This weekend, Guzzler International Travel (GIT) trundled into Atami, a small city located on the Izu Peninsula about 100km southwest of Tokyo. It’s a beautiful, quaint little place that feels a bit like it’s been stuck in a time warp since the 1980s. It has a kind of Blackpool-meets-Torquay feel but transported half way around the world. Bookmakers are replaced with Pachinko parlours; fish and chip shops with sushi restaurants. The city is surrounded by steep volcanic slopes. A beautiful place, although a pain to get to when feeling slightly hungover. But it was worth it:
Atami Sun Beach. Not the sunniest of days, but a beautiful beachy scene nonetheless.
Atami is apparently twinned with Acapulco. Needless to say, we went a little loco during our visit yesterday.
“Atami” literally means “hot ocean,” a reference to the town’s famous onsen hot springs. It has several big firework festivals throughout the year too, so I think we’ll be going back again soon.
Flowers lining the promenade. A really beautiful place to walk.
The other side of the beach lies the marina, overlooked by Atami Castle high up on the hillside.
No happy dog shitting allowed.
Maz picking out which boat she’d like to buy.
Such a quiet day too, and very few gaijins in sight. Earlier in the day we’d wandered through the town. It felt very much stuck in an era. The only sign of modernisation being the shinkansen roaring through the hills above at 200mph.
We continued wandering around the bay and came to this cable car. What – another cable car?! It’s as if we’e attracted to places by the bloody things! Anyway, we loves cable cars so on we got.
Up we went, into the hillside overlooking the small seaside city. At the top of the hill, inside the cable car station, is a sex museum. Really. We were short on time and money by now, but next time I think we’ll go and have a gander.
Atami Castle, built in 1959. Again, pressed for time we couldn’t go inside. But, what with this AND the sex museum, it’s a great excuse to go back again soon!
Atami, or Naples? What a beautiful little place. It’d look even better if the sun had come out. Grrrr.
Back down at sea level now. This cat was moving seductively around this mooring bollard, but clearly got fed up waiting for me to take the picture.
Yes, the obligatory Guzzler cat photo. You may think I’m obsessed with cats, and I kinda am. There were 3 of these dudes hanging around the fishermen, waiting to be fed. Very cute.
On the way back to the train station and we found this: oranges for sales, out of a locker! Bigger bags at the bottom, smaller at the top. Maz couldn’t resist. The locals seemed bemused at our bemusement!
So we arrived back in Komazawa and went for an Indian near the park. We walked home through the park and past the big tower. A reasonably ugly attraction by day, it just shows what can be done with some good lighting. It looks like a giant multi-coloured Jenga. Quite spectacular.
So a day out in Atami is highly recommended. It’s a relatively short 2hr train ride from Tokyo (quicker if travelling by shinkansen) and gets you away from all the crowds.
We have set of guests #6 arriving imminently, so expect some more updates soon…