It's a difficult pick to decide which of Japan's prefectures that I've visited is my favorite, but the beauty of Shizuoka is hard to beat. On a recent trip back there, I was reminded of a few reasons why it's such a great spot to check out if you're headed to Japan.
It's only a short shinkansen trip from Tokyo Station
The Hikari Shinkansen will get you all the way from Tokyo Station to Shizuoka Station in about an hour, give or take a few minutes. Even if you can only make a short trip out there with your vacation schedule, you're still able to fill up a full day knowing that it's only an hour there and an hour back.
You can see Mt. Fuji (and deliberate which side is prettier - the Shizuoka side or the Yamanashi side)
Mt. Fuji sits on the boundary between Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures - and there's a bit of a friendly rivalry between the two as to who has the better view. Opinions are divided, but with pictures like this it's hard to argue against Shizuoka.
It's one of the homes of green tea in Japan
Shizuoka is the largest green tea producing area in Japan - about 40% of the total green tea production in the entire country comes from here. You can even visit tea plantations in the prefecture, check out a tea ceremony, or even pick up some tea to take home with you. You'll know that you're getting some of the best stuff that the land of the rising sun has to offer.
There are even beaches that will give you an incredible view of Fuji-San if you're lucky
Back onto the topic of Mt. Fuji - if you're a water lover, there are certain beaches in the prefecture that can give you a view of the mountain if the weather is on your side. This particular beach is Miho no Matsubara, which is a particularly popular spot to take a snap or two on a clear day.
You can try real wasabi
If you want to spice up your vacation, Shizuoka is a great spot to try real wasabi. A lot of the time, what is marketed as "wasabi" is really horseradish - it's cheaper and easier to grow than the real deal. The conditions in the prefecture are just right to allow wasabi plants to grow almost year round - and if you thought the 40% share of the green tea market that Shizuoka holds was impressive, you might be surprised to know that 80% of wasabi is grown here. Cornering the market!
There are many great reasons to pay a visit to Shizuoka, but hopefully some of these might sway you in that direction!