Standing at 3,776 meters, Mt. Fuji is not only the tallest mountain in Japan, but also one of the country’s most iconic landmarks. Its beautiful conical form attracts admirers from all over the world, although it is often said that the mountain is better viewed from afar than actually climbed itself. There are many places that offer great views of the peak, but one of the most unique spots is from Miho-no-Matsubara, just on the outskirts of Shizuoka.
Located on the small Miho Peninsula to the east of the city, Miho-no-Matsubara is a scenic expanse of coastline stretching for 7 kilometers, most notable for its long groves of over 50,000 pine trees and expansive black sandy beach. This area was included as part of the Mt. Fuji UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. On clear days, the beach offers splendid views of Mt. Fuji towering in the distance, captured by the painter Hiroshige in one of his famous ukiyo-e woodblock prints. This vista is also said to be one of the “three ‘new’ views of Japan.”
Apart from taking pictures and admiring the views, there are a number of other activities to enjoy around Miho-no-Matsubara. One of the most popular ways to explore the peninsula is by renting a bicycle. The plentiful flat paved roads and the low cost (around 500 yen per day) make this a cheap, fun and convenient way to see the sights.
If you prefer to walk, there are also many pedestrian trails through the beautiful pine tree groves, including the boardwalk-like “kami-no-michi” or “god’s road,” which is said to refresh both the mind and soul. If you are not so spiritually inclined, the wonderful sea views and pine-scented air will certainly invigorate your senses if nothing else.
At one end of the kami-no-michi is Miho-jinja, a small shrine among the pines with a fine torii gate near its entrance. It also happens to be a popular power spot for marriage and match-making!
For more active types, Miho-no-Matsubara is the perfect place to try a variety of watersports such as sea kayaking and fishing, with windsurfing particularly popular in the summer because of the good surf and regular off-shore breezes. A few surf shops offer lessons for beginners.
Also be sure to try one of the local specialities: Shimizu maguro, a kind of fresh tuna usually served as sashimi, or the wonderfully sweet shrimp ama-ebi. Both are available in many of the seafood restaurants in the area.
Miho-no-Matsubara is about 25 minutes by bus (or quicker by taxi) from JR Shimizu Station. If you have your own car, you can drive all the way to the end of the peninsula, where there is an aquarium and natural history museum. There are also water-buses to the peninsula from Shimizu Port.
- Miho no Matsubara Pine Grove
- Shizuoka Pref. Shizuokashi Shimizu-ku Miho
- Walking freedom
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- Walking freedom