Driving across SHIZUOKA Prefecture and YAMANASHI Prefecture.
As I wrote in the separate post, if you stay in Tokyo, it is nice to go to 熱海 (ATAMI) or 沼津 (NUMAZU) by SHINKANSEN and local trains, then rent a car there to drive around 伊豆半島 (IZU Peninsula) where has a lot of attractiveness such as many ONSEN places, great nature, historical places, local foods, and so on.
Another trip that I would definitely like to recommend you is to drive across SHIZUOKA Prefecture and YANAMASHI Prefecture. First, let’s go to NUMAZU by SHINKANSEN and local trains, then rent a car at the NUMAZU Station. The route which I would recommend is to start driving from NUMAZU in SHIZUOKA Prefecture and head for 甲府 (KOFU), the capital of YAMANASHI Prefecture.
As you can see, NUMAZU is located 5 o’clock direction of Mt. Fuji while KOFU is located 11 o’clock. That means, KOFU is located right opposite side of NUMAZU over Mt. Fuji.
Needless to say, what is special about this driving route is that you can keep viewing Mt. Fuji from various angles while driving. As you might know, Mt. Fuji shows us various expressions depending on from which angle or where you view it, just as the world famous 浮世絵 (UKIYOE) painters 葛飾北斎 (HOKUSAI KATSUSHIKA) and 歌川広重 (HIROSHIGE UTAGAWA) in EDO Period painted various scenery with various expressions of Mt. Fuji.
It is so exciting to drive around the place where these UKIYOE paintings show.
Departing NUMAZU, you will reach 富士市 (FUJI City) in about 30 minutes. As the name of this city is FUJI, you can see wonderful view of Mt. Fuji from here. If you have been on SHINKANSEN during Tokyo and Osaka or Nagoya, you should have seen great front view of Mt. Fuji just for a few minutes. That is where this FUJI City is.
After FUJI City, the next place you would stop by will be 富士宮市 (FUJI NO MIYA City), which is located right next to FUJI City and it only takes 15 minutes by car. What is special about this FUJI NO MIYA City is its famous local food, 富士宮焼きそば (FUJI NO MIYA YAKI SOBA / FUJI NO MIYA Fried Noodle).
Have you heard of the word “B級グルメ (B-grade cuisine / B-class gourmet)”? It’s the general term which means “the local foods, not fabulous, but very delicious and popular among local people, and served in cheaper price”. Actually there are uncountable numbers of B-grade cuisines across Japan which you should definitely try through your trip. There’s championship named “B-1 Grand Prix” which decides the winner of this B-grade cuisines every year, and this FUJI NO MIYA Fried Noodle won this championship 2 years in a row in 2006 and 2007, thus this fried noodle is quite well known all over Japan. There are a lot of local restaurants along the road which serve FUJI NO MIYA Fried Noodle in this city, and I strongly recommend to stop by.
“Shizuoka Cha”, local specialty of SHIZUOKA Prefecture.
There are several places where are famous for Japanese green tea. Here, Shizuoka Prefecture is one of them. “静岡茶 (SHIZUOKA CHA / SHIZUOKA Tea)” is a high-class Japanese green tea, and it is said to be one of “日本三大茶 (3 best Japanese tea)” as well as 宇治茶 (UJI CHA / UJI Tea) in Kyoto Prefecture and 狭山茶 (SAYAMA CHA / SAYAMA Tea) in Saitama Prefecture.
While you are driving from Shizuoka Prefecture to Yamanashi Prefecture, you can see a lot of tea plantations along the way which is quite beautiful. You may be able to find some cafes or shops which you can buy and taste Shizuoka Tea.
“HOTO”, a local specialty food in Yamanashi Prefecture.
Another thing you should not miss along the way is “ほうとう (HOTO / HOUTOU)” which is a local delicious food in Yamanashi Prefecture. It is a thick noodle in miso soup with a lot of kinds of vegetables and meats. If you come to Yamanashi Prefecture, definitely you would better try some HOTO restaurants because the taste and style are a bit different by each restaurant.
For HOTO, I will introduce my recommended restaurants in a separate post.
Now, why don’t you experience amazing drive trip from Shizuoka Prefecture to Yamanashi Prefecture? It is worth allocating a few days during your stay in Tokyo.