Thursday, 16 December 2010

Izu Peninsula 伊豆 – Atami 熱海 (12 Dec 2010)

We decided this time to engage the Atami Goodwill Guide Club's help and we both agreed that it was an excellent decision. 

Chie Matsuda san gave us really comprehensive information prior to our trip via email and when we arrived at Atami station, she was there holding a placard with our names on it =) Our guide was Henri san, a retiree who happily drove us around and patiently answered our questions. He prepared a file packed with useful information for us and we felt really touched by his effort.

Henri san explained that Atami got its name because it is believed that many years ago, there was a volcano under the Atami sea, hence, it’s called 熱海 ‘hot sea’.

The weather was excellent so for the first stop, Henri suggested we visit 十国峠 Jukkukotouge which had an awesome view of Mt Fuji =DD I was truly thrilled!! =D

Henri san and Chie san, our Atami goodwill guides

梅園 Baien Park was also one of the recommended spots and it was the last day to view maple leaves so we managed yet again to catch a glimpse of the trail of autumn. Due to the mild weather in Atami, maple leaves turn red the latest and plum blossoms flower the earliest in Japan.

There were also some early plum blossom blooms =)

Within Baien Park is a small Korean garden. I can’t remember what it’s for (Henri san explained but I can't remember =P sorry!) It’s got something to do with Kim Dae Joong...

We also visited a shrine near the park with a huge camphor tree. Chie san and Henri san said it is believed that your life will extend by one year if you walk around it once. I wonder whether one will attain longevity if you run around it many times hahaha...

The tour ended at the Atami beach and bay are after which Henri san sent us our hotel, Atami Korakuen and both of them made sure we were properly taken care of by the hotel staff. We felt really touched by their hospitality =)

When we entered our room, we were very pleasantly surprised by a gift from the Atami Goodwill Guide Club =)) So sweet of them =)

After a scrumptious buffet dinner, we perched in front of our window and awaited eagerly for the start of the 熱海海上花火大会 (Atami Marine Fireworks Festival), a full 25 mins of colourful bursts decorating the night sky.

Korakuen is probably the best place to view the fireworks (just right in front of the hotel) if you want a backdrop of the illuminated Atami bay. The other hotels look like they provide a view of the fireworks against the sea.

Here's the video =)


  1. Dear Ann,

    Henry and I are so happy to have read this blog.
    It was our pleasure you could fully enjoy your stay in Atami. It's clever of you to have skipped Shuzenji and Kawazu on such a miserable day. And we are glad you may have another opportunity to visit Atami and Izu Peninsura in the near future. See you again.

  2. Thank you very much for this blog, full of Atami, and we are happy you could fully enjoy it. It’s clever of you to have skipped Shuzenji and Kawazu on such a miserable day, which leaves another opportunity for you to come over to Atami and Izu Peninsura again in the near future. see you then!

    Hope your days in Japan left will be full of happy experiences!!

  3. Nice video directed by you, Ann :-) Being your melody has a good life, gets to travel with you and watch fireworks :p

  4. Another fruitful trip, it's $$$ well spent!

  5. Ya, we had a wonderful time =)