A day bicycle ride south and around the coast!

Dear guests and future guests, my name is Maddy, I am a thirty years old French girl traveling around the world for six months and the Izu Peninsula is by far my favorite place until now. I really enjoy the serenity that surrounds me here and the nature which is everywhere has a lot to […]

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Published on: July 24, 2015  -  Filed under: Activities, More, Sightseeing, Sports & leisure


Izu cruise

As I have mentioned in my blog about kayak, the best way to see Izu’s rugged coastline is from the sea. But if you are not feeling so active and don’t want to spend a day paddling then I highly recommend taking a 25 minute cruise around Irozaki. Irozaki is the southern most tip of the […]

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Published on: September 5, 2012  -  Filed under: Sightseeing

Lotus Garden

蓮(Hasu) is Japanese for lotus. This giant but delicate flower has long been a symbol for Buddhism as it represents the true nature of beings, who rise above the suffering of life then blossom into the beauty and clarity of enlightenment. Just like the lotus, which is rooted deep in the mud, with a long […]

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Published on: August 20, 2012  -  Filed under: Flowers, More, Seasonal, Sightseeing


Even though there is snow on the peaks of the alps in Nagano, Shimoda is still sunny and warm. There are very few signs of fall in fact, except these big orange persimmon (kaki) ripening on trees all over Izu.

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Published on: November 4, 2011  -  Filed under: Food, More, Seasonal


A Sailor’s Eye View of Kisami

Here is a picture of the Kisami area of Shimoda. From left to right, Goishi Beach, Ohama Beach, Maiso Beach, Irita Beach, Tatado Beach, and then more rocky coast line.

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Published on: September 17, 2011  -  Filed under: Sightseeing

Stop and smell these flowers!

Southern Izu is covered in Lilies of every kind,but the White Spider Lily has the sweetest fragrance of them all. Keep your eyes open, and put the brakes on when you spot one. Bet you can’t sniff just once.

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Published on: September 11, 2011  -  Filed under: Flowers, More, Seasonal


Saiko Taiko

Yesterday, Matsuzaki held its 12th annual Taiko Festival. It was awesome! (or “saiko”  pronounced psycho in Japanese) 4 taiko groups, 2 dancing dragons, a bamboos flute, smashing symbols and gongs were accompanied by torches of fire, candles in bamboo holders, and the sound of waves lapping on the beach. When the sun disappeared under the […]

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Published on: September 11, 2011  -  Filed under: Events, Sightseeing

What are you looking at???

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Published on: September 6, 2011  -  Filed under: Sightseeing


Summer is OFFICIALLY over!

Summer is over….. NOT! Actually, the fun has just begun! Today was the last day of work for the lifeguards (aka fun police), parking is now free everywhere (was 1500 yen during the “official” summer season), the crowds are gone, the traffic has unjammed, the best restaurants have seating available, and all the locals are […]

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Published on: August 28, 2011  -  Filed under: Sightseeing

Catch a Falling Star

Late last night I went for a stroll along Ohama beach and with every wave that crashed on the beach, glowing lights shimmered at my feet. I have never seen so many yakochu (bioluminescent plankton)! If you are quick, you can catch these mysterious glowing lights. When one lights up, scoop it up along with […]

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Published on: August 26, 2011  -  Filed under: Sightseeing


From Nanohana to Himawari.

Back in March this field of himawari (sunflowers) was a field of nanohana (rapeseed flowers). You can find it in Minami Izu, just south of Shimoda and on our recommendation map here. This is what this field looked like in March:

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Published on: August 12, 2011  -  Filed under: Activities, Flowers, More, Seasonal, Sightseeing

Hanabi in Yumi-ga-hama

Last night we filled the van with guests and drove to the west coast to see the sunset. It was kinda cloudy so besides some stunning views of Izu’s rocky west coast, there wasn’t much to see. After that we headed to the southern most tip of the peninsula for fireworks in Yumi-ga-hama. Fireworks exploded […]

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Published on: August 9, 2011  -  Filed under: Events, Sightseeing


Candle Cafe

On August 6th, 7th, and 8th, Shimoda held its second annual Candle Cafe. Which is not actually a cafe but a small festival with 1000s of candles lighting up the already beautiful Perry Road. Draft beer, cocktails and snack food was sold on the street. A good sound system oozed out smooth Jazz like Sade’s […]

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Published on: August 8, 2011  -  Filed under: Events, Sightseeing


The Izu Peninsula is covered in mountains and valleys reaching out to the ocean. On some of these steep slopes farmers are still tending their terraced paddies, or tanada in Japanese.   Here are some pictures of the beautiful tanada in Matsuzaki,  the west coast of Izu. Looking foward to harvest time, when the rice […]

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Published on: August 7, 2011  -  Filed under: Sightseeing



Here is a great little video of Kawazu’s 720 degree loop bridge. The video must have been taken during the July long weekend, because I have never seen that much traffic on Kawazu’s Loop Bridge. The loop bridge is about a 40 minute drive from Shimoda and can be seen from Nanadaru Onsen.

