Numazu City (沼津市) in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture (静岡県) was recently placed in the spotlight because of the anime, Love Live! Sunshine!! Numazu City is a gateway to major tourist sites such as Mt. Fuji (富士山) and Hakone (箱根). The city is also known for its numerous hot springs. If you are setting off for an anime pilgrimage and would like to explore more of the city while you are there, make sure to take note of the nine places listed down below!
The Numazu Deep Sea Aquarium was opened in December 2011. It is known as the only aquarium in the world with a coelacanth museum where you can view the fossils of a coelacanth, a prehistoric fish that was thought to be extinct but continues to live on in the seas in present time. The first floor showcases a deep sea-themed aquarium. Guests can also enjoy a private guided tour of the aquarium to learn more about deep sea creatures.
Formerly known as Nakanoshima Aquarium (中之島水族館), Izu-Mito Sea Paradise was the first aquarium in Japan to keep bottlenose dolphins. Now, this aquarium is known for its shows starring their resident dolphins and sea lions. The aquarium is also home to walruses, which is their biggest animal. In Love Live! Sunshine!!, Izu-Mito’s adorable walrus mascot, Uchicchii (うちっちー), was featured.
The Awashima Marine Park is another aquarium located in Numazu City. Since this aquarium is located on Awashima Island (淡島) that has a coastline of 2.5 kilometers, they have access to natural seawater which they use for their pools. This aquarium also features dolphin and sea lion shows. They also have a large exhibition of frog species from all over the world.
The Numazu Imperial Villa Memorial Park was previously used by the Imperial family as a summer retreat residence. It was built in 1893 and the Imperial family frequently visited the place until 1969. The park is now open to the public with entrance priced at 100 yen, or 400 yen if visitors want to explore both the park and the villa.
This watergate is considered as one of the largest watergates in Japan, which was built as a protection from tsunamis. On top of the watergate is an observation deck where guests can see a 360-degree panoramic view of Senbonhama Park (千本浜公園), Mt. Fuji, and Suruga Bay (駿河湾).
Senbonhama Park, or literally the “Thousand Pine Trees Park,” is a famous scenic spot in Numazu. Its beach is lined with numerous pine trees, which is where it got its name. This park is one of the largest that can be found in Numazu and it is perfect for walking, running, and cycling.
This place is a memorial museum dedicated to Wakayama Bokusui (若山牧水), a naturalist tanka (短歌) poet. This museum is located near Senbonhama Park. Wakayama traveled a lot during his youth, but he settled down in Numazu after seeing the scenery at Senbon Matsubara. The museum displays memorabilia from his life, such as letters, notebooks, and poems.
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If you are visiting Numazu City for an anime pilgrimage, then Yasudaya Ryokan should be your number one choice for accommodation! This ryokan was the inspiration for Takami Chika’s (高海千歌) home in Love Live! Sunshine!! This ryokan has been open since 1887 and it features Japanese-style rooms for guests to enjoy.
Media Cafe POPEYE is a cafe where manga lovers and cat lovers can enjoy themselves. As with other manga cafes that have private booths and shower rooms, this can also be considered as an affordable accommodation for travelers.
Aside from the fantastic views, there are a lot of other places you can visit in Numazu City. If you ever decide to visit Numazu, be sure to check these places out!