Travel Tips about Ito Japan: Ito Japan Guide
Ito Japan Map
Ito City is located on the Izu Peninsula of Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It has a total area of 124 square kilometers and a population of about 68,000. This place is found in the Chubu region of Japan, southwest of Tokyo. There are a number of famous municipalities found around the city which include Atami, Izu, Izunkuni, and HIgashiizu. Historically, it was a part of the Izu province until it gained a town status in the 1900s It was post-war when Ito became a city of its own.
Getting Around Ito Japan
The Shizuoka Prefecture is located is fund southwest of Tokyo. It is a famous peninsula which is often traveled by both local and foreign tourists. To get to this province from different parts of Japan, the JR Tokaido Shinkansen is ready for use. There are direct connections to both Atami and Mishima, which are the entrances to the Izu Peninsula. From Tokyo, the distance is usually around an hour for a 4,000 yen price.
For those who don’t want to take the Shinkansen to Ito, there are limited express trains named Odoriko which travels from different cities to Ito. It usually connects Tokyo and Atami for only 3500 yen for a total travel time of 80 minutes. It also connects Tokyo to Ito in 100 minutes for only 4000 yen. Although the travel time is much longer, the price can be slightly cheaper. The trains usually start at the Tokyo Station or the Shinjuku Station up to the stations in Atami and Ito.
While inside the prefecture, people can take the local trains around the city. People can also take the road by riding buses around the city. For short distances, there are bicycle, car and motorcycle rentals around the area.
Ito Japan Weather
The climate in Shizuoka is known to be temperate. This means that it experiences a complete set of four seasons. What is special about this place is that it rarely experiences extreme temperatures and mostly the temperatures are comfortable and mild. For instance, the place experiences very little snow and very mild summers.
The only downside to this place is that since it is located along the coast, rainfall is quite often in the area. The region experiences roughly 2000 mm of rain every year, and it rains even during the driest season of the year (summer). It is mostly rainy during the months of July. Rain also becomes quite abundant pre-fall during the October months. It is coldest in the prefecture during December and January of every year which averages at about 5 degree Celsius. During summer, the hottest month is usually during August with average temperatures hitting 30 degrees Celsius.
Ito Japan Travel Guide: Places to go Ito Japan
Ito Japan and its Hotsprings
A lot of people enjoy visiting Ito because of its numerous onsen resorts which are found all over the city. These are hot springs which are quite common throughout the country because of the very active volcanism in Japan. In the entire country, there are thousands of Onsens that are scattered in different cities and it is just a matter of finding the perfect place for a relaxing vacation.
There are onsen resorts that provide aromatic bathing facilities which are believed to heal certain diseases. Sort of like a hot massage, these hot springs are believed to heal pains in the muscles and relieve stress. Traditionally, these places are used as public bathing spaces. However, in the modern times, these public baths have been turned into hotels and resorts intended to serve its guests for the ultimate relaxation experience.
Often these places are ryokans, with traditional matted beds and bamboo flooring. Guests are to wear yukatas and traditional Japanese slippers. There are special soaps and shampoos provided before an individual can actually enter the hot pools. Most of these places require their guests to be completely naked in the water to ensure that the water stays pure and uncontaminated. However, there are now more modern onsens that allow swimwear to the pools.
These onsen resorts are best to see during the cold months of autumn and winter. Usually, the peak of people visiting the resorts is usually crowded during the months of October and November during the autumn and also the cold months of December and January every winter.
Ito Japan Sightseeing
Since Ito is found at the coast of Shizuoka, the Jogasaki Coast is one of the most breathtaking places to visit. Although this place is not necessarily for swimming and enjoying the beach since the waters can be a bit deep, this place is great for hiking. There are hiking trails that showcase the beautiful views of the coast, the cliffs and the rock formations in the area.
Within the trail is a 23-meter long suspension bridge which is made for pedestrians so they could enjoy a great view of the waters below. By the end of this bridge is a lighthouse with observation decks that allows visitors to have a full view of the coastline and all the other neighboring islands.
Mount Omuro is not actually a mountain but an extinct volcano that has not erupted in the last thousand years. What makes it distinct from other volcanos in the area is its interesting inverted rice bowl shape. This shape can be attributed to the large diameter of its crater which is about 300 meters wide. There are trails available in the area that can take individuals around the crater in less than 30 minutes. The total height of this mountain is about 580 meters high and it gives a full 360-degree view of the surrounding cities and provinces. What is even more special about it is the fact that Mount Fuji is among the sights that can be seen in the area. To get to this place, there is a chairlift from the base that takes individuals up the mountains.
