Friday, 17 December 2010

Izu Peninsula 伊豆 – Shimoda Yamatokan 下田大和館 (13 Dec 2010)

We had planned to go to Shimoda via Shuzenji (famous old hot spring town in Izu) and Kawazu Nanadaru (famous 7 waterfalls of Kawazu in Izu) but had to cancel our plans and go straight to Shimoda because of rain. We couldn’t do much in Shimoda too, except to stroll along Perry Road and have a lunch meal of Kinmedai (alfonsin), a local specialty.

Shimoda is the first point of entrance by Americans into Japan and Perry Road is named after Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry who led the black ships into the bay. Some of the house have the signature black walls with checked white plaster called namakokabe walls.

Access to Shimoda from Atami is by the Izukyu line which is not coverd by JR Pass (last station covered by JR pass is Ito) so you have to top up about  JPY2000  (can’t remember exact amount) on the odoriko, one way.

Shimoda Yamatokan is a seaside resort ryokan with fantastic view. All rooms have a balcony (which we couldn’t use because it was raining hahaha) and some rooms have private outdoor hot spring.

The public outdoor hot spring has a splendid view of the coastal area and cliffs. There are also all sorts of beauty stuff to try such as peeling gel, sea spa gel etc… do try them!

Serving up Izu specialties freshly caught from the sea, dinner is pure decadence. From lobster sashimi to grilled live scallop and abalone to unlimited slices of Japanese musk melon, we felt very very pampered =) Ishida san, our guide for the next day’s tour told us the room rate was well worth it because abalone is very expensive, about JPY15,000 per kg =PP

Breakfast lobster soup
Tatayado beach is just a 3 min stroll from the ryokan and is a popular spot for divers, some of whom dive even in winter… brrrrr….

Rate: About JPY30,000+ (SGD$500) per room per night (include grilled dinner and breakfast). They offer room only or B&B as well but you will have to catch a taxi (about 5 mins) to Izukyu Shimoda station to have your dinner. Breakfast choices are limited as most restaurants only open in the afternoon. There is a Macdonald’s. I strongly recommend the grilled dinner because it’s really worth it.
Access: take the Odoriko from Tokyo to Izukyu Shimoda (from Ito to Shimoda, it’s not JR). If you have JR Pass, it's faster to take Shinkansen to Atami then transfer to (superview) Odoriko. 
Odoriko time table from Tokyo and to Tokyo
Complimentary shuttle bus from Izukyu Shimoda station every half hourly from 2:30pm to 5:30pm. You will see their blue bus on the right of the station (or ask the Info centre).

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