One of Shizuoka city’s best attractions is the Kunozan area and Kunozan Toshogu shrine. It’s a little bit out of the way, but well worth the effort to visit and spend a day here- it’s beautiful and there are plenty of activities to fill your day with. From the National Treasure listed Kunozan Toshogu shrine to strawberry picking, and impressive views of Mount Fuji, there’s something in the Kunozan area for everyone.
How to get there:
There is a bus from Shizuoka Station’s south exit, but it would be quicker by car or taxi. The bus takes around 45 minutes, and you might have to change at Ohya area (it’s the last stop on the bus route). The bus costs around 500 yen, and as it is a countryside route, there are no english signs or furigana for the place name. So we’d recommend telling the bus driver you want to go to Kunozan, and they will be able to tell you where to go. There are relatively few buses running so be sure to check beforehand! Alternatively, you could travel to Nihon Daira by bus or taxi and then take the nihondaira ropeway.
What to do:
Kunozan Toshogu: This intricate shrine is a national treasure, and it’s well worth the climb of 1159 stone steps to reach the top! The shrine’s style is different from many other Japanese shrines as it is a Toshogu shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the most famous Toshogu shrine being Nikko. Entrance to the shrine is 500 yen. There is also a museum, which costs 400 yen. The upper section of the shrine, which contains remains of Tokugawa Ieyasu, is considered a ‘power spot’ by Shizuoka locals.
Ropeway to Nihon Daira– Nihon Daira is the perfect place to view Shizuoka city, and Fuji san too if it’s a clear day. (Be sure to check the weather beforehand to avoid disappointment.) Fuji san or no Fuji san, it’s still a beautiful view of the city, and across the Suruga bay and the Izu peninsula. Newly opened Nihon Daira Yume Terrace has an informative and free display explaining the history and geography of the area, and a cafe where you can relax and enjoy the view. A one way ticket on the ropeway is 550 yen and a return ticket is 1000 yen.
Ichigo gari strawberry picking– Kunozan is famous for ishigaki ichigo, and there are many small farms where you can pick strawberries (or you can buy them pre-picked). Tabehoudai all you can eat strawberry picking starts at around 1200 yen
Strawberry omiyage- there are loads of yummy strawberry omiyage souvenirs available- and lots in cute packaging ready to send back home. Definitely have a strawberry ice cream or a cup of fresh strawberry juice too while you’re at it.
Sea Walk– The stretch of beach at the bottom of Kunozan is black volcanic sand, and a walk along the shore is a very relaxing way to spend a few minutes, for example if you’re waiting for the bus home.
Kunozan toshogu is located at the top of 1159 stone steps, so is unfortunately not very accessible. One option might be to go by car to Nihon Daira and take the ropeway to Kunozan, avoiding the steps. However, this route is still not step free.
Although the steps and the bus make accessing Kunozan Toshogu a little bit more challenging, it is such a peaceful area, and well worth the effort to visit. Don’t miss a visit if you are in the Shizuoka area!
For more information please visit Kunozan toshogu’s website