Sunday, July 10, 2016

Day trip to Shizuoka and viewing Fuji Mountain

In November 2015, I traveled to Japan using the JR pass. When I was going from Kansai area to Tokyo, I decided to stop by Shizuoka 静岡 on the way to Tokyo. Since Shizuoka is less than one hour away from Tokyo by bullet train, I figured that Shizuoka would be a perfect place for taking a day trip from Tokyo, especially for travelers who enjoy great food and great views of Fuji Mountain 富士山.
I was greeted by Fuji Mountain on the way to Shizuoka




- To read about my recommendations of affordable, Reasonable, Convenient hotels in Tokyo, visit: Affordable Cheap Reasonable Hotels in Tokyo
- To read about my recommendations of affordable and reasonable hotels in OSAKA, visit: Osaka Reasonable Affordable Hotel
- To read about my recommendations of reasonable, affordable, and convenient hotels in KYOTO, visit: Kyoto reasonable, affordable, and convenient hotels
- 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 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.
Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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.
Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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.
Yui. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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.
Yui. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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.
Sakura Ebi Shrimp. Yui. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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.
Sakura Ebi Shrimp. Yui. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
Kurasawaya restaurant



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. Yui. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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 Shrimp. Yui. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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. Yui. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
Yui town near Shizuoka



Day trips to Shizuoka offers glimpse of real Japanese rural/suburban neighborhoods.
Yui. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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.
Yui. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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.
Shimizu. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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.
Maruko chan restaurant. Shimizu. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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.
Sushi Museum. Shimizu. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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.
Sushi Museum. Shimizu. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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 Yokocho. Oden. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
Aoba Yokosho in Shizuoka



Authentic restaurant street like this creates great old time atmosphere.
Aoba Yokocho. Oden. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
Aoba Yokocho restaurant alley  in Shizuoka



Red lanterns in front of the restaurants offers great photograph opportunities. 
Aoba Yokocho. Oden. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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. Oden. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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.
Aoba Yokocho. Oden. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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.
Aoba Yokocho. Oden. Shizuoka. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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.
Ginza Corridor. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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. Chicken. Ginza Corridor. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
Hinaiya Oyako don chicken and egg bowl



Yakitori やきとり chicken skewer was perfectly salted.
Hinaiya. Chicken. Ginza Corridor. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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.
Hinaiya. Chicken. Ginza Corridor. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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.
Princess Garden Meguro Hotel. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
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)
*Shizuoka

*Yui Port

*Fuji Mountain

*Shimizu Port

*Kurasawaya
69-1 Higashi-Kurasawa Yui Shimizu-ku Shizuoka City
くらさわや
〒421-3113 静岡県静岡市清水区 由比東倉沢69-1
TEL: 054-375-2454

*S-Pulse Dream Plaza
13-15 Irifunecho, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka 424-0942, Shizuoka Prefecture
エスパルスドリームプラザ
424-0942 静岡県静岡市清水区入船町13-15
TEL: 054-354-3360

*Aoba Yokocho Odenya Obachan
1-8-7, Tokiwacho, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka
おでんや おばちゃん
〒静岡県静岡市葵区常磐町1-8-7
TEL: 054-221-7400

*Hinaiya Ginza Corridor
8-2-15 Ginza, Chuo 104-0061, Tokyo Prefecture
銀座比内や コリドー店
東京都中央区銀座8-2-15 明興ビル 1F
TEL: 050-5798-1242

*Princess Garden Meguro (detailed hotel review blog post)
2-23-7 Kamiosaki, Shinagawa, Tokyo 141-0021, Japan
ホテルプリンセスガーデン
〒141-0021 東京都品川区上大崎2-23-7
TEL: 03-3779-1010


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