For this travel roundup, we look at the Japanese prefecture of Shizuoka, where we will highlight some of the exciting things the region has lined up to excite and inspire visitors and locals alike.
The Japanese prefecture of Shizuoka has become an incredibly popular region for people heading to Japan, mainly due to its accessibility, just one hour by bullet train from Tokyo. Below, we look at a few of the many things it has lined up, which include upcoming events, newly unveiled tours and experiences and new dining options.
Tickets go on sale for Lake Hamana Flower Expo 2024
In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 2004 Lake Hamana Flower Expo, which attracted over 5 million visitors, the Lake Hamana Flower Expo 2024 is set to take place next spring, with tickets on sale from September 1.
Lake Hamana Flower Expo 2024.
Set against the stunning backdrop of Lake Hamana, the colourful event will take place for almost two months at two venues: Hamamatsu Flower Park from March 23 to June 16 and Hamanako Garden Park from April 6 to June 2.
Visitors will be able to enjoy stunning gardens such as the ‘Cherry Blossom and Tulip Garden’, one of the most beautiful in the world, as well as those designed by world-famous garden designers, including Kazuyuki Ishihara, who to date has won 12 gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show and has been praised by the late Queen Elizabeth as ‘the gardening magician’.
Additionally, new gardens are being exclusively designed for the expo alongside cutting-edge attractions, including interactive digital installations and Japan’s largest nighttime projection mapping. For more information: https://hanahaku2024.jp/.
DAIDOGEI World Cup to take place in November
The four-day DAIDOGEI World Cup, an event dedicated to street performance artistry, is scheduled to take place from November 2 to November 5 in Shizuoka City.
Held yearly for more than 30 years under the moniker ‘The City is a Theatre’, this international event is one of Asia’s top street performance festivals, gathering the most talented street performers from around the globe. For more information: https://daidogei.com/en/
New restaurant at Mt. Komuro
On the Izu Peninsula, travellers will find Mt. Komuro, known as one of the most scenic spots in the area for its gorgeous azalea blooming season from mid-April to early May and the picturesque “MISORA” ridge walk.
The latter opened in 2021 at the mountain’s summit at 321 metres above sea level and is a loop-shaped promenade offering visitors spectacular views of Mt. Fuji (weather permitting).
New restaurant (Kitchen 218) at Mt. Komuro.
A new restaurant, Kitchen 218, has just opened at the foot of Mt. Komuro, perfect for travellers to refuel after exploring the area. The space has been designed to represent Mt. Komuro’s history and serves specialities from the Izu Peninsula, such as Yogan-yaki (steak grilled on lava stone) and bountiful fresh seafood.
New one-day private tour of Shizuoka
The new ‘Classic Shizuoka 1-Day Private Tour’ is perfect for travellers looking to discover some of the prefecture’s key treasures in one day.
The tour guide meets participants at Shizuoka Station (served by bullet train and just one hour from Tokyo) to take a local bus to Nihondaira Plateau (boasting panoramic views of Mt. Fuji, the Suruga Bay and tea plantations in the area) and take the ropeway to Kunozan Toshogu, a shrine dedicated to shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (also known as the leader who unified Japan) and a designated National Treasure.
Kunozan Toshogu Shrine.
The tour continues with a visit to UNESCO-listed Miho-no-Matsubara, a breathtaking scenic area stretching along the coast and renowned for its stunning expanse of pine trees and awe-inspiring views of Mt. Fuji across the bay – a landscape that served as inspiration for many pieces of art and poems. The tour starts from JPY 60,000 (approx. £323) per person.
New calligraphy experience
The newly launched ‘Experience Authentic Japanese Zen Calligraphy Culture’ is ideal for travellers looking to boost their calligraphy knowledge as well as challenge their inner calligrapher. The session takes approx. 1.5 hours and starts with an overview of calligraphy history and must-know details, followed by a technique demonstration.
Participants will then try their hand at writing their names in Japanese Kanji characters – a fantastic souvenir to take back home and frame as a reminder of their visit to Shizuoka. The experience starts from JPY 13,000 (approx. £70) per person.
Photography courtesy of Tourism Shizuoka Japan.
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