People born after 1980 may not realize the impact that the book and the original TV drama had on the Western image of Japan. I can confidently say that only World War II had a bigger impact — at least on the American psyche.
The Anjinsai Festival in Ito, Shizuoka, is a captivating local festival on the Izu peninsula that draws locals and tourists alike to experience a fusion of traditional customs and exhilarating festivities. Known for its breathtaking fireworks display, energetic yosakoi dances, thrilling taiko competition, and lively outdoor Wakuwaku-ichi market and beer garden at Fuji no Hiroba, the Anjinsai Festival is a true celebration of the rich cultural heritage and lively spirit of Ito.
Shimoda’s biggest annual festival commemorates that era with the Kurofune Matsuri (Black Ship Festival). The first festival was held in 1934 as a way to honor the five crew members of Admiral Matthew Perry’s expedition to Japan who died at sea or during their time in Japan. Today, the festival also honors the friendship between Japan and the US.
I’ve often lamented that many of the old ways are nowhere to be found in Izu, but I understand why. People have no practical reasons to preserve the past, and few young people have the interest nor the time. That’s why Shuzenji Gami is such a rare and important discovery.
If you’re looking to explore Japan and take a break from the crowds in Tokyo and Kyoto, Izu may be just the place you’re looking for. This peninsula located in the eastern part of Shizuoka Prefecture and is packed with natural beauty, history, and culture, making it a great option for tourists seeking an off the beaten path destination.
The Izu Peninsula’s natural beauty and plentiful hot springs make it one of the top vacation destinations for domestic tourists in Japan. While the scenery and hot springs have been around for a long time, getting here was nowhere near as easy as it is today.