A coastal town long famed for its many hot springs, Atami started life as a prime spot for VIPs, dignitaries, men of letters and honeymooning couples. The town has recenlty reinvented itself as a destination for museum lovers, Japanese culture fans and ocean sports enthusiasts. Ito is a quieter version of Atami.
Train and bus are easiest, but renting a car makes sense if you plan to explore the rest of the Izu area.
Atami is less than an hour away on the Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo, and there are slightly slower, less expensive trains available too. If you're up for some island hopping, Atami also serves as a jump-off point for a number of boats that run to Oshima—the closest of the Izu Islands.
Atami is the gateway to the rest of the beautiful Izu peninsula
Warlords and royalty have enjoyed soaking in Atami's waters for centuries
Atami is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
One of the best-known hot spring havens, Atami is rated as one of Japan's top three onsen resorts. In addition to the baths, Atami is famous for plenty of great seafood for you to feast on landed fresh in Atami Bay of the nearby Sagami Bay.
Sitting to the south of Atami Station is Atami Castle, boasting one of the finest and loftiest views of the town and ocean. Built in 1959 to draw tourists, you can dress up in Edo-period costumes and visit an erotic ukiyo-e exhibition. The castle is a prime spot for viewing cherry blossoms in the spring and fireworks in summer.
Located around ten kilometers south of Ito is Izu Kogen. A popular villa district, the area has a number of museums, restaurants, giving you plenty of options to explore. If you're feeling adventurous, head over to Mount Omuro and for views of the beautiful Jogasaki Coast.
A short ferry ride away in Sagami Bay is the little resort island of Hatsushima. The island offers fishing, a scuba diving/snorkeling center, an athletic playground, an ocean hot spring, and a camping spot. You can walk around Hatsushima in an hour to evaluate your options.