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A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

Inatori Onsen, located on the shore in Shizuoka, is a town known for its relaxing hot springs. With splendid ocean views and excellent local food, it's the ideal destination for a relaxing trip from Tokyo. A direct train takes you in a little over two hours to this charming town by the ocean!

2021.10.01

Inatori Onsen: A Hot Spring Town with Fabulous Ocean Views

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

Inatori Onsen is a town by the ocean in Higashi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture. While it's best known for hot springs and unique tradition of Hina doll decorations, this town will steal your heart with its amazing ocean views and flavorful seafood!

A trip to Inatori Onsen is an excellent getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Just being here will make you put down your phone and take in the nostalgic local charm with all your senses. This article introduces an itinerary for a relaxing day trip from Tokyo to Inatori Onsen, complete with places to visit and activities that will leave you refreshed.

9:00-11:32 -- From Tokyo Station to Inatori Onsen by the Izu Odoriko Limited Express

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

The most convenient way to travel to Inatori Onsen is by taking the limited express Izu Odoriko, a direct train from Tokyo Station. You'll reach Izu Inatori Station in about two and a half hours.

This train requires a seat reservation, so please make sure to purchase your ticket beforehand at a JR ticket center (Midori no Madoguchi). The ticket costs 5,500 yen in total.

The train runs by the shore; you'll be enjoying wonderful ocean views on the left and lush green mountain scenery on your right.

12:00-12:45 -- Fishing Boat Cruise: View the Town from above the Ocean!

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

Picture courtesy of Higashi-Izu Tourism Association
The adventure begins soon after you reach Inatori! Embark on a fishing boat cruise to enjoy viewing the town and its surrounding mountains from the ocean!

The fishing boat cruise takes about 45 minutes, with boats departing at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 14:00, and 15:00. Please make a reservation online or by phone at the Izu Inatori Station Tourist Information Center.

The cruise fee starts from 3,300 yen/person and includes beverages and snacks. The minimum number of passengers is two, and the maximum number is 12. Cruise participants should arrive at the harbor at least 15 minutes before departure. The harbor is right in front of Higashi-Izu Town Hall.

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

We rode on the Inanimaru, whose skipper, Mr. Uchiyama, is a very amiable person. After putting on our lifejackets, it was anchors away! The boat left the shore with a lively musical background playing from the skipper's cabin that echoed all throughout the town.

Soon after departure, the seagulls were trying to catch up with our boat. The skipper gave us some snacks to feed the seagulls, as well as beverages and local treats for us to enjoy during the ride.

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

Viewed from the ocean, the town of Inatori Onsen looks like a gem tucked at the foot of the mountains.

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

You'll be hearing the story of how this region was formed, along with explanations about some of the highlights: lighthouses by the shore, a strange 10-meter high rock formation called Hasami-Ishi that looks as if it were manmade, a shrine in the distance dedicated to the sea deities, and the impressive buildings of local ryokans and hotels. On a clear day, you can even see Izu-Oshima Island in the distance.

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

The Titanic theme was playing from the skipper's cabin so I tried to pose like the main character.

Cruise participants can enjoy the ride from various vantage points, including the chair installed at the front of the boat!

Thanks to the warmhearted hospitality of our host, the ride was incredibly exciting and filled us with positive energy. We highly recommend it to everyone visiting Inatori Onsen! Watch this video for more insights into the fun ride on the fishing boat!

13:00 - 14:00 -- Lunch at Tokuzomaru: Delightful Seafood Dishes!

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

An excellent place to enjoy the local specialties of Inatori Onsen is Tokuzomaru. The restaurant is located beside the harbor, and guests can enjoy their meal with a fabulous ocean view. The traditional Japanese interior is cozy, with both tatami  mat seats and table seats.

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

At Tokuzomaru, you can enjoy exquisite dishes made with Splendid Alfonsino, a variety of fish known as kinmedai ('kinme' means 'golden eye' and 'dai' means 'sea bream'). Customers can choose from meal sets that include a main dish, soup, and various set dishes, or enjoy individual dishes like sashimi, rice bowls with kinmedai toppings, grilled kinmedai, and others.

An illustrated English menu is available. You can also place your order using the tablet installed at the table. Just select your meal and touch the "Place order" button.

