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A favorite seaside and hot spring (onsen) getaway from Tokyo is the Izu Peninsula (Izu Hanto). The east coast is served by a train line and thus is the most developed, kicking off with the tourist town of Atami where you’ll find the excellent MOA Museum of Art overlooking the bay. From Atami, hydrofoils shuttle out to Oshima, the largest of the 100-plus Izu group of islands (Izu-shoto) sprinkled across 300km of ocean. Oshima is the world’s third most active volcano (the last major eruption was in 1986) and is beautiful to visit in spring when the island is covered in camellia blossoms. In 1854 Commodore Perry’s arrival in Shimoda caused the ...

A favorite seaside and hot spring (onsen) getaway from Tokyo is the Izu Peninsula (Izu Hanto). The east coast is served by a train line and thus is the most developed, kicking off with the tourist town of Atami where you’ll find the excellent MOA Museum of Art overlooking the bay. From Atami, hydrofoils shuttle out to Oshima, the largest of the 100-plus Izu group of islands (Izu-shoto) sprinkled across 300km of ocean. Oshima is the world’s third most active volcano (the last major eruption was in 1986) and is beautiful to visit in spring when the island is covered in camellia blossoms. In 1854 Commodore Perry’s arrival in Shimoda caused the previously secluded Japan to open up to the world. The east coast port became the site of the first American consulate in Japan and has a fascinating history of cross-cultural interaction. Base yourself here to explore the south of the peninsula, including Rendaiji Onsen and the rugged coastline running down to Iro-zaki. On Izu’s west coast, Dogashima is something of a tourist trap but is the place from which to admire and cruise around some picturesque islets just off shore. Heading back inland, Shuzenji Onsen, beside the Katsura-gawa, is also a pleasant place to relax.

Simon Richmond
About the Expert

Simon Richmond has written Rough Guides to Malaysia and Japan; Lonely Planet guides to India and Russia; and adventure travel guides for Frommer's on Australia, India, South America, and Southeast Asia.

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Simon Richmond for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Izu Peninsula is about 100km southwest of Tokyo in Shizuoka Prefecture. It has a cool surfer vibe backed by plenty of history. It also packs lush greenery, rugged coastlines and abundant onsen or hot springs.
  • Language: Japanese
  • Currency: Yen
  • Research: Wikipedia | Izu Peninsula
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The Izu Hanto is a year-round destination — it gets very busy in July and August with vacationers escaping the Tokyo metropolitan area.