Izu Peninsula (伊豆半島) is a famous hot spring and sightseeing destination, and a popular side trip from Tokyo. While not that popular with foreign tourists, it is becoming increasing well-known. A host of passes make it a great travel idea for budget travellers.
Budget travel tips
- The Minami Izu Free Pass is great for travel in and south of Shimoda (2 day pass 2790 yen) from Tokyo.
- Save money on the train to Jogasaki Coast and around by getting the Ito Kanto Freepass. The Izu Kogen and Jogasaki Coast Pass should also be considered for bus travel there (1 day pass 800 yen), available in stations in the area.
- Stock up on food at a convenience store before heading to Jogasaki coast or anywhere outside Shimoda, as this is real countryside!
Things to do
Shimoda is the cheapest place from which to base your travels in Izu.
In 1854, US Commodore Perry ended Japan’s isolation with his menacing “black ships”, opening Japan up to trade with the USA. Visit this road south of the station to learn more about this monumental event.
Ryosenji Temple (了仙寺)
The temple where Mr. Perry signed the USA-Japan peace treaties. 10 minute walk from the station.
Cost: Free (¥500 for the Treasure Hall)
Shimoda Floaring Aquarium
A fun aquarium, and home to hundreds of different species of fish. Features dolphin and seal shows. Get a bus from the train station.
Price: Adult 2000 yen, Children 1000 yen
Covering a hill near the aquarium, Shimoda Park has a few monuments to Perry. Best in June, when the hydrangeas are out in full bloom. 20 minute walk south from the station.
The most famous beach on the peninsular. Sunbathing, surfing and the odd Shinto gate. Take a bus bound for Itadoichiki (板戸一色) from the station and get off at Shirahama Kaigan (白浜海岸, 10 minutes, 330 yen or free with pass).
How to get there
If you have a major JR rail pass, use the Odoriko trains (2.5 hours), or Shinkansen to Atami, then transfer to a local train to Ito or Izukyu-Shimoda station. JR rail passes not usable on Izu Kyuko Line.
The trip can be done on just local trains (3.5 hours, 3170 yen). Transfers at Odawara, Atami and Ito required along the way to Izukyu-Shimoda station.
Jogasaki Coast (城ヶ崎海岸)
Offering a great coastal walk, Jogasaki is well worth the trip. Stunning scenery any time of the year, walkers of any ability can enjoy it. About 10 kilometres is walkable along the Izu coast.
How to get there
From Izu Kogan station (between Shimoda and Ito), take a bus bound for Kaiyo Koen (海洋公園) and get off at Izu Kaiyo Koen (伊豆海洋公園). You can also walk from the Jogasaki Kaigan station in 25 minutes.
Hostels and cheap hotels
K’s House Ito Onsen
Located in an old, traditional Japanese Ryokan style building, this hostel has good prices for such a interesting setting.
More at Booking.com