Home to Japan’s highest peak, Mt. Fuji, Shizuoka is a prefecture boasting many attractions worth considering when visiting the Land of the Rising Sun. From nature trips and gastronomic tours to historical points of interest, you will never run out of thrilling activities in Shizuoka, which can easily be visited on a day trip from Tokyo. But as there is plenty to see and experience, you might want to consider staying in for the night in one of the ryokans in Shizuoka. For a homey atmosphere, travelers can also check in at the Airbnb vacation rentals. Prepare yourself to discover the rich culture of the country as you explore this sunny region lying on the Pacific Coast where tea plantations, temples, ocean, and cherry blossoms come together to give colors to each season. Put on your comfy shoes and experience these top things to do in Shizuoka, Japan today.
Smart Aquarium Shizuoka is a perfect destination for a fun-filled day exploring the wonders of marine life. The aquarium features diverse marine creatures, including tropical fish, sharks, and penguins. Visitors can walk through the underwater tunnel and watch as schools of fish swim overhead.
The aquarium’s interactive exhibits allow visitors to get up close and personal with marine life, where guests can touch the starfish and sea urchins. The aquarium also offers a range of unique experiences, such as diving with sharks or participating in sea turtle feeding. The aquarium also has a dedicated children’s area with educational games and activities.
Shizuoka is a vibrant city in Japan that perfectly blends traditional culture and modern amenities. A day in Shizuoka can be filled with various exciting activities and experiences, such as visiting historical landmarks like the Sunpu Castle or exploring the beautiful Miho no Matsubara Pine Grove.
The city is known for its delicious cuisine, famous Shizuoka tea, and fresh seafood. You can indulge in these treats by visiting local restaurants or tea houses. The city also offers numerous shopping opportunities, with bustling markets and modern shopping centers to browse.
Duration: 6.0 hour
Make your way to this popular photo spot among photographers who want to see the mighty Mt. Fuji. A man-made lake for irrigation purposes, Tanuki Lake is not considered as one of the five lakes surrounding Mt. Fuji but offers its unique charms to see the magnificent views of Japan’s symbol. Capture that Instagram-worthy shot with trees on either side and the sparkling lake in between shadowing Mt. Fuji. The platform can get quite crowded especially during mid-April and mid-August when the sun rises at the tip of Mt. Fuji, known as Diamond Fuji, so make sure to come as early as possible to grab a perfect spot.
Duration: 5 hours
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Suruga-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka-ken, Japan
Go on an exciting adventure from Tokyo and be in awe at the exotic animals in one of the largest and most popular safari parks in Japan. Located near the base of Mt. Fuji, take delight of being close to giraffes, cheetahs, elephants, and more exotic creatures roaming around freely in the safari zone. Hop on the cute safari buses if you’re not driving your car and get the chance to feed the animals with the park’s optional animal feeding activities available. There are some scenic views of Mt. Fuji as well so make sure to find time admiring the views while getting close with the wild animals.
5. Visit the beautiful Jōren Falls
Enjoy a worthwhile stop at this charming waterfall located just off the main road and right beside an amazing river with fantasy-like moss-covered builders. Have a short trek down a well-paved stair that will take around 10 minutes of walking, depending on how quickly one goes up or down the stairs, that will lead you to the foot of the falls. If you have some time to spare, pay a minimal fee to experience fishing trout which are swimming around the falls. Don’t forget to visit the wasabi farm just next to it where you can buy wasabi products for souvenirs and actually see how wasabi is grown.
Address: 892-14 Yugashima, Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture 410-3206
Website: Jōren Falls
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
6. Catch the winter illuminations at Gotemba Kogen Resort
If you’re on the lookout for exciting things to do in Shizuoka during winter, you must definitely witness the magical Winter Illumination with your family and friends at Gotemba Kogen Resort. Experience the fascinating luminance display featuring 4 million lights and a 340-meter (1,115.49 ft) tunnel you can pass through, leading you to a water show.
Offering an excellent way to enjoy the views of Mt. Fuji, you can book your stay in the resort or have a meal in the nearby restaurant serving international cuisine and delicious drinks. Make sure to wear warm clothing or take your heating pads to truly enjoy the night for this time of the year is very chilly.
