This page starts with the city of Shimoda and continues clockwise around the bottom of the peninsula until Hirizo beach which is at the southwest corner of the peninsula.

The south coast of Izu has a slightly different vibe than some other parts of the peninsula.  Many parts of the east coast are a bit more touristy (which is also true of the city of Shimoda) but there is a bit of a surfing / youth vibe to some parts of the south coast including Shirahama beach and  Yumigahama beach.

Shimoda

The city of Shimoda is the location of a hugely important event in Japan’s history.  Japan had an strict isolationist foreign policy but U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry and the “black ships” showed up in Japanese waters and forced Japan to negotiate a treaty.   The treaty opened up the port of Shimoda to American vessels and the first American consulate in Japan was located in Shimoda at Gyokusen temple (Google map link).

The city of Shimoda has an excellent English website that does not rely on the sometimes ineffective use of translation software that other places do.  There is a tourist information center by the train station.

Shimoda is the last stop on the train line that runs north-south from Atami along the east coast of the peninsula.  Izukyū-Shimoda station is located here.  The train trip between Atami and Shimoda is definitely worth it – make sure to get a seat on the ocean side.  The trip is roughly 2000 yen and takes a bit more than one and a half hours.  

Shimoda city is fairly easy and enjoyable place to walk around and there are a number of places to visit around the city:

Gorosaya, Izushoin, and Amimoto ryōri Tokuzō Maru Shimoda are popular seafood restaurants in Shimoda but there are lots of excellent options. If you are looking for something other than seafood,  Tonkatsu Nisiki, Magic India, and Page One (Italian) are some of a number of non-seafood options.

The Izu Cruise Co. Ltd. operates cruises with three ships including one mock historical black ship.  The website is only in English.  It is about 1300-1500 yen for adults.

The Izu Peninsula Geopark website lists six natural history locations in the area: Ryugu Sea Cave, Yusuge Park, Koura 33 cannons, Kakizaki Bentenjima Island, West Tsumekizaki, and Nagaki.  On the Geopark website the location of West Tsumekizaki shows it is roughly here although there is nothing on Google Maps.  Google Maps does have the nearby Tsumekizaki columnar joints here.  There is nothing on Google maps for Nagaki other than a larger administrative area.  The Izu Geopark location for Nagaki seems to be just each of Togai beach.

Ebisu Island is also nearby and be reached from the mainland by a walkway.

Tsumekizaki beach is also in the area.

There is a nature preserve / flower garden here.

South of Shimoda, Tatadohama beach was listed as “temporarily closed” at last check but this a popular sand beach.

South Café, Café Mellow, Sunny Side, and maru café are all good options once you leave Shimoda and head south-west down the coast.

If you looking for a bit different of a different menu Spice Dog (restaurant) is worth a visit.

Ryugu park is a natural coastal / ocean park and Touji beach is just a bit farther down the coast from it.

Michi-no-eki  kaikoku Shimoda minato (South Shimoda Road side station) is quite a bit larger than most road side stations around. There are a number of differents shops and restaurants and a tourist information office.

Gyokusen temple (Google map link).  The temple has an English website.

The Uehara museum’s website is only in Japanese but it does have modern and Buddhist art galleries (Google map link).  There is also a strawberry farm nearby that has an English website.

There is a walking trail starting here with some interesting geological features nearby – here and here.

Shirahama beach

Shirahama beach is a huge sandy beach that is both popular and busy in summer.  It tends to attract a bit of a younger crowd some of whom go there to surf.  There are tons of families that visit as well.

Surfing Japan has a report on Shirahama.

Yumigahama is a small beach that attracts all sorts including a fair number of surfers.  Nearby Shirahama has more to offer and has better sand but it is close to the road and is often full of people and traffic.  Yumigahama and the nearby area has a quieter, more relaxed and local vibe to it.

The town of Minami Izu (“South Izu”) has a day hot spring facility called “Shimakamo onsen gin no yu kaikan” (Shimokamo hot spring silver water meeting hall – roughly translated) The website is Japanese-only but it the riverside location (Google Map link) is quite nice.

Irozaki cape and Irozaki ocean park are located on the south-east tip of Izu peninsula.  There is a shrine and a lighthouse and some great beaches in the area.  There is parking but it isn’t free.

There is a small tour boat operator in the area.  The website is only in Japanese but at least check there are sailings every half hour from 9:00 to 16:00 for 1,450 yen for one adult.

Minato-yu is a day hot spring.

Hirizo beach is absolutely stunning.  It doesn’t have the white sand of Shirama but the coast is definitely worth a visit.  It is also a great place for snorkeling.  There is a ferry service to the beach from this point during summer.  You can only get to the beach when the ferry is running in summer.  The ferry website has Google Translate button embed in it.

The nearby Togai beach is easier to get to.

The south-west area of the peninsula also has this beach / water playground that might be worth a stop in summer if you have children.