Sanctuary Cities

Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia - - OUT OF TOWN -

Numazu Fish Market.

SHUZENJI, SHIZUOKA PREFECTURE

Bordered by persimmon orchards and bamboo forests, the town of Shuzenji, on the Izu Peninsula, is a three-hour drive from Tokyo and a scenic weekend getaway. The iconic Mount Fuji is visible from nearly every corner of Shuzenji, and the ocean is only a stone’s throw away, meaning fresh seafood is plentiful—visit Numazu Fish Market for a taste of the best. The town’s quaint downtown area houses the 1,200-year-old Shuzenji Temple encircled by a secret garden fit for fairy tales. Shizuoka is said to Karuizawa Marriott. grow the best wasabi in the country, and the town is filled with shops serving ice cream flavored with the zesty root, a tasty combination of hot and cold. Visit Wahu Nagiya (shuzenji-wahu-nagiya.business.site) for home-sewn linen bags with eye-popping patterns; they’re souvenirs to suit everyone back home. The family-run Baird Brewery (bairdbeer.com) brews a range of Shuzenji-made beers, and, for a room with a view, stay at the new Izu Marriott Hotel Shuzenji (marriott.com; doubles from ¥12,000) that sits on a hill overlooking the city and Mount Fuji. The

While most tourists flock to Japan's big cities and temple towns, the country's charming villages and unspoiled nature have been drawing locals for centuries. Veronica Inveen strays off the beaten path to three lovely towns just a short ride from Tokyo and Kyoto.

Fresh from

The onsen at

The historic Shuzenji Temple.

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