|I was greeted by Fuji Mountain on the way to Shizuoka|
- To read about my recommendations of affordable and reasonable hotels in OSAKA, visit: Osaka Reasonable Affordable Hotel- To read about how to plan your trip to Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe, visit: Planning your trip to Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe in Japan
- To read about my recommendations of reasonable, affordable, and convenient hotels in KYOTO, visit: Kyoto reasonable, affordable, and convenient hotels
- To read about my recommendations of best food in Tokyo, visit: Best food in Tokyo Japan
Arriving at JR Shizuoka station by shinkansen bullet train. Shizuoka is about 55 minutes away from Tokyo area by Hikari bullet train.
|JR Shizuoka station|
Great views of the most sacred mountain in Japan. Fuji mountain was beautiful on a clear day when I visited.
|Fuji Mountain View from the station|
For travelers who are carrying heavy luggages, I recommend storing your baggage in rental lockers at the train station. 500 yen will get you a medium size automated locker that operates between 7am to 9pm. This type of automated locker is located at every major train station in Japan.
|Rental locker at JR Shizuoka station|
After I left my luggages in the locker at JR Shizuoka station, I hopped onto JR Tokaido Line for JR Yui 由比 station. The ride took about 22 minutes and would have cost ~410 yen, but the fare was covered by JR pass.
|JR Yui station in Shizuoka area|
Yui area is famous for being one of the only location in Japan where fisherman is able to catch a seafood delicacy called Sakura Ebi Shrimp 桜えび. I was greeted by the Sakura Ebi Shrimp gate right by JR Yui station.
|Sakura Ebi Shrimp Gate naer Yui station|
Because I was pressed for time, I took the taxi to a Kurasawaya くらさわや, which is a well known restaurant in the area that serves Sakura Ebi Shrimp cuisine. The restaurant opens from 11am to 3pm (last order 2:30pm) for lunch. Dinner time is from 5pm to 8pm (last order 7:30pm) I arrived at 2:30pm. The waitress was slightly reluctant to take me in for their last order for lunch. I believed their signs stated they are close on Mondays.
|Kurasawaya Sakura Ebi Shrimp restaurant neare Yui station|
Kurasawaya restaurant is a reasonable and authentic seafood restaurant that is famous for their Sakura Ebi Shrimp course meal.
The waitress stopped me from ordering the most expensive lunch set (~4200 yen) perhaps due to the long preparation time. She suggested the ~2300 yen lunch set.
|Sakura Ebi Shrimp lunch course at Kurasawaya restaurant in Shizuoka|
Yui area near Shizuoka is the only place in Japan that the fishermen catch fresh Sakura Ebi Shrimp from the ocean. Only freshly caught shrimp can be served sashimi style. I was fortunate that Sakura Ebi shrimp was in season in November when I visited. Sakura Ebi shrimp is usually in season between April to June and October to December.
|Sakura Ebi Shrim Sashimi|
Another famous dish is the deep fried lightly battered Sakura Ebi shrimp clumped together. Kakiage Deep Fried Sakura Ebi shrimp was full of savory flavor because of its freshness and it was perfectly seasoned.
|Sakura Ebi Shrimp Kakiage|
Yui town is definitely one of the least traveled, off the beaten path, and non-touristy area in Japan. It was a pleasant and easy ~15-minute walk from the restaurant back to the JR Yui station.
|Yui town near Shizuoka|
Day trips to Shizuoka offers glimpse of real Japanese rural/suburban neighborhoods.
|Streets in Yui town near Shizuoka|
Since Shizuoka area is known for its world famous green tea, I decided to try their green tea out of a vending machine. Majority of the bottled tea sold in Japan is unsweetened. The bitter sweetness of the tea was aromatic and very sophisticated.
|Bottled green tea in Shizuoka|
I hopped off from the train at JR Shimizu 清水 station and walked towards my next destination. There was pedestrian trails that lead to my destination.
|Shimizu area in downtown Shizuoka|
Arriving at S-Pulse Dream Plaza エスパルスドリームプラザ building complex after an easy 20-minute walk from JR Shimizu station. I saw almost no foreign tourists while I was strolling through the streets of Shizuoka.
