Nishiizu and Dogashima-Kaigan Coast
Japan’s unique geography in an untouched paradise with rocky sightseeing.
Most Tokyo-ites have heard of the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture. Just a few hours from the hustle and bustle of the big city, Izu is perfect for any outdoor enthusiast, boasting activities such as swimming at its many beaches, hiking, paddle boarding, camping and hot spring hopping. Famous beach sites such as Shimoda’s Shirahama Beach are summer getaways.
Where is this located?
Nishiizu is a small beach town of only 8,000 people located on the west coast of the Izu Peninsula. Thanks to the Kuroshiro current from the neighboring Suruga Bay the town enjoys mild temperatures all year round — making it an ideal getaway location any time of the year. The yearly average temperature is 24 degrees °C (75°F). In fact, the sakura bloom between February-March in Izu due to the mild temperature.
Dogashima Kaigen Geopark
Dogashima kaigan is a famous geopark, with a rare phenomenon called a Tombolo that occurs between the massive rock formations in the ocean.
At low tide, you can walk across the pathway to experience Sanshiro-jima up close. Thousands of years of erosion that occurred on this coast created some of the most interesting coastal landscapes with a burning orange sunset to complement the breathtaking scenery. The tombolo is only open during the spring, summer, and early fall, so check the tides to see when you can walk across. Afterward, take the Yuransen ferry through the Tensodo cave.
In the nearby neighborhood of Tago, Tago-kaigan is home to Sebama Beach, where you can watch the sunset fall directly into the mouth of the meganeccho, a rock affectionately named “Godzilla rock” by the locals. You can check the sunset times here, but the most beautiful sunsets of all are actually in the wintertime (perfect to relax at one of many onsen in the Dogashima area).
Nearby, lies the Futo Coast, where you can relax by the beach in awe of the spectacular rock formations in front of your eyes. In the neighboring town of Ugusu, Koganezaki’s uma rock (horse head rock) is another fascinating geopark, with Crystal Beach, a campsite and white sand beach, nearby.
While Nishiizu is certainly out of the way for most travelers, the gorgeous landscape makes it a perfect location to experience an abundance of fun and free outdoor activities. The widely unexplored west coast of the Izu peninsula is home to some of Japan’s most fascinating natural phenomena. While major beach towns on the east side are already on many travelers’ bucket lists, it’s worth the trek to Nishiizu to discover the real Japan for yourself.
Before you go
To make the most of your stay, use a vehicle to travel around the entire peninsula. If you don’t own a vehicle, the cheaper option is to rent a car from Mishima (top of the peninsula). The closest station to the west side of the peninsula is Inazusa station, but rental car prices in Nishiizu itself are inflated, especially during peak seasons (summer/winter).