somewhat limited in terms of availability.
Until Next Time!
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