Mishima City is the located at the first important crossroads in Shizuoka Prefecture, whether you choose to follow westwards to Shizuoka City or veer southward into the heart of Izu Peninsula.
Mishima, as described in Hiroshige’s wood prints as the eleventh of fifty-three stops along Japan’s famous Tokaido Road, has welcomed travelers for centuries.
It is blessed with some of the purest water in Japan flowing down from Mount Fuji. One just needs to stroll along Gembei River or hop across it on flagstones to realize why the area has been a long-prized destination for famous and lay people alike.
Mishima Taishya Shinto Shrine
Mishima City’s most popular landmark is its shrine, Mishima Taishya. It first attracted attention when 800 years ago the future Shogun, Minamoto Yorimoto, prayed for his family’s return to power on his way back from exile in the Izu Peninsula. The shrine is located in the midst of beautifully-laid grounds including an area where visitors can feed domesticated deer.
But the best time to enjoy a visit of the shrine is when its 200 cherry trees, numbering some 15 different species are in full bloom between the end of February and the beginning of April.
The Mishima Festival takes place August 15th~17th every year in and around Msihima Tashya Shrine as well as near Mishima JR Station when Dashi/Parade floats and Mikoshi/portable shrines are rolled or carried through the streets and the Taiko/Japanese drums are played.
Other must-see spots include:
-Sano Museum celebrated for its collection of ancient swords and its great monthly exhibitions (Tel.: 055-975-7278).
-Yamanaka Castle Ruins Park where a castle used to during the Fighting Feudal Era. One can admire an exquisite vista on Suruga Bay and Mount Fuji from that very spot.
-Rakujyu Park designed in 1890 in the middle of a forest which had naturally over the lava left by Mount Fuji’s last eruption thanks to the constant flow of pure water from the nearby volcano. (tel.: 055-975-2570)
-Old Hakone Route, an ancient flagstone-paved road where one can experience a timeless walk amid centenarian cedar trees.
Recommended Visit Route:
Mishima City has conducted for a long time a project to improve the downtown area by using its historical and natural resources. The project’s title includes the word “seseragi”, which roughly means the sound of a burbling stream-a fitting choice for a city filled with rivers, ponds and natural springs. Forested parks and wide streets cover the city, but a particularly relaxing excursion is to walk along the Genbei River just south of the station. This winding path of moss-covered stones pokes above the gently flowing stream. The north end of the Promenade finishes behind The Japanese Park Rakujuen, which includes a zoo, amusement park, and a variety of Japanese gardens throughout its sixteen-plus acres.
After exploring Mishima City, hungry visitors are sure to come across some of the area’s distinctive culinary specialties. Connoisseurs often travel to this city to sample the local eel, called “unagi” in Japanese. Before being cooked, the eels are left to sit tubs of clear spring water that flows from nearby Mount Fuji to remove compounds in the eel’s skin and to cause the fish to burn off excess fat. “Unagi-don”, which features eel broiled with a sweet, rich sauce and served over a bowl of rice, is the most famous dish in town. In 2008, the Association of Eel Restaurants in Mishima have taken the remarkable step to use only domestically-bred eels to preserve natural stocks and prevent rampant illegal import!
About 50 minutes by Shinkasen Bullet Train from Shinagawa JR Station (JR Tokaido Line)
*FROM NARITA AIRPORT (International Airport):
About 2-2.5 hours from NARITA-Airport to Mishima (pronounced MI-SHI-MA) (The JR “NARITA Express” train from NARITA to TOKYO & JR Super Express “HIKARI or KODAMA” from TOKYO to MISHIMA).
*FROM HANEDA AIRPORT (Domestic Airport, a transit from KANSAI International Airport):
About 1.5 hours (A KEI-KYU train from HANEDA airport to SHINAGAWA & JR Super Express “HIKARI or KODAMA” from SHINAGAWA to MISHIMA)
RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES
Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,
Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery