Located between Tokyo and Nagoya, Shizuoka is another prefecture that will host the Rugby World Cup in 2019. Shizuoka has earned prestige for being one of the greatest tea producers among Japan’s prefectures, as well as for its famous hot spring resorts such as Atami and Shuzenji. However, Shizuoka may better be known as the prefecture that is home to one particular world heritage site – the great Mount Fuji.
Named “The Most Beautiful Bay in The World”, Suruga Bay gives a stunning view of the highest peak of Japan, Mount Fuji. Here you can also check out the “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji “ (Fugaku Sanjurokkei) painted by the world famous ukiyo-e artist, Katsushika Hokusai. The series is a perhaps one of the most famous example of the Japanese aesthetic theme of interconnectedness with nature, depicting Mount Fuji from different locations in various seasons and weather conditions.
Along Suruga Bay, you may also find Miho no Matsubara beach. Here, there are over thirty-thousand pine trees growing across the 7km beach, offering a breathtaking view to compliment Mount Fuji all year around.
Built in 806, Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine is Mount Fuji’s head Shinto shrine. Upon entering the grounds, it is hard to resist the view of Mount Fuji, the undeniable centrepiece of the entire area. The object of the worship at this shrine is Mt. Fuji itself, so this has been thought of as sacred, attracting Japanese travellers since ancient times. The shrine can thus be seen recurrently throughout arts and literatures.
Visitors will also be enthralled by the grounds themselves, featuring a vibrant red shrine, a surrounding pond and river, and a nostalgic shopping arcade to stop by.
The former Suruga region in Shizuoka Prefecture is one of the homes of Tokugawa Ieyasu- the first shogun of the Edo Period. There, you can feel how powerful he was by visiting Kunozan Toshogu, a 400-year-old shrine dedicated in his honour. Designated a National Treasure, the main shrine building includes the Haiden (the front shrine), and Honden (the inner sanctuary) which are separated by the Ishi-no-ma, an area where priests conduct various ceremonies. At the Kunozan Toshogu museum, you can admire the Spanish clock once owned by Ieyasu, given to him by the king of Spain in the early 17th century.