Winter Illuminations at Gotemba Kogen Resort
Address: 719, Koyama Gotemba-shi, Shizuoka-ken 412-0033 Japan
Website: Gotemba Kogen Resort
Opening hours: 4:30pm - 10pm (daily, Nov - Mar)
Get out of the tangle and the hectic pace of Tokyo and head to the scenic views of Mishima, a city located in eastern Shizuoka. Enjoy the view of Mt. Fuji from the dizzying heights of the world-famous suspension bridge, Mishima Skywalk, stretching over the expanse of a dense forest. Considered as the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Japan, take your time feasting on the views of the surrounding valleys, streams, and glorious valley filled with lush natural greenery. Stay late and wait for the sunset to witness the evening light on Mt. Fuji and at the same time, on the Pacific Ocean.
8. Find a moment of peace at Mishima Taisha Shrine
Take advantage of Japan’s efficient transportation system and make your way to this peaceful shrine located not far from Mishima station. Feel the good vibe as soon as you enter its Tori gate with a beautiful pond filled with carps, enhancing the feeling of balance and tranquility of this important historical valued shrine. After paying respect, explore the area and prepare to encounter deer that you can feed roaming around the small forest area with lots of bamboo shooting upwards. If you are looking for a place to see the cherry blossoms during spring, Mishima Taisha Shrine is an amazing spot to view the flowers.
Mishima Taisha Shrine
Address: 2 Chome-1-5 Omiyacho, Mishima, Shizuoka 411-0035, Japan
Website: Mishima Taisha Shrine
Opening hours: 8:30am - 5pm (daily)
9. Enjoy seaside and alpine views from Atami Ropeway
Visit Atami Castle, Atami Hihokan “erotic adult museum”, and Atami Trick Museum accessible by riding the Atami Ropeway. Feel the sea and the sky the moment it whisks you up from the Sun Beach strip to the hilltop offering a panoramic view of Atami City, Sagami Bay, and the lush green mountain ranges of the Izu Peninsular. Beat the heat with a scoop of soft-serve ice creams at Umi Sora Café located at the summit observation deck before heading to Atami Castle. Make sure to check online for daily updates before going for service may be suspended due to bad weather.
Address: 8-15, Wadahamaminami-cho, Atami-shi, Shizuoka, Japan, 413-8626
Website: Atami Ropeway
Opening hours: 9:30am - 5:30pm (daily)
Price: 400 JPY/4 USD (One way)
10. Admire the centuries-old trees of Kinomiya-jinja Shrine
Join the Japanese devotees and receive the blessings of this shrine believed to bring good fortune and good luck since ancient times. Located 5 to 10 minutes’ walk away from Kinomiya station, you can also use one of the several buses that run to the stop outside this shrine, bringing locals and tourists alike. Complete with Tori gates and traditional Japanese infrastructure, witness the vitality of the giant camphor tree that is standing for over 2,000 years at this shrine. Believing what this sacred tree brings to devotees, hold your wishes in your heart, and go around the trunk hoping for your wish to be fulfilled.
Address: 43-1 Nishiyamacho, Atami, Shizuoka 413-0034, Japan
Website: Kinomiya-jinja Shrine
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
11. Browse bizarre pop-culture memorabilia at Maboroshi Museum
Journey through this strange, Japanese-retro museum divided into different zones featuring a vast array of quirky and bizarre figures ranging from historical artifacts, mythical creatures, and explicit materials that may not be suitable for young ages. Prepare to see some gruesome, grotesque, and eccentric kinds of sites as you explore the sections with naked body parts and sexual demonstrations which those of a sensitive nature may not appreciate. For a more wholesome atmosphere, take an adventurous stroll along the grassy road to the section of the Big Buddha and ancient ruins in the jungle that visitors from all ages will surely enjoy.
