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Shizuoka

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Shizuoka (静岡) is the capital city of Shizuoka prefecture in Japan's Chubu region.

Get in

Shizuoka is a stop on the Tokaido Main Line and Tokaido Shinkansen Line between Tokyo and Osaka, and on the Tomei Expressway.

By plane

Shizuoka does not have its own airport. The nearest major airports are Haneda Airport in Tokyo, and Chubu International Airport in Nagoya. It takes approximately two hours to reach Shizuoka from both locations on the fastest train services. To allow for growth in air travel to Shizuoka, Shizuoka Airport is currently under construction and expected to be completed and operational by March, 2009. This location is between Makinohara and Shimada.

By train

  • The Tokaido Shinkansen runs one Hikari train per hour which stops at Shizuoka (and pauses for about 5 minutes while faster Nozomi trains barrel through the station). It is one hour from Tokyo, and 50 minutes from Nagoya (both costing ¥6180), 90 minutes from Kyoto (¥9950), and 1 3/4 hours from Shin-Osaka (¥10580) using this train.
  • All-stopping Kodama trains take a bit longer, and the same prices are charged for normal reservations. However, you can take advantage of the Puratto Kodama Ticket (in Japanese), which offers a discount for Kodama services if you purchase at least one day in advance. You get a reserved seat and a free drink on board. With this ticket a trip to Shizuoka costs ¥4500 from Tokyo (90 minutes), ¥4500 from Nagoya (80 minutes), ¥7400 from Kyoto (2 1/4 hours) and ¥7900 from Shin-Osaka (2 1/2 hours). Kodama trains run once an hour from Shin-Osaka and Kyoto; twice per hour from the other cities.
  • Standard local trains from Tokyo take about 3 1/4 hours at a cost of ¥3260, requiring at least one change of trains at Atami.
  • Wide View Fujikawa limited express trains make several daily round-trips to Shizuoka from Kofu on the Chuo Line. The ride, in train cars with larger windows, costs ¥4300 and takes about 2 1/4 hours.
  • Hamamatsu can be reached by either Shinkansen (30 minutes) or regular JR (1 1/2 hours).

You can ride all of these trains for free with the Japan Rail Pass.

By bus

JR Kanto Bus and JR Tokai Bus run frequent daytime services to Shizuoka on the Tomei Expressway between Tokyo and Nagoya. Shizuoka-bound Tokkyū buses from Tokyo reach the Shizuoka train station in about 3 hours, at a cost of ¥2850 one way (¥4500 round-trip). Buses not terminating in Shizuoka will only stop at the Shizuoka interchange of the expressway.

Get around

See

Do

  • Granship, East Shizuoka Station (東静岡駅) on the JR Tokaido Line, +81-54-203-5710 (FAX: +81-54-203-5716), [1]. Daily 9AM-10PM. You may catch a glimpse of this nautically designed building as you zip by on the Shinkansen. Although of little interest to the general traveler, on alternate years Granship is the site of the national conference of the Japan Association for Language Teaching. This conference regularly brings up to 2,000 teachers from all over Japan and the world to this corner of Kanto.
  • Sumpu Castle is a few blocks up the main street from the north exit of the subway station, with several arrow signs pointing the way. The castle itself has not been restored, but the restored guard house is very interesting. The original castle was started in 1585 by Ieyasu Tokugawa, one of the founders of the Edo government. In 1607 Lord Ieyasu retired as shogun and started repairing and expanding the original castle. The tower and other buildings that now exist were constructed following blueprints from the 1630's. There is a lifelike statue of Tokugawa and many small replicas of the castles and surrounding buildings, as well as a small but beautiful display of dolls. Nearby is a children's park and a garden with a tea ceremony available. Certainly a place to explore if you have a couple of hours or more to spare. Admission 200 yen.

Buy

Eat

Drink

Bar Freakyshow (Japanese only) is one of the finest local places to drink in downtown Shizuoka. Located near the Gohuku-cho area it is easily accessable from Shizuoka station in 10 minutes on foot. The bar often features local live entertainment on weekends but has limited seating so arrive early. The menu is not typical of most Japanese izakaya instead focusing on a more eclectic mix of western and european fare. All menu items and drinks are resonably priced with no tax or cover charge. Recommended are the Godzilla Burger and White Russian. The proprietor, Toshiyuki Kosaka, is also resonably fluent in English so foreigners visiting the area will have little trouble communicating with the staff.

Sleep

Budget

  • Shizuoka Orange Hotel, 0120-19-5100, 054-283-5100 (orangehotel@ny.tokai.or.jp, FAX 054284-3308), [2]. This is a barebones, but reasonable business hotel near the station. Breakfast is available in the restaurant on the ground floor. $55-$100 (single/twin rooms).

Mid-range

  • Associa Shizuoka Terminal, 56 Kurogane-cho (1 minute on foot from Shizuoka Station), 054 254-4141 (FAX: 054 255-3721), [3]. Check in 2PM, Check out 11AM. Non-smoking rooms available. Singles from ¥11200, Twins from ¥15600. Japan Rail Pass Holders receive a discounted rate.
  • Dorf, 2-23-6 Takajyo, Shizuoka-shi (7 minutes on foot from Shizuoka Station), 054 251-5000 (yoyaku@dorf.co.jp, FAX: 054 253-3000), [4]. Check in 4PM, Check out 11AM. In-room LAN, non-smoking rooms, and shuttle bus service to the station are available. $70-$200 (single to triple room).
  • Garden Square, [5]. Modern hotel with minimal, well designed rooms. Free in-room internet access. In center of Shizuoka, 5 minutes walk from the main train station.
  • Sun Palace - Clean and nice mid-range business hotel. Take the train station's south exit and go down the main street two blocks, next to the Shizuoka bank. Sign in English. Laundromat.

Get out



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