Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

Perched on the Pacific coast of Japan’s Honshu Island, Shizuoka Prefecture is a beacon of natural splendor and cultural intrigue centrally located within the country. The prefecture offers an array of experiences, from the majestic slopes of Mount Fuji to its serene tea plantations, catering to visitors with diverse interests and a hunger for both adventure and tranquility.

Upon arrival in Shizuoka, visitors find themselves enveloped in a slower-paced environment where nature’s grandeur harmoniously intersects with deep-seated cultural traditions. Shizuoka entices adventurers and peace-seekers alike, providing an expansive menu of activities, hot spring retreats, cultural excursions, and opportunities for leisure and entertainment, all easily accessible through the well-connected transportation network.

Exploring Shizuoka’s Natural Beauty

Towering Peak of Japan: Mount Fuji

Renowned as Japan’s tallest mountain, Mount Fuji is an iconic symbol with its snow-capped summit offering unparalleled views. Outdoor aficionados can ascend its slopes, while others may prefer the stunning springtime contrast of blooming cherry trees against the mountain’s grandeur.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

Peninsula of Ocean Views and Springs: Izu

Travelers are drawn to the Izu Peninsula for its striking oceanfront views and lush landscapes. Its offerings of restorative hot springs and the Jogasaki Coast provide a perfect blend of relaxation and natural splendor. Stretches of rugged cliffs and an array of geological formations line the scenic coastal paths.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

Cascades by Mount Fuji: Shiraito Falls

The Shiraito Falls are a tranquil visual spectacle, where gossamer waters trickle down a unique rocky façade. Fed by the melted snows of Mount Fuji, these falls are an oasis for both avid photographers and those looking to find solace in nature’s embrace.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

Reflective Beauty at the Mountain’s Base: Lake Tanuki

For a day spent in peace, Lake Tanuki is the place. With a stillness that mirrors Mount Fuji on its surface, visitors here can experience “Diamond Fuji”—a striking reflection that captivates and enchants. The lake’s perimeter is a welcoming setting for a cycle or picnic.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

Coastal Greenery with Mount Fuji Views: Miho no Matsubara

The green canopies of Miho no Matsubara offer more than just shade. Strolling through this coastal pine grove, visitors behold the majesty of Mount Fuji coupled with the calming sounds of the nearby sea. The area is a testament to the harmony between land and water.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

Panoramic Heights and Cultural Landscapes: Nihondaira

On the elevated plains of Nihondaira, sightseers are rewarded with a vista encompassing the Pacific Ocean, Mount Fuji, and the expanses of Shizuoka City. This landscape is deemed one of Japan’s finest views, perfect for a leisurely park day or a cable car ride to the historic Kunōzan Tōshō-gū Shrine. Families can also engage with the diverse wildlife housed at the Nihondaira Zoo.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

Exploring the Outdoors

Coastal Retreats and Aquatic Leisure

Shizuoka Prefecture’s coastline boasts pristine stretches of sand welcoming beachgoers and swimmers alike. Ito City’s Miho Seacoast presents an idyllic setting for a day of aquatic leisure with the magnificent Mount Fuji as a backdrop. Adjoining this are quaint fishing hamlets offering an authentic taste of coastal life.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

  • Miho Seacoast (Miho no Matsubara Beach): Ideal for sunbathing and long swims.
  • Fishing Villages: Perfect for scenic views and capturing Mount Fuji.

Trails for Trekkers

For those who find solace in the great outdoors, Shizuoka’s network of hiking routes promises engaging adventures. The paths provide an immersive journey through verdant landscapes, with the Suspension Bridge offering panoramic delights of the forest canopy and waterways winding below.

  • Suspension Bridge: A hiker’s dream for scenic treetop walks.
  • Varied Trails: Catering to both casual walkers and seasoned trekkers.

Angling and Seafood Savoring

Those with a penchant for fishing and fresh cuisine will be captivated by the bounties of the Pacific Ocean. Shizuoka serves as a paradise for anglers and foodies, with opportunities to both harvest and relish the rich maritime harvests of Shimizu Port and its surrounding waters.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

  • Fresh Seafood: Enjoy local dishes or catch your own delights.
  • Shimizu Port: A hub for fishing and seafood fanatics.