Address: 1310-1 Futo Umekidaira, Ito 413-0231, Shizuoka Prefecture
Website: Maboroshi Museum
Opening hours: 9:15am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 1,200 JPY/11 USD
12. Meditate in the calm oasis of Shuzenji Temple
Feel the inner peace as you make your way to this small yet tranquil temple located just a short local bus ride from the Shuzenji train station. Beautifully situated in a compound that is surrounded by lush vegetation, Shuzenji Temple is a Zen Buddhist temple associated with so much history, including the power struggles and tragic events of the Kamakura Shogunate.
This serene place to visit in Shizouka allows you to further enjoy the autumn season where the many trees in its lush gardens become vibrant in color, complementing the fairytale-like red bridges. Freshen up and experience washing your hands outside the temple’s warm onsen water after completing your short trip.
Address: Shuzenji 964, Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture
Website: Shuzenji Temple
Opening hours: 8:30am - 4pm (daily)
13. Bathe and enjoy panoramic bayside views at Akazawa Onsen
Treat yourself to a rewarding and rejuvenating spa experience in this bathing facility with a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and a surprising openness. Take a dip in the incredible infinity outdoor hot spring pool overlooking the bay with an unobstructed view of the sky, mountains, and the sea while the ocean breeze massages your face. Stay in the indoor bath decorated with natural stones if the open air is too cold and you still want to have that superb view of the Pacific Ocean. Take advantage of using other amenities including a cold water bath, a sauna, a steam room, showers, and free towels to truly pamper yourself.
Address: 163-1 Ukiyama, Akazawa, Ito City, Shizuoka Prefecture 413-0233
Website: Akazawa Onsen
Opening hours: 10am - 10pm (daily)
Price: 1,550 JPY/14 USD
14. See gorgeous plum blossoms at Atami Plum Garden
Fall even more in love with this place during February, when the sun sets quite early, and you see the full bloom of plum trees in this part of Japan. Indulge in the sheer number of plum plants featuring 472 trees and 59 types of plum flowers that vary from exquisite white, rosy, and purple colors. After a whole day of strolling around the area, relax your feet in a foot bath where you can rest yet still admiring views over the garden. Enjoy the added entertainment set on the main stage as some artists perform acts during the plum blossoming period for visitors to truly enjoy their stay.
Atami Plum Garden
Address: 8-11 Baiencho, Atami, Shizuoka 413-0032, Japan
Opening hours: 8:30am - 4pm (daily, during the Ume Festival)
Price: JPY 300/3 USD (during the Ume Festival)
15. Catch a dolphin show at Shimodakaichu Aquarium
Tag along your kids and have a day of being close to marine creatures in this facility built using the natural coves of Shimoda Bay, the southern part of the Izu Peninsula. Feel the thrill as Bottlenose Dolphins jump over your head as part of the live shows, together with the seal show and the penguin feeding show. Experience floating at the center of the cove where you can touch and see 10,000 ocean animals from 60 species, replicating the sea of Izu. Don’t forget to grab the chance of taking pictures while the dolphins and the seals pose behind you and visiting the gift shop with lots of cute souvenirs to choose from.
Address: 22-31 Sanchome, Shimoda, Shizuoka 415-0023, Japan
Website: Shimodakaichu Aquarium
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 2,100 JPY/19 USD
16. Tour the scenic caves of Dougashima
Take an hour’s bus ride from Shimoda station and enjoy the scenic views of Dougashima boasting its beautiful rock formations that rise from the ocean. Brace the waves and take a thrilling boat ride that takes you to a complex course peppered with attractions including the Sanshiro Islands and the mystical caves. Prepare yourself for lots of Instagram-worthy shots as you stop in Tensodo Cave with beautiful lighting that comes in through the skylight. If you’re up for some hiking activities, enjoy the easy walk with a short steep climb to the top of the coastline trail for a picturesque sunset view.
Address: 2060 Nishina, Nishiizu, Kamo District, Shizuoka 410-3514, Japan
Opening hours: 8:15am - 4:30pm (daily)
Price: 1,200 JPY/11 USD
17. Learn about iron-smelting at Nirayama Reverberatory Furnace
History buff or not, a short trip in this side of Izu will let you see an important piece of Japan’s weaponry during the 18th century. Considered as a world heritage site, discover the start of modern iron production in Japan as you explore the furnace and the four high chimneys of this well-preserved historical factory where cannons used to be cast. Before visiting the site, learn the history of Hansharo and how it was desperately needed to shore up the country’s coastal defenses after the arrival of Western military vessels. Climb the hill with the tea bushes to reach a look-out platform offering great views of the furnace site and the valley below.
