3 things you didn’t know you wanted to know about the Izu Peninsula.

  1. The Izu Peninsula is made up of two cities: Atami and Ito. As of 2006, both cities combined had a population of 120,000 people.
  2. The Ryokan Inaba, located in Ito, is a 100 year old National Treasure that can be found on the Matsukawa River. What’s notable about this, is that every room is different. Even with respect to the type of wood used to make the room.
  3. Atami in Japanese means ‘hot sea’. According to legend, there used to be a geyser in the area that erupted into the sea. As the majority of life during the times of ‘legend’ depended on fish and other sea life for sustenance, this was bad. At a loss, the local fishermen asked a Buddhist Monk to pray for a solution. The monk being a monk, he was happy to oblige. The monk’s prayers yielded a success as the geyser moved from the sea to the beach. And that is how the town, Atami, got it’s hot spring water that the townsfolk bathe in today.

Reiber, Beth. Spencer, Janie. Frommer’s Japan. Hoboken: Wiley Publishing. 2006. 8th ed.

9 things you didn’t know you wanted to know about Mount Fuji.

  1. The first documented climb was during the 8th century.
  2. During the Edo Period, the climb was used as a purifying ritual. Additionally, thank to men being men, Women were not allowed to climb the mountain until 1871.
  3. Fuji-san is 2,388ft tall and is actually classified as an active volcano. It hasn’t been legitimately active for a few centuries, though.
  4. You can get to Fuji by train! For the more initiated, take the Chuo Line to Otsuki. Then take the Kyuko line to Kawaguchiko Station. It’s about a two hour trip.
  5. Mount Fuji is actually a part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park system.
  6. “Official” climbing season is from July to August. You “could” climb from April to October if the weather cooperates. Spoiler alert! It doesn’t. Just wait for the official climbing season like everybody else.
  7. Roughly 600,000 people climb Fuji every Year.
  8. There are 6 ascending and descending trails that will take you to the summit of Fuji.
  9. In the event that you are not made of tough stuff (aka a damn, fool), there are huts on the mountain that you can spend the night in. They offer basic amenities only! They can be located above the 5th stage (every trail is broken into 10 stages) on the Kawaguchiko Trail.

Reiber, Beth. Spencer, Janie. Frommer’s Japan. Hoboken: Wiley Publishing. 2006. 8th ed.

5 Things you didn’t know you wanted to know about Nagoya, Japan.

  1. Nagoya is located 227 miles west of Tokyo and is Japan’s 4th largest city with a population of just over 2 million.
  2. Nagoya was founded almost 400 years ago at the request of Tokugawa Ieyasu who knew that the location would prove useful when trying to monitor the subjugation of cities.
  3. Nagoya is the home of the Atsuta Jingu Shrine. This shrine is revered as one of the three most important shrines in Japan because it “contains one of the Emperor’s three sacred treasures”. Said treasure is the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, or ‘grass mowing sword’. The other two treasure are the Sacred Mirror (which is stored in the Ise Grand Shrines) and the ‘Jewels’ (which reside in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo).
  4. The Nagoya Castle in Nagoya was built for the 9th son of Tokugawa Ieyasu and was completed in 1612. Fun Fact? Tokugawa forced all of the lords in Japan to contribute finances to the castles construction to the point of lord’s own bankruptcy. Tokugawa did this on purpose because he knew that it would make it harder for the now destitute lords to rebel in the future.
  5. Nagoya was nearly decimated during WWII.

Reiber, Beth. Spencer, Janie. Frommer’s Japan. Hoboken: Wiley Publishing. 2006. 8th ed.