Atami is a city in Shizuoka prefecture, just 2 hour-drive away from Tokyo, known for its onsen (hot springs) and fresh seafood. The Tokaido bullet train has a stop at Atami, which makes it a great getaway spot for long weekends. Even though Atami is a tourist favorite, both for Japanese and foreigners, there aren’t too many thing to do, beside going to onsen. We took a trip there just last month, so we’ll share some of the things we did/ate, to help you make YOUR trip more memorable.
1. Kiunkaku 起雲閣
Kiunkaku is a great piece of modern Japanese architecture, with a beautiful garden. Built in 1919, it was once owned by individuals, but Atami city bought it in 2000, and since then has become one of Atami’s main tourist spots.
Entry fee: 510 JPY/adult
Business hours: 9am to 5pm (last entry at 4:30pm), closed on Wednesdays.
Akao Herb and Rose Garden is a facility made up of 12 gardens of roses and herbs. This is a “hot” spot right now, due to the Instagram-worthy view. Coeda house, located at the very top of the hill, is built by the none other than Kengo Kuma. One more upside: it’s a dog friendly place! Our dog enjoyed the walk in the garden (though it was way too hot).
Entry fee: 1000 JPY/person, free parking
Business hours: 9am to 5pm
What is Shizuoka known for? Great seafood? Of course. But did you know there’s a type of dumplings called Hamamatsu Gyoza? They are basically potstickers, but served with boiled bean sprouts in the middle. It’d be a waste to oversee this delicious speciality, so make sure you stop by when you get to Atami station.
Business hours: 11am~9:30pm (last order 9pm)
Atami is an onsen town, so if you get bored of soaking in a hot spring, hop on a car and drive out to Mishima Skywalk. You will reach Japan’s longest suspended bridge, just by driving 30 mins from Atami. There are many rental car shops near Atami station, so make sure to bring your international driver’s license. (We can also help you book a rental car, email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info.) I should note, this is another dog friendly facility!
Entry fee: 1000 JPY
Business hours: 9am to 5pm (may be closed depending on the weather conditions)
If you rented a car for Mishima Skywalk, why not go for a drive along one of the most beautiful skylines in Eastern Japan? Ashinoko Skyline is a tolled road, but you get to see Mt. Fuji if you’re lucky! You also get to see Lake Ashi, the famous lake of Hakone. Get the most use out of your rented car.
Fee: 620 JPY
Driving along Ashinoko Skyline, you might find yourself further away from Atami than you realized. If so, just extend your drive a little bit further to Gotemba Outlet. Here, you can enjoy the biggest outlet mall of Japan. Bonus tip: if you rent a car, it will not cost you extra to return it to a different store within the same prefecture. Gotemba is in Shizuoka as well, so even if you rent a car in Atami, you can still return it here and pay no extra charge. If you’re lucky, you get to see the grand old Mt. Fuji.