Nirayama Reverberatory Furnace
Address: 260-1 Naka, Izunokuni, Shizuoka 410-2113, Japan
Website: Nirayama Reverberatory Furnace
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 500 JPY/5 USD
18. Nosh on fresh shirasu at Tagonoura Fisheries Restaurant
Get to feast on some of the best fresh shirasu (anchovies) caught on the shores of Suruga Bay in this port in Fuji City. Being managed by Tagonoura Fisheries Cooperative, the area is known for producing products derived from the whitebait unloaded at Tagonoura Port and guaranteed fresh suitable for raw eating. Order both the raw and boiled shirasu topped over piping hot rice to try both unique flavors and complement your meal with a bowl of miso soup. Once you have your fill, enjoy the fishing activity outside the shop that runs from March through January since the fishing of shirasu is prohibited from February to April for natural resource conservation.
Tagonoura Fisheries Restaurant
Address: Fuji City, Shizuoka 416-0937, Japan
Website: Tagonoura Fisheries Restaurant
Opening hours: 10:30am - 1:30pm (daily)
Unleash the green tea connoisseur in you and follow the ocha trail into the heart of Shizuoka prefecture for the best tea experience ever. Traditionally known as one of the top three tea regions in Japan, a trip to Shizuoka is never complete without visiting Nihondaira, famous for its naturally rolling hills and pleasant climate set against the postcard-perfect backdrop of Mt. Fuji. Try your hand at tea picking from April to October in Shimizu Port and have a taste of wasabi ice cream recommended for soothing fatigue. Be sure to head to the summit of Nihondaira to enjoy panoramic views of the mountains, city, harbor, sea, and tea fields.
Address: 424-0886 Mabase, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka-shi
Opening hours: Sun - Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat: 9am - 9pm
20. Tour a shogun's burial place at Kunōzan Tōshōgu Shrine
Pay your respect to the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu, who brought peace to Japan for 265 years. Traipse in the shades of trees as you climb your way up to the main shrine dedicated to this famous leader while admiring the unbelievably beautiful and colorful structures along the way. Be impressed by the nice pieces of painted carvings as well as golden elements along the roofs and pillars of the buildings designated as a National Treasure in 2010. There are lots of steps to reach the main shrine so do wear comfortable walking shoes and make use of the walking sticks available at the entrance area of the shrine to assist your climb.
Kunōzan Tōshōgu Shrine
Address: 390 Negoya, Suruga Ward, Shizuoka, 422-8011, Japan
Website: Kunōzan Tōshōgu Shrine
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 500 JPY/5 USD
21. Unwind by the sapphire shores of Lake Hamana
Breathe in the cool breeze as you leisurely walk on the shores of Japan’s tenth-largest lake located near Hamamatsu Flower Park, a spacious park with flowers for every season. Formerly a true lake, this attraction in Shizouka is now connected to the Pacific Ocean by a channel as a result of a great earthquake in 1498 with water having more salinity than freshwater, but not as much as seawater.
Have a fun-filled day with family and friends while trying out some of the activities surrounding the lake, including being up in the air through the Kanzanji Ropeway or above the water via sightseeing boats.
Address: Shizuoka, Hamamatsu-shi
22. Explore the striking ruins of Hamamatsu Castle
Discover the life of Ieyasu Tokugawa while exploring this historical castle where he has lived for several years as a young warlord. Towering in the center of a family-friendly park, walk up a slope to reach the magnificent gate of the castle that will lead you to a permanent exhibition of samurai swords and armor, maps, family crest, photos, and other important artifacts. Find your way to the third floor with a 360-degree viewing deck offering a great view of the city and glimpse of Mt. Fuji on a sunny day. With over 400 cherry trees blooming in spring, this is one of the best spots to have a picnic under the waving light pink blossoms.
