Shizuoka was originally intended as a day trip with my friends, but because I got so sick I had to cancel last minute. Since I was upset I couldn’t go as planned, I made a spontaneous stopover in Shizuoka on my way back to Tokyo.
It was already late by the time I left Nagoya, so I arrived in Shizuoka close to 4pm. Unfortunately all the places I wanted to see like the Miho no Matsubara and Kunozan Toshogu are too far from the city centre so there was no way I would make it in time. Luckily there’s an information counter inside the station and the attendant was able to point out some places nearby for me to visit.
From the station I took a 15 minute walk first towards the Prefecture Office, where I went up to their rooftop observatory. On a clear day you can see Mt. Fuji in the distance. The observatory is free to go up, but I must have been the only person taking advantage of it, as it was completely empty inside. =P
After I left the Prefecture Office, I took a short walk over to the Ruins of Sunpu Castle. Sunpu Castle used to be the residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, who was the first shogun of Japan. The castle was burned down and rebuilt many times. All that’s left today are just remnants of what it used to be. Inside the castle grounds there is a statue of Tokugawa Ieyasu, as well as many of his mikan trees which are planted in the garden.
It was getting dark by the time I finished walking through the castle, so I went off in search for food. Shizuoka is known for its seafood, so I hunted down a restaurant called Kappa Dokiya and ordered their kaisen don for dinner. I was surprised that my entire meal only cost 1,100 yen!
I didn’t have a lot of time left as I needed to head back to Tokyo. Just as I was waiting to depart from the station I bought a small order of oden to try. Oden is another speciality from Shizuoka, but aside from having a slightly richer taste, I didn’t really find it all that special. =P
Overall I was happy I made a stopover in Shizuoka, even though it was only for a few hours. I guess it was ‘revenge’ for not being able to go as planned the first time!