"Shimoda and the Izu peninsula" Shimoda by kosame13
Shimoda Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 10 photos
On the few escapades I managed to do this year from the stressing atmosphere in Tokyo, the two trips I took to Izu were probably the best. For such a close destination to the great metropolis - or maybe precisely because of that - I found that Izu was ostensibly disregarded by most of the people I knew.
Popularity aside, the Izu peninsula can boast of amazingly lush nature, countless onsen and beautiful beaches. Locals are friendly, warm people and the everyday life is so relaxed that you cannot help go with it and slow down yourself.
Both times I stayed in Shimoda, the southernmost town of the peninsula and famous for being the port were Commodore Perry put an end to Japan's voluntary isolation from the outside world. I found this location to be extremely convenient since you can easily reach other locations on the east cast by train or the west coast and inland by bus.
From Tokyo to Shimoda:
the fastest: Odoriko (JR Tokaido Line) from Tokyo/Shinjuku/Ikebukuro Sts. to Izukyu-shimoda St. Takes 2.5 hours and costs 5890yen one way. Odoriko schedules can be found here: http://jreast-shinkansen-reservation.eki-net.com/pc/english/common/timetable/e_lex_tokaido_d/index.html
the cheapest: alternatively, you can take a local train bound for Odawara (Odakyu Line) from Shinjuku - 92min. From Odawara take another local for Atami (JR Tokaido Line) - 23min, and finally another for Izukyu-shimoda (JR Ito Line)* - 85min. This should take from 3.5 to 4 hours (depending on the connecting trains) and cost you 3070yen/one way.
*sometimes the connecting train from Atami only goes as far as Ito (23min), where you have to take another train down to Izukyu-shimoda (62min).
A limited express train from Tokyo to Odawara would shorten the ride, but push the price up to 3780yen.
There are countless other train combinations to get there, with varying fares. For more information I would use www.hyperdia.com
Although taking a car might seem a less troublesome option, in my experience with rental cars in Japan, if the highway tolls or the gas don't make it more expensive than the train, the traffic jams on the way out and back into Tokyo will drive you crazy and don't compensate. However, it might not be a bas idea to bring your driving license and rent a car once in Shimoda to go around the peninsula, since the bus rides can get a bit expensive.
- Pros:wide variety of activities, good food, relatively low prices
- Cons:transport limited to bus inland and on the west coast
- In a nutshell:Mountain, forest, sea and onsen
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