Atami, Shuzenji Onsen and Numazu: Day-trip Adventures in the Izu Peninsula

Located southwest of Tokyo in Shizuoka Prefecture, the 伊豆 Izu Peninsula is a cornucopia of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and delicious local cuisine. Although the region may not be as well-known to international tourists as popular destinations like Kamakura and Hakone, it offers a unique and authentic experience for those seeking a lesser-traveled path.

Three captivating destinations in Izu stand out as perfect day trips due to their range of activities and proximity to Tokyo: 熱海 Atami, 修善寺温泉 Shūzenji Onsen, and 沼津 Numazu. Atami is known for its coastal beauty and vibrant arts scene. Shuzenji Onsen, a historic hot spring town known as the “little Kyoto” of Izu, enchants visitors with its picturesque landscapes featuring historic architecture, as well as its tranquil atmosphere. Numazu, a bustling port city, offers stunning waterfront views and delicious, fresh seafood.


JR Atami Station.

Atami is easily accessible via the Tokaido Shinkansen and JR Ito Line, with the nearest station being Atami Station (AT01), approximately 50 minutes from Tokyo Station. Shuzenji Onsen is accessible via the Izuhakone Railway Sunzu Line, with the nearest station being Shuzenji Station (SN01), approximately 2 hours from Tokyo Station. Numazu is accessible via the Tokaido Main Line and JR Gotemba Line, with the nearest station being Numazu Station (NM01), approximately 90 minutes from Tokyo Station.

Food and Drink


Atami is well-known for its fresh seafood, thanks to its coastal location. A must-try dish is the アジのたたき aji no tataki, a local specialty of finely chopped horse mackerel and spring onions, seasoned with grated ginger and soy sauce. Delight your taste buds with this savory dish, while enjoying views of the ocean.

Aji no tataki, an Atami specialty.

Shuzenji Onsen

Shuzenji Onsen is famous for its 温泉饅頭 onsen manjū, a traditional Japanese bun filled with sweet bean paste. Literally meaning “hot spring bun,” the dough is usually made with hot springs water and the buns are cooked with hot springs steam. Several varieties are available. Pair it with a cup of Shizuoka green tea for an authentic taste of the region. The combination of flavors and textures creates a delightful treat to be enjoyed while exploring this historic town.


While the fish market at Numazu Port is smaller compared to the famous Tsukiji and Toyosu markets in Tokyo, it still offers a unique experience to sample fresh seafood and observe the lively local scene. Look out for ぬまづ丼 numazu-don, a rice bowl topped with an assortment of sashimi. This delectable dish showcases the incredible variety of seafood available in the region, making it a must-try for any seafood lover.

Numazu-don: It doesn’t get any fresher than this.



Atami offers a range of souvenir shops, where you can find unique items such as local ceramics, traditional crafts, and artisanal sweets. The MOA Museum Shop is an excellent place to find art-related souvenirs, as well as other locally made products that showcase the region’s rich artistic heritage.

Shopping at a souvenir shop. [Photo for illustrative purposes only]

Shuzenji Onsen

Although Shuzenji Onsen isn’t known for shopping, you’ll find a few charming boutiques selling traditional Japanese crafts, textiles, and accessories in addition to sweets shops selling the abovementioned onsen manju.

Shopping in Shuzenji.


Numazu, like Shuzenji Onsen, is not particularly known for shopping, but you’ll have more choices since it’s a larger urban area. Local shops selling traditional crafts and souvenirs can be found near the station area and dotted throughout the downtown area. Take the time to explore these quaint stores and discover the unique items that reflect the city’s coastal charm.

Sightseeing and Activities

Both Atami and Shuzenji Onsen are known as hot spring towns. The best way to enjoy hot springs is to spend the night at a resort, but here are some of the activities more suited for a day trip from Tokyo:


Fun in the sun at Atami Sun Beach in summer.

Atami Sun Beach: This scenic beach offers stunning views of Sagami Bay and is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing during the summer months.

Atami Castle: Overlooking the city, this replica castle houses a museum showcasing the history of Atami and its surrounding region, making it a great educational experience for visitors of all ages.

The Atami Fireworks Festival is not to be missed.

Atami Fireworks Festival: If your visit happens to align with the annual Atami Fireworks Festival held in August, be prepared for a truly spectacular sight. This popular summer event draws crowds from all over the country to marvel at the stunning fireworks display over Sagami Bay.

Shuzenji Onsen

修繕寺 Shuzenji Temple: Shuzenji, which existed as a town until 2004 when it was incorporated into Izu City, takes its name from this historic temple established over 1,200 years ago by the famous Kobo Daishi, founder of the esoteric Shingon sect of Buddhism. The temple grounds feature beautiful architecture and lush greenery, creating a serene atmosphere for reflection and relaxation.

Shuzenji Temple is worth visiting when you’re in the area.

Bamboo Forest Path: A serene walk through a dense bamboo grove will surely provide a tranquil escape from the shops and boutiques of the city. The soothing sounds of rustling bamboo leaves and the enchanting atmosphere make this path a perfect place for relaxation and contemplation.

The photogenic bamboo forest path in Shuzenji.


沼津港 numazu-kō Numazu Port: Stroll along the harbor and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of this bustling port town. Don’t forget to take in the stunning views of Mt. Fuji from the nearby coast, providing a picturesque backdrop for your day trip adventure.

Shops selling the freshest seafood at Numazu Port

Water Activities: Experience the coastal allure of Numazu with a variety of water activities. Whether it’s serene boating and kayaking around Sagami Bay or the thrill of kayak fishing, these adventures provide an intimate encounter with the stunning sights of Mt. Fuji, Awashima Island, and the local marine life.

Kayak fishing near Awashima Island in Numazu

Anime Pilgrimage: For anime fans, Numazu is known as the setting for the popular LoveLive! Sunshine!! anime and its spinoff Yohane of the Parhelion: Sunshine in the Mirror. Keep an eye out for locations and landmarks featured in these anime, as well as merchandise and themed events that celebrate the series’ connections to the city.

A shopping arcarde in downtown Numazu decorated with images of characters from LoveLive! Sunshine!!.

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that Izu Peninsula has much to offer both nature lovers and geology buffs.

Izu Peninsula UNESCO Global Geopark: The Izu Peninsula is home to the closest UNESCO Global Geopark to the capital region, offering visitors the opportunity to explore and appreciate the area’s geological wonders. From stunning coastlines to lush forests and volcanic landscapes, there’s a wealth of natural beauty for outdoor enthusiasts and those looking to immerse themselves in the region’s pristine environment.

Evidence of Izu Peninsula’s ancient submarine volcanism reveal themselves on Ebisu Island.

Please note that compared to more popular tourist spots like Hakone, the Izu Peninsula may pose some language barriers for first-time visitors. To ensure a smooth experience, consider learning basic Japanese phrases, carrying a phrasebook or language guide, and using a translation app. Remember to be patient and respectful when communicating with locals. By preparing for potential language challenges and embracing the local culture, you’ll be able to truly appreciate the unique charm and authenticity of the Izu Peninsula.

In summary, Atami, Shuzenji, and Numazu offer an enticing escape from the crowds and concrete jungle of Tokyo. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the region’s landscapes, indulge in delicious local cuisine, and uncover the rich culture and history that await you in these charming towns. And if you’re not limited by day trips but can afford to travel further and spend a night, Izu Peninsula is also known for its numerous hot spring towns like 伊東 Itō, 下田 Shimoda and 湯ヶ島温泉 Yugashima Onsen where you can soak in soothing mineral-rich waters and enjoy a relaxing evening with local delicacies.