Photo By: Kevin
Region
Chubu
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Shizuoka
Population
3,767,427

Ito

Tattoo-friendly onsen, panoramic ocean views, and capybaras? Count us in.

About a two-hour train ride from central Tokyo is Ito, an absolutely gorgeous and foreigner-friendly hot spring town with a ton of quirky attractions. Located on the eastern half of Shizuoka Prefecture’s Izu Peninsula, Ito’s oceanside location gives it a variety of natural landscapes, including mountains and panoramic ocean views. This city has more than just your average hot springs — just ask the cute capybaras there relaxing hard in the baths!

Along with seeing the famous hot spring capybaras, here are some of the best ways to enjoy a trip to Ito.

Treat yourself at Akazawa Onsen

Akazawa Onsen

Photo by: akazawaonsenkyo2018 The “infinity bath” at Akazawa Onsen puts you right at the ocean!

This tattoo-friendly hot spring resort is owned by Japanese cosmetic powerhouse DHC. For a luxurious spa experience, pamper yourself with DHC face, body, and hair products and then soak in open-air baths overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The resort has a variety of jacuzzi, saunas, whirlpool baths, and even a bowling alley to hang out in!

  • ¥1,550 for day-trippers; ¥1,900 during peak season (Sakura season, Golden Week, Obon, and New Year); ¥2700 an hour for private onsen
  • Map
  • www.izuakazawa.jp/ (Japanese only)

K’s House Ito Onsen

K's House Ito Onsen

Photo by: kshouseitoonsen So relaxing.

This 100-year-old ryokan (traditional Japanese guesthouse) has been converted into a budget-conscious and foreigner-friendly hostel where the staff speaks English. Got tattoos? No worries, it’s completely tattoo-friendly. Get a room with a private onsen or stay in the mixed single-sex dorms.

About those capybaras…

Capybaras love the hot spring in winter.

If you think only snow monkeys in Nagano like to soak in hot springs, wait until you see the capybaras at the sort-of-touristy (but still worth a visit) Izu Shaboten Animal Park. In winter, the capybaras enjoy a yuzu-infused bath. After chilling with these furry creatures, check out the llamas, squirrel monkeys, birds, and 1,500 varieties of cacti.

  • ¥2,300 for adults (includes junior high school and high school students; Elementary school children ¥1,100
  • Map

Izu Kogen and more nature

After the animal park, head over to the nearby Izu Kogen for some beautiful landscapes and mountain views. There, you can explore Mount Omuro, a quirky extinct volcano that looks like an upside-down rice bowl covered in grass.  At the top, you can walk along the rim of a huge crater or try archery and paragliding from inside it! Mount Fuji, Mount Hakone, and the Izu islands are visible from the 580-meter summit on a clear day. The summit is only accessible by chair lift.

Hiking along Mount Omuro in Ito, Shizuoka

Photo by: Kevin Ah, fresh mountain air.

The jagged Jogasaki coastline, formed after several eruptions of the extinct volcano, is nearby. Walk the 10-kilometer-long trail along the coast and cross the 23-meter-long Kadowakizaki Suspension Bridge over the choppy blue water below. Capture some awesome views of Sagami Bay from the top of the Kadowaki lighthouse, also located on the trail.

If you’re visiting in summer, time your Ito adventure with the quirky Matsukawa Wash Tub Boat Race in July and the spectacular three-day Anjin Festival in August, both listed in GaijinPot’s Top 15 summer festivals in Shizuoka.

Because of Ito’s great location, you could also make it a day trip from a few other famous hot spring towns like Atami or Hakone.


For more tattoo-friendly onsen in Japan, go here:

30 Tattoo Friendly Onsen in Japan

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How To Get There

Address

288-6 Yukawa, Ito, Shizuoka 414-0002, Japan

By train

Take the Odoriko or Superview Odoriko limited express train from Tokyo station to Ito station (110 minutes). To get to Jogasaki, take the Izu Kyuko line from Ito station to Izu Kogen station and then take the bus to the coast.

If you are traveling from the Tokyo area, check out the Ito Free Pass, which is a 2-day discount sightseeing ticket for travelers.

By bus

To get to Izu Shaboten Animal Park and Mount Omuro, take the bus from Ito station heading towards Shaboten Park (シャボテン公園行). It takes about 35 minutes. 

With the Tokai Bus Free Pass (¥1,300 per day) you can get on and off at various bus stops, including Ito Station, Shaboten Park, Grampal Park, Izu Kaiyo Koen, Jogasaki Guchi, Izukogen Station. The pass costs less than a return bus journey between Ito Station and Shaboten Park.

Where To Stay

Izu no Ie UNO
  • Yukawa 2-17-6 Ito-Shi, Shizuoka 414-0002
  • 8.8/10
  • 0.2 km
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Izu no ie MOANA
  • 3-1-1 3F, Yukawa Ito-Shi, Shizuoka 414-0002
  • 8.7/10
  • 0.4 km
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Kameya Rankan
  • Yukawa 2-4-12 441-0002
  • 8/10
  • 0.4 km
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Seven Seas Hotel-Ito
  • Yukawa 2-3-10 Ito-Shi, Shizuoka 414-0002
  • 7.9/10
  • 0.4 km
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