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Nature and History Meet in Shizuoka

Émile visited Shizuoka, where he learned about the prefecture’s history and cultural significance, and experienced some of the local cuisine and natural beauty. Highlights of his trip included a visit to Sumpu Castle, dropping in at Nihondaira Hotel, and taking a stroll around the theme park of Kakegawa Kachoen.

Storied Castle

The historic Sumpu Castle

Enjoying the sun in Sumpu Garden

People tend to think of Japan as being filled with big cities, high tech, and manga culture. But there’s so much more to see!—Émile Ntamack

At Sumpu Castle, Émile was very keen to learn some Japanese history, see how people lived during the Edo period, and find out about the battle techniques of the samurai. There was a replica of Ieyasu’s kabuto (warrior helmet) and sword—which Émile found was quite heavy—but he was shocked to learn that Ieyasu was only 159 cm (5’2”) tall. He thought that samurai should be tall and big.


From Tokyo to Shizuoka Station

Take the bullet train(About 1 hour).

From Shizuoka Station to Sumpu Castle Park

Take a walk(About 15 minutes).

Scenic Hotel

The view of the Pacific Ocean from the Nippondaira Hotel

The incredible Japanese food of the Nippondaira Hotel

It’s not only important to think about the sights you’ll see when you go on a trip, but also the accomodations! Nippondaira Hotel has a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji and the natural surroundings of the Nippondaira Plateau where it is located. Émile was very impressed with the architecture, and at the hotel’s restaurant he enjoyed fine cuisine prepared with local ingredients—seasonal vegetables and fish—served with fresh green tea from Shizuoka.


From Shizuoka Station to Nippondaira Hotel

Take a bus to Nippondaira Hotel Bus stop(About 40 minutes).

From Sumpu Castle Park to Nippondaira Hotel

Take a bus to Nippondaira Hotel Bus stop(About 55 minutes).

Getting in Touch with Nature

Enjoying the company of some beautiful birds

Kick-kun showing off his rugby potential

Émile’s Restaurant, open 24/7!
I may borrow him (Kick-kun) for the game! He’ll play well.—Émile Ntamack

If you like flowers and birds, Kakegawa Kachoen is a place worth visiting. In the theme park, you can enjoy seasonal flowers in full bloom and spend time with various kinds of birds. You can also take pictures with an owl on your arm, pet a penguin while it’s sitting on your lap, watch a bird show, and feed beautiful parrots. As soon as Émile picked up some food, several birds flew and landed on his shoulders, head, and hands to get a snack. Émile enjoyed their company and called out to the birds.
One of the most popular birds in the park is a secretary bird named “Kick-kun” (Mr. Kick). He’s famous for stomping on his prey with his long, powerful legs. He showed off his strength by kicking a rugby ball, and Émile was really impressed.


From Shizuoka Station to Kakegawa Kachoen

Take the bullet train to Kakegawa Station. Take a walk (About 30 minutes).

From Nippondaira Hotel to Kakegawa Kachoen

Take a bus to Shizuoka Station; change to JR Tokaido Line to Kakegawa Station. Take a walk (About 1 hour 40 mins).


Shizuoka Prefecture is well known for soccer. Shizuoka City, the Capital of Shizuoka prefecture is located near Suruga Bay and across from Mt. Fuji. One of the city’s most famous structures is Sunpu Castle, which was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu (first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan) in 1585. After the war, it was turned into Sunpu Castle park for citizens' rest and relaxation. Seafood from Shizuoka City’s fishing ports is also one of the city’s local attractions.
Access from Tokyo by bullet train about 1 hour ~



Perched on a hilltop in the center of Ogasayama Sports Park, this sporting venue is surrounded by nature and seats 50,000 people.
- JR Tokaido Honsen from Shizuoka Station to Aino Station (About 50 minutes). 15-minute walk from Aino Station.