Unlike Malaysia, sunrise and sunset times in Japan changes every season. As a hobbyist photographer, I find it inspiring to compare the sunrise and sunset sceneries between the two countries. Whether you are taking the sunrise scene at the beach or in the city, the mood and feeling of each scene is different. I took the above photo in Shimoda city near Izukyu Shimoda station (伊豆急下田駅).
If you have the JR East Rail Pass, you should really consider visiting Shimoda city. It’s a 2-hour bullet train ride from Tokyo to Izukyu Shimoda station. To enjoy a more comfortable ride with nicer views, Super View Odoriko (スーパービュー踊り子)offers wider windows, wider seats, smoother and enjoyable rides to Shimoda.
Several sightseeing spots are near Izukyu Shimoda station and you can easily get some English brochures and English maps of the area at the station. One of the sightseeing spots I visited was Mt. Nesugata (寝姿山). It’s a 1-minute walk from the station to the cable car station. The cable car ride to the top of Mt. Nesugata can be quite challenging for people who are afraid of heights. But for me, it felt very safe inside the cable car.
The highlight of Shimoda Tourist Resort area is the beautiful beaches. A Japanese friend told me that Shimoda beaches are better than other popular known beaches in Japan. Since this place is not heavily advertised to the outside world, not many tourists know about this serene and less crowded location.
Another interesting fact about this place is that Shimoda was the first port used by the Americans as an Inspection Post for all incoming and outgoing ships in the Edo period. This was also the place where the Japanese people witnessed the arrivals of the American battleships, famously known as the ‘Black ships’ in the Japanese history.
The sighting of the ‘Black ships’ also inspired the creation of a humorous poem which goes like this:
(In English, it was translated as below)
Awoken from sleep
of a peaceful quiet world
by Jokisen tea;
with only four cups of it
one can’t sleep even at night.
Here is some information on Izu Shimoda Tour Guide in English.