Tag: Japan

Experience Shogun Culture in Shizuoka

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With the recent premiere of FX’s new series Shogun on Disney+, Japan’s captivating history, especially the era of the Shogun, has been thrust back into the global spotlight. This limited series has not only entertained audiences worldwide but also sparked renewed interest in exploring the rich tapestry of Japan’s shogunate history. In response, Explore Shizuoka has unveiled an educational series of videos shedding light on the Prefecture’s pivotal role in the seven-century-long saga of Japan’s Shogun culture. Shizuoka, nestled along Japan’s South Coast, is a region steeped in the legacy of the Shogunate era. It was home to three of Japan’s most renowned Shoguns, including Tokugawa Ieyasu, who is at the heart of the Shogun series on FX. This connection to such significant historical figures makes Shizuoka an essential destination for anyone eager to immerse themselves in the world of the Shoguns. The First Shogun, 12th Century The educational series begins with the tale of Minamoto Yoritomo, whose youth was spent on the Izu Peninsula at the eastern edge of what is today Shizuoka Prefecture. This area was also where he met his wife, Hojo Masako, and together they established the Kamakura Period, marking the inception of Japan’s Shogunate. Visitors to the Izu Peninsula can explore the Izusan Shrine in Atami City, where the couple were wed, offering a tangible connection to this foundational period in Japanese history. Watch the full story here. The Most Famous Shogun, 16th Century The series then highlights the life of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the central figure of the Shogun series… Read More

Guide to Shizuoka in spring

Mount Fuji Japan

Immerse yourself in the radiant beauty of spring in Shizuoka, Japan. Witness the land come alive with colours, as the region kicks off its floral season as early as February, transforming into a vibrant wonderland by April. The iconic Mt. Fuji, standing tall against this riot of colours, makes for a scenic and unforgettable backdrop. Nestled between the bustling cities of Tokyo and Kyoto, Shizuoka boasts numerous festivals celebrating the region’s natural beauty. The landscape, usually a vibrant green, comes alive with hues of pink, purple, blue, and red as a variety of plants bloom. You don’t want to miss the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival in early February, where the town of Kawazu, on the Izu Peninsula, is known for its early blooming cherry blossoms. The spectacle of thousands of visitors strolling along the river, taking in the vivid pink blossoms, is as breathtaking as it is surreal. Plum blossoms, often overshadowed by cherry blossoms, also leave their mark on Shizuoka. The onsen town of Atami transforms during the annual Plum Festival, boasting a diverse colour palette from delicate whites and pinks to vibrant reds. The sweet fragrance of blossoms in the Atami Plum Garden creates a truly captivating environment. Shimoda, on the other hand, hosts a visual treat of approximately three million hydrangeas blooming down a small mountain, come early June. The Shimoda Hydrangea Festival, coinciding with the bloom, provides entertainment and options to purchase potted hydrangeas. For a taste of spring during the winter months, head to the Southern Tip of the Izu… Read More

A guide to hiking Mount Fuji, Japan

Japan Mount Fuji Pagoda

Ranked as one of the most popular activities in the Shizuoka Prefecture, the season for hiking Mt. Fuji has officially begun. From the 10th of July to the 10th of September, the trails to the summit are open to climbers. Both locals and tourists flock to this iconic natural landmark, standing tall at 3,776 meters. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it holds a special place in the hearts of the Japanese and is a bucket list item for travellers worldwide. Starting Point Shizuoka Prefecture is the prime starting location for the ascent. It offers access to three of the four Mt. Fuji trails: the Subashiri, Gotemba, and Fujinomiya Trails. Each one showcases unique landscapes, from lush forests and stunning tree-lined pathways to panoramic views of surrounding rice fields. Depending on your preference and physical capacity, you can choose from challenging paths or more leisurely ascents. Subashiri Trail The Subashiri Trail is a favourite among morning hikers aiming to catch the sunrise, offering a variety of landscapes and many amenities along the way. Famous for its long stretches of volcanic sand, it takes approximately 6 hours to traverse this trail. Gotemba Trail For a less crowded, more leisurely hike, the Gotemba Trail is ideal. It has a much gentler slope and takes longer to complete, around 8 hours. The slower pace offers ample time to enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding rice fields. Fujinomiya Trail The Fujinomiya Trail offers the shortest ascent, taking around 5 hours. As the busiest trail during peak periods, it… Read More