The city of Shizuoka is the seat of the Shizuoka
prefectural government, located in the center of
the prefecture, about midway between Tokyo and
Nagoya. Shizuoka has a large trading area, and is
well known for its bustling urban district, as
well as its numerous picturesque locations such as
the hilly area known as Nihon-daira, offering a
marvelous view of Mt. Fuji and the Miho-no-
Matsubara (Miho pine grove). The area enjoys a
mild climate and is famous for green tea
distributed under the brand name "Shizuoka Tea,"
Ishigaki strawberries and 'mikan' oranges. Blessed
with an abundance of pure water, its other
specialty products include 'wasabi (Japanese
horseradish).' Because it is situated along the
Pacific coast, fishing ports have developed
including the Shimizu Port and the Yaizu Port,
which boasts of having the largest haul of
'maguro' tuna in Japan.
Shizuoka City is the hometown of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the man who founded the Edo shogunate. The look and feel of the Edo Period remains at Sunpu-koen Park, located among the vast ruins of Sunpu Castle which was constructed in 1585, prior to the beginning of the new government. In addition, a number of items associated with the shogun Ieyasu can be found on display at the nearby Shizuoka Asama-jinja Shrine. A ride on the Sunpu Roman Bus, a bonnet-type bus modeled after the Orient Express train, is a convenient way to enjoy historical sites and scenery throughout the city. The bus covers about 6 kilometer, and loops around the city in about 40 minutes.
A visit to the Mariko and Utsunoya post stations and villages allows you to slip back in time to the Edo Period even easier. The Tokaido was an important route built during the Edo Period, and was a predecessor of the present-day Tokaido Shinkansen Line. There were 53 stations situated along the ancient route, including four which were located around the city of Shizuoka. Among them, the Mariko station remains much like it was back then, while the rows of houses at Utsunoya look like a scene from olden times.
The Nihon-daira is a perfect location for viewing the majestic Mt. Fuji, Japan's highest mountain. Groves of tea and 'mikan' orange trees spread out across the gentle slopes, and you can enjoy a panoramic view of Mt. Fuji and the magnificent Pacific Ocean on the opposite side from the ropeway that travels to Kunozan-Tosho-gu Shrine.