Alpine Expeditions and Winter Sports

Amidst Shizuoka’s peaks and slopes, Mount Fuji stands as a monumental challenge for climbers and snow enthusiasts. In the months when the mountain is capped with snow, the prefecture transforms into a haven for those seeking thrilling ascents and winter activities.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

  • Mount Fuji: An iconic climb for ambitious adventurers.
  • Winter Escapades: Skiing and snowboarding opportunities abound.

Thermal Springs and Traditional Inns

Seaside Geothermal Springs at Atami

Atami is renowned for its geothermal springs, providing an array of onsen (hot spring) ryokans that cater to both communal and exclusive bathing preferences. These ryokans are notable for their scenic ocean views and the therapeutic qualities of their mineral-enriched waters. Visitors often seek relaxation and rejuvenation from the immersive experience in Atami’s hot springs.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

  • Therapeutic Benefits: Visitors enjoy rejuvenating properties of the hot springs.
  • Accommodations: Features ryokans with public and private bathing facilities.
  • Location: Coastal town in Shizuoka, offering seaside relaxation.

Traditional Lodgings in Shuzenji

Located in the verdant region of Shizuoka, Shuzenji is dotted with traditional inns known as ryokans. These establishments exemplify the epitome of Japanese hospitality with their serene settings and culturally-rich amenities such as the Japanese tea ceremony. Shuzenji is nestled amidst landscapes that are as green as the locally produced tea, reputed across the region.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

  • Cultural Experiences: Engage in authentic tea ceremonies.
  • Scenic Beauty: Enjoy the lush greenery characteristic of the area.
  • Japanese Hospitality: Stay in ryokans offering a genuine cultural immersion.

Sacred Kinomiya Sanctuary

While Atami and Shuzenji are celebrated for their hot springs and ryokans, the revered Kinomiya Shrine provides a spiritual interlude. Visitors to this cultural landmark are often seeking good fortune and longevity. A highlight of the shrine is its ancient camphor tree, believed to grant an additional year of life for each visit. This site is a peaceful haven that complements the meditative ambiance of the hot springs.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

  • Cultural Significance: A shrine known for bestowing luck and long life.
  • Natural Monument: A historic 2,000-year-old camphor tree within the shrine grounds.
  • Location: Situated near Atami, offering a culturally enriching detour.

Exploring Shizuoka’s Cultural Landmarks and Scenery

Exploring Tea Culture in the Hills

Shizuoka’s rolling hills present a picturesque landscape dotted with verdant tea fields. Visitors can immerse themselves in the world of Japanese tea, engaging in tea picking and savoring the nuanced flavors of local green tea varieties.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

  • Tea Picking: Engage in the traditional practice of harvesting tea leaves.
  • Tasting Sessions: Experience the range of tastes that Shizuoka green tea has to offer.

Zen Moments at Bamboo-Enveloped Temples

Within a bamboo grove lies Shuzen-ji, a site of Buddhist worship offering tranquil surroundings. Red bridges arch over streams, inviting contemplation amidst the beauty of nature and architecture.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

  • Temple Architecture: Admire the graceful designs influenced by centuries of tradition.
  • Nature Walks: Enjoy the serene environment around cherry blossoms when in season.

The Serenity of Mishima Taisha

At the heart of Shizuoka’s spiritual culture, Mishima Taisha stands as a testament to Shinto architectural elegance. Its grounds offer a peaceful haven for reflection and exploration of Shinto customs.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

  • Architecture: Take in the grandeur of the shrine’s structures.
  • Seasonal Beauty: Revel in the cherry blossoms that dot the area in spring.

Stroll Through Heritage Towns

Traditional towns in the Chubu region boast a slow-paced, enriching cultural experience. Architectural wonders, local crafts, and historic markets provide a tableau of Japan’s rich heritage.

  • Historic Preservations: Discover the architectural treasures of bygone eras.
  • Cultural Interactions: Meet artisans and experience the local way of life.

