"Okitsu, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka" Okitsu by taigaa001
Okitsu Travel Guide: 23 reviews and 83 photos
Okitsu is the northeastern part of Shizuoka city best known as the 17th post station of Old Tokaido Road starting from Nihonbashi Edo(currently in Tokyo) and Kyoto. Hundreds of years ago, travellers walked to travel and it took about 15 days from Edo(Tokyo) to Kyoto. Ordinary visitors get to Yui about five or six days from the start of the trip to Kyoto. After Meiji Restoration and came the days of train travel. While most of the post stations opposed being close to the railway stations and faced such consequences, Okitsu chose to get the station in the middle of the post station area and thrived because of the beautiful beach which has been perished during post-war reclamation development. Until then novelists, politicians built summertime villas the most notable of which is Kinmochi Saionji who retained the influence even after he was retired until his death in 1940. Some even argue that had the kingpin lived longer the second world war might have been averted. Former villa of Kinmochi Saionji, Zagyoso was recently reconstructed to where it stood.
After the second world war, Okitsu became world famous by the book called "Japanese Inn" written by Oliver Statler. Unfortunately Minaguchiya closed business just as most of the Inns around Old Tokaido Station did. The only Hatago Inn still running business is Ohashiya in Akasaka-shuku in Toyokawa. A part of former Minaguchiya Inn is now open to public as a gallery museum.
Located close to Minaguchiya and Zagyoso is 1,300-year-old temple Seikenji Temple which is best known by five-hundred arhat statues. Seikenji temple is also popular among photographers to have the view of the old temple and the running train under it.
On my way from Fujieda to Merugo, Tokyo. I waited the train at Okitsu for the train to Numazu. It is usually really hard to see Mt. Fuji during summertime but I could see the snowless summit part of Mt. Fuji from the station. From there Mt. Fuji seems to be really shy indeed. To get the better view of Mount Fuji, the best way is to walk about one and half hour to Satta Pass. It is one of the scenic spot best known by Hiroshige's woodblock printing for Yui.
Satta Pass Trail used to have been the hardest place to cross for travelers. Until the Tokaido Route was developed the travelers had had to pass the road through the precipice risked to get washed away by the high waves. In 17th century in developing Tokaido Route, the high priority was set upon the safety of the travelers particularly of Korean Emissaries to Edo. Then the moutain trail has been developed and travelers enjoyed the dramatic scenery of Mt. Fuji and the ocean views. After the Ansei Tokai Earthquake in 1854, the coastal area got elevated enough to develop coastal road. Present Route 1 is based on the seaside route.
Ojima Jinya is a quasi-castle for Ojima Domain(1704-1868), that had an area able to produce 10,000 koku(1,800 metric tons) of rice. It is located about 4 kilometers north of Okitsu-juku of Tokaido. Ojima Jinya is designated as a National Historic Site in 2006. Stone wall structures and the view of the mountain area extending from Satta Pass is really great.
Hiroshige's Okitsu depicts the river-crossing of two sumo wresters in Okitsu River.
I tried to get the same view but right at the place runs Tokaido Line. So I could only get the photo like that.
Other places to explore...
Shimizu Forest Park
Mt. Hamaishidake Hike
Shizuoka/Yamanashi Border Hikes
Okitsu River Fishing
Blogs about Satta Pass
Walking Fool: Day 19: Okitsu-Fuji
English Map on Okitsu
English Map of Satta Pass and Yui
Mt. Hamaishi (Hamaishi-dake) is the highest peak of the mountain range extending northward from Satta Pass. It is 707... more travel advice
Kurokawa Shizen-en of the Shimizu Forest Park Yasuragi No Mori is a place so that the visitors can learn and feel about... more travel advice
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