Take a day trip around Shizuoka's hill country and enjoy some of the finest liquid fruits of this fertile land. Shizuoka Distillery, Aoi Brewery, Utsurogi Wasabi Farm, and Chojiya Restaurant at Mariko.
Hakone Hachiri has just been declared a Japan Heritage Area. Hachiri literally means 8 Li, a distance of approximately 30 kilometers. It refers to the stretch of the old Tokaido between Odawara (Tokaido Sation #9) and Mishima (Station #11), via Hakone (Station #10). During the Edo Period this stretch was a two day walk … Continue reading Hakone Hachiri, now a Japan Heritage Area
Kanaya, Tokaido Station #x, Hiroshige, 19C Old Tokaido Station #24. 'Gold Valley' is the literal meaning of Kanaya, and it has as pleasant an atmosphere as its name suggests.
Atami City acts as the gateway to Izu Peninsula, conveniently located at its north-eastern corner, and on the Tokaido bullet train line that connects Japan’s 3 largest cities – Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. It takes just 40 minutes to reach Atami on the Kodama Tokaido bullet train from Tokyo or Shinagawa Stations.
Artiste Philippe Delord heralds from Tours, and in 2017 published a book of his contemporary paintings following in the steps of Hiroshige along Tokaido.
Kawazakaya Inn, one of the few remaining original Edo Period inns (shukuba) on the Tokaido is at Nissaka, about a 20 minute drive east from the Shinkansen station at Kakegawa. You can enter and enjoy looking around this recently renovated building, constructed in 1852 after a fire destroyed most of the buildings in the post town. If you are really lucky one of the volunteer guides on duty might sing for you one of the songs of Tokaido travellers, as they puffed their way over the tough Pass which is so vividly captured in Hiroshige's print.
Mariko has been a post town since the first Shogun, Yoritomo, granted the area to local warriors in 1189. Chijoya was established as a teahouse there in 1596. In 1601, Tokugawa, who established Edo as Japan's new capital, introduced the post horse system whereby elite and urgent travellers could exchange tired horses for fresh horses at frequent intervals along Tokaido. This encouraged Mariko's rapid development as a post town, busy with couriers, feudal lords, and travellers.