These destinations showcase the convergence of cultural practices, from the tea ceremonies rooted in Buddhism to the festivals and rituals held at shrines like Mishima Taisha. Landmarks like Kakegawa Castle and Hamamatsu Castle exemplify the historical narrative that has shaped Shizuoka, while Kunozan Toshogu Shrine pays homage to figures like Tokugawa Ieyasu, illuminating the spiritual influence on the region’s culture. Visitors leave with an appreciation for both the tangible and intangible threads that compose the fabric of Shizuoka’s identity.

Retail Therapy and Amusement Experiences

Premier Outlet Shopping

A key highlight in Shizuoka is the renowned Gotemba Premium Outlets. Frequented by locals and international visitors alike, this expansive retail hub boasts a curated selection of luxury brands offering goods at reduced prices. Visitors can meander in an aesthetically pleasing outdoor space, punctuated by spots to dine and unwind, catering to every member of the family.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities


  • Discounted high-end brand offerings
  • Open-air layout
  • Dining establishments within the vicinity

Wild Encounter Park

Under the watchful eye of Mount Fuji lies Fuji Safari Park, a vivid wildlife park that promises an engagement with nature unlike any typical zoo. Visitors have the option to traverse the grounds in their own vehicles or aboard a park-operated bus, offering a closer look at a variety of species in a setting emulating their natural habitats. The park places emphasis on conservation, nurturing endangered species and underscoring the importance of preserving biodiversity.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

Park Zones:

  • Drive-through Safari Zone
  • Interactive Petting Zoo
  • Conservation efforts for endangered species

Unique Finds and Local Flavors

Retail excursions offer more than just keepsakes; they offer a taste of regional artistry and flavor. In the bustling marketplaces, one may come across handcrafted wood carvings or textiles that encapsulate the local craftsmanship. Culinary delights are abundant, with options like succulent sushi from Hamamatsu or aromatic green tea products from Fuji City. Adventurous palates can even experience the novel wasabi-flavored ice cream.


  • Traditional wood carvings and pottery
  • Locally produced green tea
  • Exclusive seafood dishes
  • Culinary oddities like wasabi ice cream

Accessibility and Transport Options

High-Speed Rail Connectivity

Travelers to Shizuoka can experience rapid transit via the Tokaido Shinkansen. This bullet train links Tokyo and Kyoto, whisking through Shizuoka along the way. With a journey time of around one hour from Tokyo to Shizuoka and around ninety minutes from Shizuoka to Kyoto, it represents a swift and efficient means of transport.

Things to Do in Shizuoka Prefecture: Top Attractions & Activities

Key features of the Tokaido Shinkansen include:

  • Speedy and punctual travel
  • Comfortable seats and ample amenities
  • Panoramic views of the Japanese landscape

Choosing the Shinkansen is ideal for those who want to maximize their time exploring the attractions of Shizuoka and beyond.

Heritage Railway Adventure

The Oigawa Railway invites passengers on a classic train journey via its steam locomotive. A venture on this train is like stepping into a bygone era, complete with the nostalgia of historic rail travel.

Passengers of the Oigawa Railway can expect:

  • An authentic steam engine experience
  • Visual feasts of verdant mountains and crystal-clear rivers
  • A relaxed tempo perfect for savoring the vistas

Routing through some of Shizuoka’s most striking natural scenery, the Oigawa Railway’s steam locomotive connects Senzu Station to Okuoikojo Station, leaving a lasting impression with its picturesque passage. This travel option is not just about reaching a destination but also about creating memorable moments en route.

Essential Preparations

Shizuoka Prefecture boasts a network of convenient transportation options, providing easy access to a diverse array of activities. Noteworthy experiences await travelers eager to explore beyond the familiar settings of Tokyo and Kyoto. Whether seeking the tranquility of Gifu, the cultural richness of Mie, or the urban allure of Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture, embarking on a journey through Central Japan offers a unique opportunity to discover hidden gems. Here are some highlights to consider:

  • Highly-Rated Attractions: Traveler reviews often highlight favorite spots and can guide you to the must-visit points of interest.
  • Travel Smart: Utilize Shizuoka’s extensive transport connections for an efficient and stress-free experience.
  • Extend Your Journey: Venture beyond Shizuoka to surrounding regions for a fuller exploration of Central Japan’s offerings.

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