Kunozan Toshogu Shrine
Kunozan Toshogu Shrine sits perched over Shizuoka City, dedicated to the famous shogun who united all of Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616). Tokugawa spent his final years at the nearby Sumpu Castle, and requested a mausoleum built on Mount Toshogu, second only to another, nestled in the forests of Nikko. To reach Kunozan Toshogu Shrine, you’ve got to scale over a thousand steps zig-zagging up the mountain, a fair 20-minute hike but with impressive views of Suruga Bay. Even further up the mountainside is the Nihondaira Plateau, originally flat but has been disrupted into a gently rolling hillside over time. Easily accessed by the ropeway, this viewpoint not only oversees the ocean, but tea fields, Shimizu Port, the southern Alps, and of course the magnificent Mount Fuji (on a clear day, of course). Along the coast, there is strawberry picking from January to May, and Miho no Matsubara, a beach fringed with pine trees and more views to Mount Fuji. Down in Shizuoka City, people snack on famous wasabi flavored ice cream, zingy and creamy, or taste local tea-themed treats and gyoza dumplings.
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