Address: 100-2, Motoshirocho, Naka-ku, Hamamatsu-shi,Shizuoka
Opening hours: 8:30am - 4:30pm (daily)
Price: 200 JPY/2 USD
23. Sample savory treats at Unagi Pie Factory
Let your taste buds know the scrumptious flavor of Japan’s Unagi Pie that is a symbol of Hamamatsu. Take your loved ones to an affordable yet delectable “Shunkado” expedition as you visit the Unagi Pie Factory to see how eel extracts, garlic, and other such flavorings are blended with butter to make these famous sweets. Watch as the pies pass a dedicated belt-conveyer, are baked in a special oven, wrapped, and packed right through the glass window of the production area. Visit the cafe and have a taste of freshly baked unagi pie paired with Shizuoka green tea.
Unagi Pie Factory
Address: 748-51 Okubo-cho, Nishi-ku, Hamamatsu-shi, Shizuoka 432-8006
Opening hours: 9:30am - 5:30pm (daily)
24. Learn about planes at Hamamatsu JASDF Museum
Experience hours of fun as you try out interactive airplane exhibits at Hamamatsu Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) museum. Be impressed by the number of items on display including airplanes in the hangars where you could sit in the cockpit, and flight simulators for kids. Relive the action scenes from your favorite Japanese films including Godzilla and King Kong while exploring the massive fleet and awesome collection of planes such as the Blue Impulses and a real Zero Fighter. Rent a costume and dress as an actual JASDF pilot before taking lots of photos for souvenirs.
Airpark JASDF Hamamatsu Air Base Museum
Address: Nishiyama-cho, Nishi Ward, Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 4pm (closed on Mon)
25. Zen out in the colorful gardens of Ryotanji Temple
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of city life and recharge your energy in this famous Zen garden considered one of the five famous temples of the northern Lake Hamana area. Follow the pathways and enjoy the cherry blossoms and other flowering trees and plants along the way that will lead you to the main temple. At this temple, you’ll need to take off your shoes before stepping into the hallway and get to listen to the singing of the floorboards designed to chirp like birds when anyone walks on them.
After paying your respect, spend time sitting by the beautiful pond garden and just marvel at the landscape or simply enjoy the serenity of the place.
Address: 1989 Iinoya, Inasa-cho, Kita-ku, Hamamatsu-shi, Shizuoka
Website: Ryotanji Temple
Opening hours: 9am - 4:30pm (daily)
Price: 400 JPY/4 USD
26. Learn about how Honda began at Soichiro Honda Craftsmanship Center
Check your brakes and drive your way to this museum featuring a display of historic and classic Honda bikes and some textiles. Honor the achievements of Soichiro Honda, the man who built a global enterprise from a small factory in Hamamatsu, internationally known as Honda Motor Company, Ltd today. Enjoy reading facts, watching videos, and admiring pictures showing the history of Honda in the second-floor exhibit room. Whether you’re into motor engines and bikes or just an ordinary passenger, you will learn a thing or two about the life of Honda’s founder together with the history of the company on your visit.
Soichiro Honda Craftsmanship Center
Address: 1112 Futamatacho Futamata, Tenryū Ward, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka 431-3314, Japan
Website: Soichiro Honda Craftsmanship Center
Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 10am - 4:30pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
27. Enjoy the lush tulip fields of Hamamatsu Flower Park
Indulge in the sweet fragrance and flashes of colors in this sprawling oasis where you can enjoy seasonal flowers and greenery all year round. Spend the hanami season surrounded by 1,300 sakura trees and 500,000 tulips in Hamamatsu Flower Park which is a must-see for anyone interested in gardening or anyone who enjoys a peaceful walk away from city life. Clearly spring and cherry blossom season are the highlights of the park but you can still feast your eyes on the lovely sights of roses, azaleas, and wisteria after hanami.