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

I chose the grilled kinmedai as my main dish, and it was amazing! The fish was chewy, aromatic, and very satisfying. The meal was arranged beautifully on the plates and looked very stylish. It was one of the best tasting and most memorable menus I've ever seen in Japan!

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

Tokuzomaru has a souvenir shop on the first floor. They sell some of their delicious original sauces, pickles, and side dishes here, along with other Inatori specialties.

14:00 - 15:00 -- Searching for Souvenirs at Korasshe

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

Picture courtesy of Higashi-Izu Tourism Association

Another great place to find local specialties is Korasshe, a market located right in front of Higashi-Izu town hall, by the harbor. At this facility, local farmers and fishermen sell their products directly.

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

Picture courtesy of Higashi-Izu Tourism Association

We suggest checking out the fresh seafood, vegetables, and fruit. For instance, mikan oranges are a specialty of the Izu area and taste delightful! There are also a wide variety of pickles, jams, and confectioneries to choose from.

There is a small cafe in one corner where you can refresh yourself with some coffee, tea or ice cream.

15:00 - 16:00 -- Historical Town Walk

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

Inatori Hachiman Shrine
The town of Inatori Onsen boasts a rich history. Take a walk around the area and you'll notice words like "komeya" (rice merchant) or "tokoya" (barber) inscribed on old wooden plates hanging at the entrance of local residences. These words are called yago; in the past, people used to be known rather by their occupation (yago) than by their names.

The present homes stand on the locations where those shops used to do business. Interestingly, the locals refer to one another using the professional names on those old signboards. It's as if the historical map of the town still lives on in the minds of the residents.

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

At the tourist information center located right in front of Izu Inatori Station, you can find maps for yago walking tours. These itineraries take you around the town to locations where old yago signboards can still be seen. It's a fun way to explore the town and uncover traces of its past.

You'll be passing by shops and dining places; if you're curious, do stop by. Wherever we stopped, we were warmly received.

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

We could feel the presence of the ocean nearby wherever we went; the sounds of the waves and the seagulls are always in the background. There are shrines and temples along the way, offering insights into local culture.

From around the train station, you can enjoy the view of the ocean and the townscape below--a breathtaking sight! If you wish to explore a wider area, we suggest renting a bicycle.

16:15 - 17:15 -- Relaxing Tea Time at Jazz Cafe Djarm12

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

A pleasant 20 minutes' walk away from Izu Inatori Station, you'll find Djarm12, a a charming jazz cafe where you can rest while enjoying a dessert with coffee or tea.

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

Located in a tastefully renovated traditional building, Djarm12 has a distinctive, elegant atmosphere enhanced by the jazz music playing in the background. The interior is decorated with local craft objects and musical instruments. A lush garden is surrounding the building and visitors can enjoy their tea outdoors on days with clear weather.

A Trip for All the Senses! Inatori Onsen: Ocean Views, Local Food, and Adventure

The cafe serves light meals like pasta dishes or pizza, as well as a range of desserts. Their Shiratama cream anmitsu, with ice cream, red bean paste, and seasonal fruit, tastes heavenly! We also recommend their rich coffee jelly.

Jazz Cafe Djarm12 is an absolute gem and the ideal place to relax while listening to good music.

17:42 - 20:18 -- Return to Tokyo or Stay for the Night

If you're visiting Inatori for a day trip, we suggest taking the train leaving at 17:42. You'll change trains at Atami Station, and reach Tokyo Station at 20:18.

However, if you can stay for the night, I highly recommend booking a room at a local ryokan in advance. Enjoy the hot springs of Inatori and at least one more day exploring this charming town by the ocean. Just like me, you'll surely want to visit again.

For more information on wonderful places to visit in Inatori Onsen, please visit the official website of Higashi-Izu.

Route Summary
Tokyo Station → Izu Inatori Station → Fishing Boat Cruise → Lunch at Tokuzomaru → Souvenir shopping at Korasshe → Historical town walk → Tea time at Cafe Djarm12 → Izu Inatori Station → Tokyo Station

Expenses
Transportation (roundtrip): around 10,000 yen
Fishing boat cruise: from 3,300 yen (with tax)
Lunch: around 2,310 yen with tax
Tea time, souvenirs, snacks: around 3,000 yen

The writer visited these facilities on August 17, 2021.

Sponsored by Higashi-Izu Tourism Association

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.