I was so excited when we finally made it to our destination- Shuzenji. Shuzenji is a small, quaint village well-known among locals for their onsen (mineral hot springs baths). The village is more than enough to walk around in half a day, and many visit for their onsens and ryokans, which are traditional Japanese inns. I’ve done a whole post on my amazing stay at Arai Ryokan, so be sure to check out this video or blog post.
Getting to Shuzenji from Tokyo
Shuzenji is about a 2.5 hour drive away from central Tokyo. Figuring out the transportation method from Tokyo to Shuzenji was a big pain because it would’ve included three transfers on the subway and train, along with a bus ride. HOWEVER, thank God I researched enough. I was able to find a easy, hassle-free transportation method that took us directly from the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal (super close to the capsule hotel we stayed at) to Shuzenji. The Willer Express bus went directly from Shinjuku to Shuzenji ONCE a day. Based on my research, it looked like only a few people knew about this method! With four suitcases my mom and I had to carry, this saved us a LOT of hassle.
As I mentioned above, you don’t even need a whole day to finish exploring the whole village. I will say that I met the friendliest and well-mannered people. It was so nice to visit a foreign country and to encounter the nicest people I’ve met in my entire life!
Some of the main attractions in Shuzenji included Tokko no yu (a foot bath in the middle of the village), Chikurin no Komichi (bamboo forest), Shuzenji Temple, Katsura Bridge, and Hie Shrine.
Shuzenji is a village in the Shizuoka prefecture located in Izu Peninsula. Didn’t realize this until I started researching, but Shizuoka is one of the areas for wasabi cultivation. Yes, the wasabi that you eat your sushi with. Shizuoka is known to have the best, authentic wasabi in the world, and it really was true- there was a wasabi everything. An interesting one that really had mixed reviews on my Instagram was the wasabi ice cream. I’m not good with wasabi but when would I ever have the opportunity to try such a thing, especially from one of the areas where wasabi is cultivated?
My conclusion is that it was sweet and spicy. The ice cream is literally a soft serve vanilla ice cream with fresh ground wasabi placed on the side. Having the two together does create an interesting taste, but I don’t know if I’d ever like to have it on a daily basis, haha. Definitely worth trying at least once! Now I can say I’ve tried wasabi ice cream.
We stayed at ryokan where breakfast and dinner were served, but there were also plenty of dining options despite the small size of the village. Shuzenji is known for its fresh seafood, but if you’re not a seafood person, there were definitely carnivore options as well. On our first day before checking in, we stopped by a soba shop right next to Chikurin no Komichi.
I can never forget the amazing hospitality we received everywhere we went in this village and the beautiful scenery at every corner. I would love to go back in the future if I ever get the chance again! They had these amazing mochis that you can ONLY get in Shuzenji and seriously, I still have dreams about it. I regret not getting a whole bunch, and my mom agrees with me!
As always, thank you for reading 🙂