|Exterior of S-Pulse Dream Plaza in Shizuoka|
Passing by Chibi Maruko Chan ちびまる子ちゃん cartoon character themed restaurant and shops. The restaurant decor is modeled after typical Japanese elementary school.
|Chibi Maruko Chan themed restaurant|
Arriving at Shimizu Sushi Yokocho 清水すし横丁 food court. Shizuoka is also famous for delicious seafood such as tuna and shirasu しらす.
|Shimizu Sushi Yokocho restaurant food court|
Fresh Shirasu Baby Fish Gunkanmaki sushi しらす軍艦巻き. This type of ingredient can only be served when it is absolutely fresh.
|Shirasu sushi in Shizuoka|
After taking the free shuttle bus ride from S-Pulse Dream Plaza back to JR Shizuoka station, I decided to pay a visit to the famous Aoba Yokocho 青葉横丁 that is known for the Shizuoka style Oden おでん cuisine. The walk was about 10 minutes and the route was through the most bustling streets of downtown Shizuoka.
|Aoba Yokosho in Shizuoka|
Authentic restaurant street like this creates great old time atmosphere.
|Aoba Yokocho restaurant alley in Shizuoka|
Red lanterns in front of the restaurants offers great photograph opportunities.
|Lantern at Aoba Yokocho in Shizuoka|
I picked a restaurant that seemed to be the most welcoming. Aoba Yokocho Odenya Obachan おでんや おばちゃん.
|Aoba Yokocho Odenya Obachan restaurant in Shizuoka|
No fancy cuisine dishes served here, only the most authentic Oden cuisine is served by the friendly chef couple.
|Authentic Oden cuisine at Aoba Yokocho in Shizuoka|
Oden is consisted of various ingredients such as fish meat paste, daikon radish, beef skewers and tofu simmered in dashi soup. After finishing up my meal, I took the bullet train from JR Shizuoka back to Tokyo.
|Traditional Shizuoka Oden cuisine at Aoba Yokocho in Shizuoka|
BACK IN TOKYO
After 55 minute of bullet train ride, I visited a famous nightlife/restaurant district called Ginza Corridor 銀座コリドー.
|Tokyo Ginza Corridor is good for good food and nightlife|
Ginza Corridor street is filled with restaurants with diverse types of cuisine. The cuisine ranges from Spanish, Korea, to authentic Japanese dishes. Majority of the restaurants open until very late. I visited Hinaiya 比内や for their special chicken cuisine.
|Hinaiya Oyako don chicken and egg bowl|
Yakitori やきとり chicken skewer was perfectly salted.
|Yakitori chicken skewer at Ginza Hinaiya restaurant|
Tsukune ground chicken meat ball つくね on a stick dipped in soft-boiled onsen egg was delicious.
|Tsukune meat ball on a stick at Ginza Hinaiya restaurant|
After finishing my 4th or 5th meal of the day, I returned to my lovely hotel, Princess Garden Meguro, to enjoy one of the biggest rooms I have stayed in Tokyo at a very reasonable price.
|Large room at Princess Garden Meguro Hotel in Tokyo|
My day trip itinerary is an example of how one can plan trips while traveling in Japan with or without JR pass. Many restaurant venues open until very late at night, busy or solo travelers can definitely fit in many destinations in one day.
INFORMATION (mostly Tripadvisor links)
69-1 Higashi-Kurasawa Yui Shimizu-ku Shizuoka City
〒421-3113 静岡県静岡市清水区 由比東倉沢69-1
*S-Pulse Dream Plaza
13-15 Irifunecho, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka 424-0942, Shizuoka Prefecture
*Aoba Yokocho Odenya Obachan
1-8-7, Tokiwacho, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka
*Hinaiya Ginza Corridor
8-2-15 Ginza, Chuo 104-0061, Tokyo Prefecture
〒東京都中央区銀座8-2-15 明興ビル １Ｆ
*Princess Garden Meguro (detailed hotel review blog post)
2-23-7 Kamiosaki, Shinagawa, Tokyo 141-0021, Japan