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January 30, 2014 - Matsuzaki, an old fashioned small port town

Where and what is Matsuzaki? - I assume even seasoned travelers who have lot ideas about Japan might have never heard of it.
Matsuzaki () is a quite tiny town in southwest of Izu peninsula (ɓ), Shizuoka prefecture and 2 hours bus ride remote from Mishima (O) station.
If you have chance to go to Mt. Fuji and drop at Mishima on your way home, taking a bus and making a little excursion to this old port town is strongly recommended.

You have two ways to access Matsuzaki as follows.
1, Nishi Izu Tokkyu Bus (ɓ}oX, West Izu Express Bus) leaves Mishima bus station (just in front of JR Mishima station south gate) platform No.4 on 10:15, 12:15, 13:15, and 14:15 daily (10:15 is available only Saturday and holidays).
Neither additional charge nor reservation in advance is required. The fee is 2,400 JPY as of Jan. 2014.
2, Local buses run every 30 minutes to 1 hour from Shuzenji station (CPw) of Izu Hakone Railway (ɓS). Shuzenji is accessible from Mishima by this train for 500 JPY. And it costs 2,090 JPY from Shuzenji to Matsuzaki by bus as of Jan.2014.

Because only one way of public access has been a local bus, Matsuzaki and other small towns along west coast of Izu peninsula still holds those laid-back atmosphere as they had some decades ago, in contrast to too developed and touristic destinations dotted along east coast of Izu.

One of those town on way Matsuzaki from Mishima is Arari (Ǘ), a small village of fishery and moderate shipyard.
30 minutes is enough to loaf around this village but worth a try.

Matsuzaki flourished during Edo era as the port to ship out huge rocks that had been produced around the area to Edo (modern-day Tokyo) to make the foundation of Edo Castle (]ˏ). Izu basically developed as the production area of those rocks at that time.
Some of old merchant buildings well preserved until today is opened to public for free or astonishingly moderate fee.

Matsuzaki has been featured in many movies and TV dramas in recent years. One of the most famous one is "Sekai no Chushin de Ai wo Sakebu ( E̒Sň, Cry out love, in the center of the world ). So you might have seen the scenery of this port town even you don't know where it was.

Matsuzaki has many attractive suburbs.
If you walk along Naka River (߉) especially spring, 5km long colonnade of Cherry trees are waiting for you.
Huge rice field turns to big flower pasture during this Cherry blossom season when cultivation is suspended.

And at the goal of this colonnade, you will find public hot spring. More 20 minutes walk or local bus ride takes you Osawa hot spring (򉷐).

Rice terrace of Ishibu (Ε) is 40 minutes walk from Ishibu-Onsen (Ε) bus stop, where 15 minutes bus ride from Matsuzaki.

At Matsuzaki bus station, you can purchase "Nishi Izu Kanko Free Pass" (ɓόt[pX, West Izu sightseeing free pass) for 1,130 JPY, as of Jan. 2014.
You can freely board and get off the local bus around this area for two days with this pass.

Other hot spring towns have Minshuku (h), so you can stay anywhere you like.
West coast of Izu is famous for its spectacle view of Mt. Fuji or sunset, or the both.

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List of Posts:
2014/07/04 - Where Heda?
2014/03/24 - Walk the old Tokaido from Kakegawa to Hamamatsu
2014/03/21 - Walk the old Tokaido from Fujieda to Kanaya
2014/03/21 - Walk the old Tokaido from Kanaya to Kakegawa
2014/03/20 - Walk the old Tokaido from Shizuoka to Fujieda
2014/03/19 - Walk the old Tokaido from Okitsu to Shizuoka
2014/01/30 - Matsuzaki, an old fashioned small port town
2014/01/20 - Walk the old Tokaido from kanbara to Okitsu
2014/01/14 - Walk the old Tokaido from Mishima to Yoshihara
2013/12/16 - Walk along the old Tokaido from Hakone to Mishima