Far away from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of Tokyo, one can find respite in Shimoda.
Located on the southeastern coast of the Izu peninsula, Shimoda is a small, picturesque, peaceful seaside town that has a tumultuous history. It is where Commodore Perry’s Black Ship fleet forced open the doors of Tokugawa, Japan, causing an avalanche of changes that shaped the country.
Literary types may know Shimoda for a different reason. The scenic spot serves as a setting in Yasunari Kawabata’s 1926 short love story “The Dancer of Izu.”
Navigating Shimoda takes a few hours, and is a pleasant choice of a one-day excursion from Tokyo. Some stunning views of the town can be captured from Castle Mountain Park, just a 15-minute walk from the train station.
Getting to Shimoda is easy. Just hop on a Super View Odoriko train in the Shinjuku or Tokyo JR train station, and head straight to Izukyu-Shimoda. The beautiful coastal scenery is worth every Yen and moment spent on the three-hour ride.
But a caution to JR train pass holders: the unlimited traveling privilege only covers the journey up to Ito, after which a small fare adjustment will be charged. You can settle the fare difference at the Fare Adjustment counter before you leave the Izukyu-Shimoda station.
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All images courtesy of Tony Church