Izu Cactus Park
Found at the bottom of Mount Omuro, this place exhibits thousands of cacti species which have been collected from different parts of the world. It is a large botanical and zoological garden as well. Inside its perimeters are dogs, monkeys, birds, and other animals. This place offers up not only cacti but also tropical succulent plants which are always an enjoyable sight to see.
This place is located on the western side of the Izu peninsula and is most popular for its rock formations, caves, and cliffs. These formations have been created by the volcanic activity of the area. Another factor that contributes to this formation is due to the erosion of the shoreline.
This place is quite popular with tourists because it provides a very relaxing vacation experience. There is a small stony beach in the area where people can enjoy a light swim. There is also a hiking trail in Dogashima where people can enjoy the beauty of nature. What is most interesting about this place are the magmatic dikes which have been formed from the solidification of volcanic material. Magma is believed to rise to the surface and solidify creating an impressive dike formation.
This place can easily be accessed by bus from the city center. It is located on the western side which is opposite the other famous destination is known as the Jogasaki coast. Everyone visiting Ito must surely visit this place because of its scenic seaside views.
Festivals in Ito Japan
The Anjin Festival is one of the most popular celebrations not only in Ito City but also in the entire Shizuoka Prefecture. It is held every 8th to 10th of August annually and it brings to the city to life. The main purpose of the Anjin Festival is to celebrate the first sets of Western-Style Japanese ships in Japan.
According to history books, there is an interesting origin to this festival. An Englishman named William Adams found himself washed up on the shores of Kyushu island after his ship met some disaster out on the water. The man has impressed the locals about his knowledge of shipbuilding that he was given the task of building ships for the Japanese navy.
The festival is usually started by sending paper lanterns down to the river to float to the sea – a symbol of travel and seafaring. Then, it is commenced by an intensive fireworks display over the sea. However, this is not the only events that the Anjin Festival can boast of.
There is a colorful parade of individuals in costumes – both in traditional Japanese wear and traditional western attire. The festival also holds concerts and music competitions where people and groups can play the Taiko (or drums). The Taiko groups that participate in the event are normally very competitive and top-notch.
Matsukawa Wooden Basin Race
One interesting yearly event held in Shizuoka is the Matsukawa Wooden Basin Race held every first Sunday of July. This is an event where hundreds of people ride small wooden washbins to race about 400 meters down the Matsukawa River. The washbins are usually one meter in diameter and 30 centimeters deep. What is even more interesting about this event is that there are multi-national contenders that join the fun race.
Dream Fireworks Hanabi
This is one of the most popular Summer festivals in all of Ito and it is one that anyone can take the time to enjoy. An event held between the 29th to the 31st of July, the city holds a nightly display of fireworks over the sea. This event is so big and majestic that the display could be seen in almost every point of Ito City. They usually spend about 1,000 shots of large sized fireworks every night to make the sky the most colorful it will ever be in the year.
Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival
The Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the most beautiful celebrations held in Ito. It is most commonly known as the Kawazuzakura Matsuri. It is usually held on a yearly basis between February to March when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Unlike in other places where the maximum blooms are seen during April and May, the blooms in Shizuoka happens every February and March.
So popular is this matsuri that it attracts millions of visitors every year. It is one of the earliest times of the year when the cherry blossoms bloom. It is a different species of cherry tree compared to those found in Tokyo and other places in Japan. The bloom usually lasts for more than a month, longer than the typical two-week average, because it flowers on a very slow rate. A lot of people hold a hanami party along the parks to celebrate the beauty of nature.
It was only in the 1950s when this species of trees was discovered. The oldest tree in the area is 60 years old and is a popular attraction in the area. The beautiful cherry blossoms can be seen from houses that line the streets of Kawazu.
Places to eat Ito Japan: Ito Japan Restaurants
This is one of the most popular restaurants in Ito Japan. Their best seller is the red snapper with dried fish with an affordable price of 2000 yen. This is very easy to access because it is only a ten-minute walk from Izukogen Station. Other than this, they also have dishes that serve rare tuna whose flavor is unique. Among their other bestsellers include fresh sushi and sashimi.
Another popular restaurant in Japan, Kyosen is one of the best go-to places in the area. For anyone who wishes to eat here, make sure to go early because there is a small number of seats. The lines may be quite long and the wait will not be for the impatient. Among their best sellers include tasty tempura, soba, and more. It is also a very child-friendly restaurant because they have special meals intended for young children. Another unique meal served in this restaurant is their bamboo rice with red beans. They also have cherry tree buckwheat tai fook which is an absolute favorite.