Iwachi is only two hour’s drive from Mishima Station in Shizuoka. The town is nestled in the heart of the seaside of Shizuoka Prefecture, home to many of Shizuoka’s most recognisable beaches and fishing spots. Since I was a child, Iwachi has been one of the most memorable beaches to swim at and to gather shells and sea urchins. The drive is an easy and scenic route on the ocean road of the Izu Peninsula, so be sure to allow plenty of time to stop in small towns and take your time on the journey.
Kaitoku-maru Minshuku Inn
Kaitoku-maru was celebrated as being in “the top three Minshuku, Japanese style guesthouses” of which we have various versions in Japan. Since knowing the existence of the top three lists of Minshuku, I have been trying to make reservations for Kaitoku-maru. Yet, due to the popularity of the Kaitoku-maru and its strict two groups a day policy, it took me almost a year to visit.
The rooms at Kaitoku-maru
The Kaitoku-maru is beautifully appointed with vintage furniture and has a very Japanese country home feel to it. There is a main dining area to have dinner and breakfast, a small library, a decent size of baths, and some guest rooms. Each of the rooms has a homely feel, with natural tones and old Japanese style furniture to make one feel completely at ease.
Flower arrangements are everywhere as you will notice at every turn. The garden seems untouched and natural, which in Japan, means someone takes so much care of it.
Dinner at Kaitoku-maru
You can guarantee its Japanese style dining will be fresh, delicious and exactly what you’re looking for. The owner-chef served dishes using local produce of vegetables and fish, understanding first hand the farm-to-table approach that Shizuoka is so celebrated for.
Shizuoka has such a beautiful beach reputation and Iwachi Beach is the jewel of it. The Southwest of Izu Peninsula is not always on the typical tourist route. The more popular areas such as Atami and Izu Kogen, on the Northeast side, are often first choices. However, there are some great destinations in the Southwest of Izu Peninsula that have become more popular in recent years. The Iwachi Beach starts to open in the beginning of June.
Pathway into the cave
Nearby, the short walking path has become another astonishing stopover on the Iwachi Beach. Here you can witness the change in color of the water, which is a bright turquoise blue.
Matsuzaki Port is one of the most celebrated fishing spots for anglers and it is located a 10-minute drive away from Kaitoku-maru. We borrowed fishing rods at Takayanagi fishing tackle shop near Matsuzaki Port.
I used to visit an old Japanese style hotel overlooking Matsuzaki Port where TSUGUMI by Yoshimoto Banana was filmed. The building has been demolished already, however we still see the nostalgic landscape here featuring the drying of tengusa marine plants to make agar Kanten jelly. I bought some to cook Plum Kanten jelly.