Spring: Sakura & Scenic Mt. Fuji
Cherry blossoms in the foreground with Mt. Fuji in the distance – sounds like the quintessential Japanese setting right? Well, it turns out that there are actually very few places in Japan where you can enjoy both at the same time. Numazu, located by the sea between Tokyo and Nagoya, is one of them.
By car, Numazu is around 90 minutes from Tokyo or just under 3 hours from Nagoya. If you’re travelling by rail, its’s around 1 hour from Tokyo or 1.5-2 hours from Nagoya via the shinkansen and local trains. Once you’re there, cycling is a great way to get around. Just rent a bike using the Harenohi Cycle bicycle sharing service or go to the bike rental and cycling complex Numazu Cycle Station Shizuura East. Explore the city and find the perfect spot to snap sakura trees set against Mt. Fuji!
Summer: Sunshine & Good Times
For many Japanese, a big barbeque out in the sun is a classic summer tradition. Local Numazu business Lot.n will set you up for a fun-filled barbeque along the banks of the Kano River, just 10 minutes’ walk or a 5-minute bus ride from Numazu Station. They’ll provide all the tables, chairs and equipment you need. Food and drink too, if you want, or you can buy them yourself from stores in the neighborhood. When you’re done, Lot.n will take care of the clearing up as well.
You can have your barbeque in the daytime or the evening. A great way to work up an appetite is to go kayaking out on the river in the day first, and Lot.n can set that up for you too. With an evening barbeque, you might miss out on the sunshine but you can enjoy the decorative riverside illumination instead. You might even see some fireworks if you’re lucky!
Autumn: Atop the Numazu Alps
Don’t let the name fool you – the Numazu Alps are actually pretty modest in height, while still offering a decent hike. Most accessible is Mt. Kanuki, at just 193 m tall and located around 1 km from Numazu Station. And what better time to climb it than autumn, when the weather is mild and the trees on the mountainside are turning beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red?
Near the top, you can get up on an elevated observation deck to see great views of the city, Suruga Bay and even Mt. Fuji! There’s also a classic five-story pagoda waiting for you partway up the mountain where you can catch a breather. You can start your hike from the Kurose or Kanuki trailheads, each about 10 minutes by bus or 20-30 minutes by foot from the station, and it’s about 50 minutes to the peak from either starting point.
Winter: Warm Welcome in Heda Onsen
Stay warm in the wintertime in the soothing waters of Heda Onsen, a hidden hot spring area in the southwestern part of the city. Situated along the western coast of the Izu Peninsula, this secluded and peaceful onsen district offers beautiful views of Mt. Fuji across Suruga Bay, especially in winter, when the air is at its clearest.
Many visitors stop by after taking in other sights in the area. A great little trip you can make is to visit nearby sightseeing hotspot Shuzenji by day, then spend the night in a hotel or traditional Japanese inn in Heda. Unwind in a relaxing outdoor bath and take in the stunning sunset over the sea, before feasting on fresh local seafood such as long-legged spider crab, a delicious deepwater delicacy caught in the waters of Suruga Bay.