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Published on: July 27, 2011  -  Filed under: Sightseeing

Shokichi no Yu

This has got to be one of my favorite onsen, ever! So worth the journey up the narrow steep mountain roads (although I refuse to drive myself). When I mentioned that one of our previous guests had said, “Now this is off the beaten path.” another guest responded with “What path?”. This onsen is obviously […]

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Published on: June 14, 2011  -  Filed under: Hot springs, Sightseeing


A Fierce God

The Mimami Izu Hiking Trail is know for its amazing views off the high jagged peak of Cape Tarai, or what the local people call “a fierce god”. To get to the trail we took the 20 minute bus ride from tabi-tabi to Yumi-ga-hama.  From there we walked to Ogahama, a beautiful rocky beach with […]

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Published on: June 13, 2011  -  Filed under: Activities, Sightseeing, Sports & leisure

Open Cave

Right next to the Sand Ski Hill, down a steep set of stairs, you will come to another one of Shimoda’s natural wonders. It is a massive cave naturally carved out by blowing wind, sand, and water. It is open on the top and has a passage out to the sea.  You can also walk […]

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Published on: May 31, 2011  -  Filed under: Sightseeing


Sand Ski Hill

Sand Ski Hill is a massive sand dune you can sled down with a toboggan. It takes about 10 minutes to ride a bike from tabi-tabi to Sand Ski Hill. You can swim there as well but the beach is rocky. There is also a massive cave next to the Sand Ski Hill, I will […]

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Published on: May 14, 2011  -  Filed under: Activities, Sightseeing


We are forever receiving gifts from our neighbours and their gardens. In spring the local people forage through the bamboo forests and dig up these tasty delicacies, takenoko. If you eat them in the first two hours of being picked, you can enjoy “takenoko sashimi” or raw bamboo shoot with soy sauce and wasabi. If […]

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Published on: May 12, 2011  -  Filed under: Food, More, Seasonal


Monkey Park

Not sure what happens at the Monkey Park when it is open but when it is closed all the monkeys come to gawk at and harass the humans in the parking lot.     Open: 8:30 – 16:30 Entry Fee: adults ¥500 / kids ¥250 The Izu Monkey park is on the west coast of the […]

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Published on: May 10, 2011  -  Filed under: Sightseeing

Kanaya Ryokan Onsen

Kanaya Ryokan has been welcoming guests since 1866, but is most famous for its 15 meter long “sen-nin buro” (1000-man bath) built in 1915. This beautiful wooden bath is not only long but also very deep. In fact, it’s big enough to swim in. The women’s bath (pictured above) is much newer but probably just […]

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Published on: May 10, 2011  -  Filed under: Hot springs, Sightseeing


Perry Road

Most people only know Shimoda for its pristine beaches and emerald green sea, but there is a lot more to Shimoda you should really check out! Perry Road is a tiny street divided by a river with overhanging wheeping willows lit buy old skool gas lamps. You can spend hours at this end of town […]

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Published on: May 9, 2011  -  Filed under: Sightseeing


Driving through the peaceful countryside, past villages built alongside rivers, surrounded by freshly planted rice paddies, I was reminded of this beautiful documentary, Satoyama: Japan’s Secret Water Gardens”. Here is part two (of six):

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Published on: May 6, 2011  -  Filed under: Sightseeing



The Izu Peninsula has so many many interesting places to visit. Today we were on a flower picking mission in Matsuzaki but we have been to Matsuzaki numerous times before. It’s a great town to saunter around in. There are tons of historical building with namako walls, museums, cool kuras, cute cafes, and interesting shrines.  […]

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Published on: May 6, 2011  -  Filed under: Sightseeing

Flower Picking!

Every year in Matsuzaki (west coast of Izu) wild flowers are grown in rice paddies before the rice seedlings are planted. Once the May flowers bloom everyone is invited to pick as many flowers as they can. I cut and collected as many flowers as I could carry. Next year though, I will be more […]

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Published on: May 5, 2011  -  Filed under: Events, Flowers, Seasonal



Irozaki is a cape at the very bottom of the Izu Peninsula. There is a lighthouse and a shrine with amazing views of Southern Izu’s rocky coast.  You can visit the shrine and buy an “omikuji” (a fortune) if you end up with “kyo” (bad luck), you can tie it to a tree branch and […]

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Published on: May 1, 2011  -  Filed under: Sightseeing

Sunset Tour

At the moment we have guests from the UK, the Ukraine, Tokyo, and Osaka! It’s a long weekend here in Japan so we are enjoying a full house at the start of our season. Yesterday evening we took a family from Kawasaki to see the sunset on the other side of the peninsula. This is […]

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Published on: April 30, 2011  -  Filed under: Sightseeing



It’s Golden Week here in Japan which means a lot of people are enjoying a whole bunch of holidays. Children’s Day is on May 5th and the Koi (carp) streamers are here to help us celebrate. Families throughout town have strung their own families of fish but the town also raises a long set of […]

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Published on: April 30, 2011  -  Filed under: Events, Sightseeing

Welcome to the Front-side!

On March 9th we travelled from the back-side to the front-side of Japan. Hakuba  to Shimoda is only about a 6 hours drive yet feels like a world apart. We run a lodge in Hakuba, Nagano, where our snow-loving guests and staff were lapping up 40 cm of fresh powder while we were in Shimoda […]

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Published on: March 10, 2011  -  Filed under: Sightseeing

Points on the map