Kunozan Toshogu Shrine
Hike or take a ropeway up to this historic ocean-side shrine that is just as impressive as Nikko's Toshogu Shrine.
Kunozan Toshogu Shrine, located in Shizuoka, is one of the two most important shrines dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the other being Nikko Toshogu Shrine.
Described in handouts at the shrine as “the greatest shogun in Japanese history,” Ieyasu founded the last shogunate to rule Japan before the Meiji Period. Kunozan Toshogu marks his original burial place and is the oldest of the Toshogu shrines around the country.
Nikko Toshogu Shrine
Kunozan Toshogu marks his original burial place and is the oldest of the Toshogu shrines around the country.
Kunozan Toshogu is a complex made up of numerous structures. Inside the grounds, visitors continue their trek upwards through the huge red Romon Gate, before passing the main building, an officially designated national treasure. A final stretch of road flanked by stone lanterns tops out in the 400-year-old mausoleum where Ieyasu’s remains were first entombed.
If you need energy for the climb to Kunozan Toshogu, you can go strawberry-picking at nearby farms along the ocean road, Ichigo Kaigan-dori. From January to May, places like Hagiwara Farm allow you to enter greenhouses tiered along the mountain. There you can enjoy nature’s buffet with all-you-can-eat strawberries, plucked straight from vines growing on long stone walls.
Nihondaira Hotel and Ropeway
For those who don’t want to make the climb on foot, Kunozan Toshogu is also accessible via the Nihondaira Ropeway. The station for the ropeway is only a short walk from the Nihondaira Hotel. This hotel’s wide-open garden holds a fabulous view of the port of Shimizu with Mount Fuji visible in the background on clear days.
You can also enjoy the view from floor-to-ceiling windows inside the hotel’s Terrace Lounge. It’s a nice place to sip tea and relax after hiking those 1,000+ steps to Kunozan Toshogu.