Situated halfway between Tokyo and Nagoya along the Tōkaidō Corridor, Shizuoka City is the capital of Shizuoka Prefecture on Honshu Island. It is home to Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji at 3,776 metres, and is often considered Japan’s “Riviera” for its picturesque Pacific Coast location.
Shizuoka City is home to the impressive Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural and Environmental History, as well as boasting magnificent views across towards Mount Fuji from its historic streets. This natural landmark is undoubtedly the region’s most popular destination, both for sunrise hikes to take in the views from its summit, in addition to the scenic walks along the numerous trails that traverse its lower slopes. The ancient Fujisan Hongu Sengen shrine nestles in its volcanic foothills, together with the picturesque Shiraito and Otodome waterfalls. To the south-west is picturesque Lake Hamanako, renowned for its hot spring baths, while the Izu Peninsula hangs to the south-east of Shizuoka City. Its eastern coast is home to the resort towns of Atami, Ito and Shimoda, famed for their beaches and hot springs, while its rugged western and southern coastlines are far less developed, with particularly impressive views at Irozaki. Shizuoka is famed throughout Japan for its mochi rice cakes made from kinako soy flour, as well as its “Stonewall strawberries” which are grown in holes in stone walls. Its mountainous slopes provide ideal conditions for the growth of high-quality green tea, particularly in Warashina and Ryōgōchi. Shizuoka is at its most beautiful during the annual cherry blossom festival in April and ignites during the Street Performance World Cup in each year, which sees buskers from across the world showcase their skills.
Shizuoka is served by its own airport, located around 35 kilometres south-west of the city centre, and is connected to Tokyo and Osaka by rail on the Tōkaidō Main Line. There are both train and bus services across the city centre and to destinations throughout Shizuoka Prefecture.
The land on which Shizuoka lies has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with archaeological evidence of a major settlement during the Yayoi period which dates back to 400 BC. It emerged as the settlement of Sunpu during the 8th century, before being renamed Shizuoka in 1869 following the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate.