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Located west of Tokyo, the Izu-hanto Peninsula is known for its abundant hot springs. Official sources even named it the most popular resort and holiday area for both residents and non-residents. It is easy to travel around the Peninsula by train. Express trains and buses are also available for each destination.


A hot spring resort, Atami is easily accessible from Tokyo via train. A tourist information center is available at the Atami railway station should visitors need any help.

MOA Art Museum - The MOA Art Museum is Atami's main attraction and is housed in the world headquarters of the Church of World Messianity. Japanese and Chinese art are among the collections in the museum. A few national treasures and a good number of important cultural properties can also be found in this museum. The museum opens daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is closed on Thursdays.

Izusan-jinja Shrine - Although the Izusan-jinja Shrine is not a significant shrine, it is set in serene and expansive grounds. The shrine also houses a local history museum, which opens daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., except on Mondays. The shrine is a 10 minutes ride up north of Atami station by bus.


A hot spring resort, Ito is known as the place where Anjin-san, or William Adams, the hero of James Clavell's Shogun, had built a ship for the Tokugawa Shogunate. From Ito, it is possible to move on to Atagawa for a visit to the Atagawa Banana & Crocodile Park. The latter is a theme park, which seems eccentric even by Japanese standards. It opens daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lake Ippeki-ko - Translated as "gourd-shaped" or roughly circular, Lake Ippeki-ko is approximately 4km in circumference and is a good place to go relax. Boat hire is available at the lake. To reach the lake, take the 25 minute bus ride from either the No. 5 or 10 bus stop outside Ito station.

Ikeda 20th Century Art Museum - The Ikeda 20th Century Art Museum contains collections of paintings and sculptures by Matisse, Picasso, Dali, and others. A trip to this museum can easily be combined with a visit to Lake Ippeki-ko.

Izu Ocean Park - The Izu Ocean Park, also known as Izu Kaiyo-koen, has 12 natural swimming pools, along with other facilities such as snorkeling and scuba diving. From Ito, it is a 45 minute bus ride to reach the ocean park.


Shimoda is the most pleasant of all the hot spring resorts, and is famous for being the residence of the American, Townsend Harris, who was the first western diplomat to live in Japan. The Treaty of Kanagawa, which ended Japan's centuries of isolation, resulted in the opening of the Shimoda and Hakodate ports to American ships. It also established a consulate in Shimoda in 1856. A small information center is located across the railway station.

Ryosen-ji Temple / Choraku-ji Temple - The Ryosen-ji Temple is famous as the place where another treaty - a supplement to the Treaty of Kanagawa - was signed by Commodore Perry and representatives of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Its next door neighbor, however, is even more interesting. The Choraku-ji Temple houses a sex museum, which features a collection of erotic knick-knacks, such as pickled turnips with suggestive shapes. Apart from this, the museum also features a series of pictures that depict the tragic life of the courtesan Okichi-san. According to the story, Okichi-san was forced to give up the man she loved for a barbarian named Harris. She was stigmatized by her relationship when he left Japan after five years, thus driving her into drinking and suicide. Okichi-san is still sentimentalized as a sacrifice to internationalism. Walk south of Shimoda station to get to both temples.

Mt Nesugata-yama - Located directly in front of the Shimoda station, Mt Nesugata-yama is a park that has a photography museum, a small temple, and good views of Shimoda and Shimoda Bay. Cable cars run up the park every 10 minutes. The park is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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