Shizuoka is a prefecture in the Tokai region that, along with Yamanashi Prefecture, houses Japan’s best summit, Mt. Fuji. Spreading from the east to the west, the Tokaido Shinkansen Line that connects Tokyo with Osaka (Shin-Osaka Station) has six stations. From the east, the stations are Atami, Mishima, Shin-Fuji, Shizuoka, Kakegawa, and Hamamatsu. The eastern area of the prefecture houses several of Japan’s onsen (hot spring) towns, such as Atami and Izu. Since they are easily accessible from Tokyo, there are many people that not only stay in the inns there, but also take day trips. Areas close to the sea such as Izu Peninsula have diving spots, while areas near Mt. Fuji have several photo spots where you can view picturesque scenery. In the center of Shizuoka City lies Suruga Bay, which is the deepest in Japan and hosts around 1,200 kinds of sea creatures. The seafood caught from there is highly recommended, and the sushi that uses fresh ingredients from the bay is a must-try. Sakura shrimp or shirasu (whitebait) is only available for a limited amount of time every year, so if you come during that time, definitely try it! At Miho-no-Matsubara – the natural World Heritage Site furthest away from Mt. Fuji – you can enjoy the picturesque scenery made up of the green from about 30,000 pine trees, the blue from Suruga Bay, and the enormous up-front view of Mt. Fuji. The western part of the prefecture – which includes cities such as Hamamatsu and Kakegawa – is a flourishing manufacturing area that is home to many global manufacturers, such as car and motorcycle companies SUZUKI and YAMAHA, as well as instrument companies YAMAHA and Kawai. There are related museums and showrooms, so those who are interested should definitely come visit! As for the local cuisine, Lake Hamana’s unagi (freshwater eel) dishes and Hamamatsu Gyoza are famous. You can also enjoy melons that are specially grown there. Those who love shopping should visit Gotemba Premium Outlets, while it is recommended for those with kids to visit the Fuji Safari Park or Chibi Maruko-chan Land, which is a museum where one can enjoy the world of the famous anime, Chibi Maruko-chan. Recommended souvenirs include green tea (as it is the region that produces the most green tea in Japan), sweets that use green tea or matcha green tea, unagi pie, processed marine products, etc. Please come visit!
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