With Mt. Fuji in the distance and the scenic Miho no Matsubara stretching out from the bay, the Shimizu Port is easily one of the most beautiful ports in Japan. Situated at Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture on Japan’s east central coast, the Shimizu Port is a modern port that offers plenty of opportunities for travelers.
The Shimizu cruise terminal is located at 10-80 Hinode-cho, Shimizu-ku in the city of Shizuoka. The harbor has full modern amenities, including a tourist information center, currency exchange, post office, and a fully-equipped passenger terminal with waiting lounges, three shops, a conference room, and a visitor’s deck. Cruise passengers will enjoy the welcome ceremony and cultural presentations on the harbor, such as tea ceremony, geisha performances, and tuna carving.
The nearest airport to the Shimizu cruise port is the Narita Airport in Tokyo and the Centrair Airport in Tokoname.
A visit to the Shimizu Port is never complete without taking home a memorabilia to remember the visit. Traditional Japanese wooden handicrafts include lacquer ware; Sashimono, a type of woodwork made without nails or adhesives; and bamboo ware; these are practical yet aesthetically pleasing souvenirs.
The fabric products unique to the Shimizu and Shizuoka areas should also merit interest to discerning visitors. These include kuzufu, a rustic type of cloth woven from the fibers of the kuzu plant; and Hamamatsu Chusen Some, a colorful cloth used to make light cotton kimonos or yukatas.
Oiwake, a steamed sweet bean jelly wrapped in bamboo leaves, is a famous Shimizu delicacy created in 1695 and a favorite sweet during the Tokaido era. Green tea and green tea products also make excellent Shimizu souvenirs. Visitors can head on to the Suruga Souvenir Lane, a street in the city lined with shops selling Shizuoka specialties.
Many souvenir shops are found near the Shimizu Port and there are several shopping centers in the city. Within a short distance from the port is the S-Pulse Dream Plaza, a modern complex; it contains various attractions and amenities, including game centers; a movie theater; and a seaside shopping mall.
Things to See
The Shimizu Port is set against a breathtaking backdrop of nature. Stretching out from the Suruga Bay is the scenic pine groves of Miho (Miho no Matsubara). The peninsula is home to a 650-year old Japanese black pine which inspired the local legend about a dancing angel. The statue of Elene Giuglaris, a French ballerina who danced to a Noh song, is set on the right side of the ancient tree.
The majestic Mt. Fuji is located just 22 miles away from the Shimizu Port. The volcano’s misty peaks can be seen throughout the city. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji at Hakone, a resort found in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park; it is located 15 miles northeast of Shimizu Port. The resort is famous for its hot springs and outdoor activities.
Nihon-Daira is a beautiful forest covered hill that also boasts of spectacular views of Mt. Fuji. From atop the hill, a cable car will take visitors to Kunozan Toshogu Shrine. It is the burial place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. The shrine is an excellent example of the gongen style building technique.
Visitors looking for other means of entertainment can head on to the S-Pulse Dream Plaza. A landmark in itself, the building complex contains the Shimizu Sushi Museum, Japan’s first sushi museum; Chibimaruko-chan Land, a hands-on type of museum where visitors can explore the world of Chibi Maruko-chan characters; and the Shimizu Soccer Museum for everything soccer.
Restaurants and Bars
Seafood ranks at the top of the menu in Shimizu. Fresh fish of various kinds, including “unagi” (eel), “maguro” (tuna), and “katsuo” (bonito), are caught fresh from the port every day. Visitors can find many eateries around the Shimizu Port offering fresh sashimi and sushi. The Shimizu Sushi Yokocho shops at the S-Pulse Dream Plaza are ten sushi shops, each showing a different character from the other.
Visitors can taste Shimizu’s other regional specialties in the many excellent Japanese restaurants and eateries in the city. Frequently served dishes include Fujinomiya Yakisoba, or fried noodles; Shizuoka Oden, a soy-flavored soup filled with various ingredients; and Hamamatsu Gyoza, or fried dumplings.
With offerings of good food and entertainment, a rich historical heritage, and spectacular views, any visitor stopping over the Shimizu Port will be sure to take home memories of an enthralling city.