Hamamatsu Flower Park
Address: 195 Kanzanjicho, Nishi Ward, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka 431-1209, Japan
Website: Hamamatsu Flower Park
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 600 JPY/6 USD
28. Treat your palate at Michi no Eki Koishiwara Roadside Station
Have a taste of Koishiwara specialties at Michi no Eki Koishiwara Roadside Station before or after touring around Shizuoka Prefecture. Located in a seaside area, feel the calm scenery as you watch the several yachts docked in the port swaying with the smooth waves. Get rid of your tiredness and stuff yourself with seafood delicacies, soba and udon, and a scoop of matcha-flavored ice cream that you can buy from the surrounding restaurants. Enjoy activities like souvenir shopping, sightseeing boats, and even footbaths, as soon as you reach this roadside station to experience the local vibe before heading to your next destination.
Michi no Eki Koishiwara Roadside Station
Address: Michi no Eki Ito Marine Town, Ito 414-0002, Shizuoka Prefecture
Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)
Escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo and discover one of the main attraction points in Izu filled with the gift of mother nature. Stop along the scenic Jogasaki Coast and enjoy the cool breeze of fresh and damp air, the mesmerizing ocean, and the roaring sound of waves striking the rocks along the coast especially during high tide. Go for a walk across a suspension bridge offering impressive views of the irregular cliffs and stone formations that surround it. If time permits, it’s worthwhile going to the top of the lighthouse after crossing the suspension bridge for the panoramic views from a different perspective.
Fill your day trip to Shizuoka with tons of great sights of land and water as you explore the grounds of Miho no Matsubara that is part of the Mt. Fuji World Heritage Site area. Have a nice walk along the coast, under the shade of more than thousands of lovely pine trees in what is called Miho Pine Grove. On a clear day, especially from late November to early March, the shot of Mt Fuji in front is priceless, with Izu Peninsula to the east and Omaezaki Peninsula to the west. Take those photos though while walking carefully though, as tree roots are everywhere in the sand.
Gear up for a thrilling day tour packed with interesting sights as you take a coach trip to Shizuoka Prefecture to experience riding the steam locomotive of the Oigawa Railway SL Train. Before riding the steam train, have a short stroll in the Sakura Tunnel of Ieyama, where you will be able to walk through a road flanked by cherry blossoms trees. Get your ticket from Shin Kanaya station and be on the ride that runs approximately 25 minutes to enjoy the lush nature including tea plantations and a broad river valley. During spring, the view of about 280 Somei Yoshino cherry trees creating a beautiful sakura tunnel along the railway tracks is the highlight of this activity so plan accordingly.
Learn how cactus is grown as you step into this combined botanical and zoological garden featuring 1,500 different types of cactus and succulent plants from within Japan and all over the world. Visit the greenhouse and join a cactus caring course before choosing your favorite ones and create your pot of cactus that you can take home for a minimal fee. If the multitude of pricky plants becomes overwhelming, 120 species of animals roaming freely around the zoo area are more than happy to be fed and pet by visitors of all ages. Don’t limit yourself on moving around, afraid of getting thirsty or hungry, for there are five different restaurants to fill you up while at the park.
Duration: 1 to 8 hours
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Explore spectacular Shizuoka
From Mount Fuji to Izu Onsen Resort, a day trip to Shizuoka is not enough to fully discover the hidden gems this prefecture has to offer. Plan your itinerary accordingly and make use of Japan’s efficient transportation system to maximize your trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. With many activities available at your disposal, make sure to include some of the best things to do in Shizuoka to experience a different side of the charm of Japan.
Frequently asked questions about the top things to do in Shizuoka, Japan
1. What are the most popular activities with kids in Shizuoka
So the little ones can truly enjoy their trip to Shizuoka, you can immerse them in kid-friendly activities such as: i) catching a dolphin show at Shimodakaichu Aquarium, ii) learning about planes and experiencing kiddie flight simulators at Hamamatsu JASDF Museum, iii) strolling around the family-friendly park where Hamamatsu Castle is nestled, and iv) witnessing the winter illuminations at Gotemba Kogen Resort.
2. What are the top attractions to visit in Shizuoka?
To make your getaway to Shizouka one for the books, make sure to include these exciting destinations in your itinerary: i) Tanuki Lake, where you can book a private tour for a complete experience, ii) Fuji Safari Park to get up-close with lions and tigers, iii) Atami Plum Garden for its gorgeous plum blossoms, and iv) Mishima Skywalk to conquer your fear of heights.
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