Shizuoka Adventure - The Majestic Home of Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji, or Fujisan as it is called in Japanese, is a near-perfect conical dormant volcano that is widely regarded as a symbol of Japan. As Japan’s tallest mountain at 3776 meters (12,388 ft.), it towers above a geological wonderland of moving tectonic plates, lava flows, rich soil, and spring water. Fujisan stands alone in its magnificence, and its spiritual presence runs deep in the Japanese psyche, inspiring poems, art, and reverence over the millennia. This adventure takes you through the prefecture of Shizuoka, home to Mt. Fuji. Explore the special connection the people have with this mountain as you get your blood pumping.
- 1Shuzenji Temple
- 2Nanadaru Waterfalls
- 3Matsuzaki Village
- 4En Ya Eco Camp
- 5Mt Fuji
Walking the Old Paths of Mishima
You will start your journey with a walk through the city of Mishima. To set the scene for the days ahead, you will get a lesson in Japan History 101 in a fun and engaging way as you hop, skip, and jump along the river Genbe in Mishima. Mt. Fuji is the result of the Izu Peninsula, sitting atop the Philippines tectonic plate, smashing into the Japanese mainland (Honshu), which sits atop the Eurasian tectonic plate. In spring, snow meltwater on Mt. Fuji seeps down through nearby porous volcanic rock to resurface here in front of Mishima Station as clear spring water.
Although once an industrial powerhouse, Mishima's waterways gradually became neglected and polluted. In the late '90s, residents cleaned up and restored the rivers to their natural beauty. A 3-kilometer walk along one of these restored rivers will bring you to Mishima Tamachi Station, where you will board the local train for a roughly 35-minute train ride to Shuzenji Station.
Upon arriving at Shuzenji Terminal Station, you will take a five-minute taxi ride to the center of Shuzenji to stroll along the Katsura River and follow a path through bamboo groves leading to Shuzenji Temple. Legend has it that the famous monk Kukai (Kobo Daishi) founded the temple in 807 AD while traveling around Japan, making it a fitting place to receive blessings for a safe and enlightening journey.
Tasting Fresh Wasabi
After breakfast, check out of the inn and take a short 20-minute drive to the start of your e-bike adventure through beautiful sections of the old Shimoda Kaido—the inland route used mainly for salt trade during the Edo period. The e-bike will take the grunt work out of the hills and help save your energy for climbing Mt. Fuji!
En route, take a quick stop to the impressive Nanadaru Waterfalls. Here you will see why Izu is an officially UNESCO-recognized Geopark: a landscape covered with pillar-like formations known as "columnar joints," a fascinating geological phenomenon formed by cooling lava flows.
Next, it's back on the e-bike for a final descent to the valley below. You will have seen many wasabi fields throughout this morning's bike ride and your hike around the waterfalls. Wasabi was originally discovered in Shizuoka and was highly prized for its antibacterial properties, making it integral to the flourishing sushi and sashimi culture of Edo. Wasabi is an extremely delicate plant, and farming it requires vast amounts of flowing spring water. For lunch, try freshly grated wasabi on a bowl of steamed rice - a simple yet satisfying meal that you will appreciate even more after learning about the effort required to produce wasabi.
With your sinuses cleared and belly recharged with food, continue your e-bike tour heading west over a mountain pass and into the coastal village of Matsuzaki. The afternoon ride is 25 kilometers, beginning with a climb for the first 8 kilometers before a long and gentle descent to the seaside village. There are gravel sections on this road. Take the late afternoon to rest or explore the town. There is a shared onsen bath and rotenburo (outdoor bath) where you can rinse off and refresh after today's activity. Enjoy your dinner at a nearby local restaurant after watching the gorgeous sunset.
Mountain Biking or Sea Kayak Fishing
OPTION A – Mountain Biking
After breakfast, grab a mountain bike and shuttle up the mountain for some epic free-riding along old trails, that had long remained forgotten in the mountains. Stone jizo statues watch over the paths you follow as your guide paints a picture of life in the area in days gone by and what is being done to preserve it for present and future generations.
OPTION B – Sea Kayak Fishing
An alternative option for any keen angler on day 3 of your excursion is to paddle out fishing by sea kayak with a view of Mt. Fuji in the distance.. You don't need to go very far from the coast as the seafloor of West Izu drops steeply away into the deep-sea trench of Suruga Bay. September is one of the best seasons for fishing, with mackerel, bonito, and grouper as potential targets.
Either way, your morning activities will finish just before noon, and you will devour a feast at Mingei-Sabou, a local restaurant with an amazing selection of fresh seafood. They can promptly clean and prepare any fish you may have caught too.
Depart Matsuzaki for a nearly 2-hour drive to Fujinomiya, the foothills of Mt. Fuji. Arrive at Enya and spend the evening engaging in conversation while enjoying a BBQ with local organic produce. This evening, you will sleep under canvas in high-quality tents that offer superb comfort and incredible views of Mt. Fuji.
Climb Mount Fuji
After a hearty 'power-up' breakfast, you will have a briefing and gear check with your climbing guide this morning.
Mt. Fuji is a sacred mountain, and it has attracted pilgrims throughout the ages. As if to honor this tradition, your starting point will be the ancient Sengen Taisha (shrine), located en route to the 5th Station. From the Fujinomiya 5th station, you will begin your ascent through a primeval forest, continuing up above the tree line to the Hoei Crater, formed during Mt Fuji's last eruption in 1707. Enjoy a packed lunch while scanning the magnificent views that stretch out over the Izu peninsula.
Starting in the early afternoon you will take the Prince Route, named so for being the route taken during Emperor Reiwa’s first ascent when he was Crown Prince of Japan. You will reach a mountain hut at the 8th Station by late afternoon and rest. After a hot dinner, bunk down to sleep and recharge for the final ascent.
Descend Mount Fuji
Departing before dawn twilight, it is about a two-hour hike to the summit (10th Station) to catch the sunrise. After welcoming the new day at 3,776 meters (12,388 ft.), you will begin your descent down a different route. From the summit back to the 5th Station, it is about 3-4 hours of 'big strides' down the mountainside over loose sand and scoria rock.
Upon arriving back at the 5th Station by mid-morning, transfer back to Enya by vehicle to shower, change and nap! Options for a walk around the area, a sake brewery visit, or a tea experience will be available for those with the energy.
This evening will be a celebration at the Mt. Fuji Brewery and the final dinner of your trip. Stay the final evening at Enya in your tented accommodation.
Bidding Farewell to Shizuoka
After checking out in the morning, enjoy a morning walk to the Shiraito Falls and bid farewell to grand Fujisan. From the magnificent views of the Izu peninsula to the incredible hikes of Mount Fuji, you'll go home with countless unforgettable memories of the adventures you took in Shizuoka.
The contents of this page are meant as an example to use in creating your travel plans and do not represent a package tour. Lodgings, travel, guides, and all other accommodations must be arranged for by the traveler.