Izu Rhythm

Mount Omuro Blog

Mt. Ōmuro is the most recognizable geographic feature in eastern Izu and this blog is updated from a location at its southern base, hence the title. From here, we explore Izu, which is rich in history, culture, and a unique geography that is remarkably different from Japan’s main island of Honshu. The entries below are designed to show you what makes Izu so different from other places in Japan.

Current Entry

Long before cars and trains, people traveled through Japan’s rugged terrain primarily on foot. One of the most well preserved sections of the old Higashiuraji (Eastern Back Road) is in Ito, between Usami and Ajiro.

It is an easy walk rich in sights, sounds, living things, and history.


Past Entries

Izu Geography

Category: Japan Geography

The formation of the Izu peninsula is one earth’s most unusual geological events. Because of this, Izu was designated a UNESCO Geopark in 2012.


Category: Japanese Food, Agriculture

Sushi has become very popular throughout the world. Perhaps the most recognizable ingredient in sushi is wasabi, but have you ever eaten the real stuff?


Category: Japan Geography, Shakuhachi

There are many well known waterfalls on the Izu peninsula. Perhaps the most famous is Joren Falls because of its role in the novel Izu no Odoriko (The Dancing Girl of Izu) by Nobel laureate Yasunari Kawabata.


Category: Japanese Folk Stories

A local story of a couple’s tragedy in Futo, along the Jogasaki coast.


Category: Japan Geography

In late winter, for more than 700 years, the annual yamayaki event takes place at Mt. Ōmuro. Yamayaki literally means “mountain burning.” The original purpose of the event was to produce high quality kaya (sedge grass) that was used for thatched roofs.


Category: Japan Geography

They are not called ‘murder hornets’ in Japan, but it gets people excited, doesn’t it?


Izu History

Category: Japanese History

From stone age hunter gatherers to warlords to modern celebrities, Ito is rich in history.


Category: Japanese History

Any American who watched TV in 1980 probably knows the answer.


Category: Japanese History

The plot to one of Japan’s most famous Kabuki plays started in Ito.



Category: Japanese History

America’s first US diplomatic consulate to Japan was located here in Izu. Townsend Harris was the first US Consul General.


Hawaii Crazy

Category: Izu History

One of the things I noticed about Izu when I first moved here is that people are nuts about anything Hawaiian. While the same can be said about Japanese people in general . . . read more


Izu Culture

Category: Japanese Folk Stories

The village of Ike, at the foot of Mt. Omuro, is named for a large pond where a dragon lord is said to have lived for more than a thousand years. Read the full story…


Category: Japanese Culture

Today is Setsubun in Japan. It is one of several very old traditions imported from Chinese culture and based on the lunar calendar. Read the full story…


Category: Japanese Culture

Unique merchandise, local scenery, things that catch the eye of a foreigner in Japan.


Category: Japanese Folk Stories

On the west slope of  Mt. Ōmuro, in a beautiful park, you can still see a cave that is the setting of a local legend. The cave is called The Hole of the Giant Snake.


Category: Japanese Folk Stories

In the Totari (十足) valley, just north of Mt. Ōmuro, there is a Buddhist temple by the name of Ryūnji (龍雲寺). Read the full story…


Category: Japanese Culture

Wander a little off the beaten track in Japan, and you will discover local fireworks events with real hometown character.

Izu Places / Sightseeing

The view from atop Mt. Ōmuro is amazing, especially in the winter.

Jogasaki Cultural Museum is a place to learn about Izu history and culture,  view art exhibitions, collaborate with artists, and mingle over coffee.

Special Edition


From Itō Commercial High School Students

Want to know what to do and see in Itō?

English language students at Itō Shōgyō Kōkō ( Itō Commercial High School) have completed a project to provide English information about Itō’s most popular tourist attractions. 

Please show your support by reading their recommendations.