Author Archives: wabisabi

Spice Dog Curry & Cafe in Shimoda

Spice Dog

The sign outside reads “Spice Dog Curry and Cafe“, it sounds like a lot but it’s actually so much more. Nobu, the owner is an absolute legend. He’s been in business for more than 30 years. There’s curry of course, … Read More

firepit at retreat wabi-sabi

Bon Fire at Retreat wabi-sabi

Enough research has been done to scientifically prove that watching a fire reduces heart rate and makes people more sociable. It’s thought that prehistoric humans who preferred tending fires were genetically advantageous as fires provide heat, light and kept dangerous … Read More

Juice cleanse at Retreat wabi-sabi Shimoda

Juice Cleanse Service at Retreat wabi-sabi

Retreat wabi-sabi is now offering juice cleanse packages. We have taken the best of our Juice Cleanse and Yoga Retreat to offer a package that can be provided as an extra service at ¥10,000 per staying guest. Please try to … Read More

takenoko (bamboo shoot) steak

Takenoko Mura (village)

I’ve always loved takenoko aka bamboo shoots. I never made Thai green curry without the water packed version that comes vacuum wrapped from the grocery store. Then one day one of our lovely neighbors here in Kisami dropped off a … Read More

Vegetarian in Shimoda (and tips for vegans in Japan)

When I first came to Japan 20 years ago, it was a real challenge to remain vegetarian. There were very few restaurants that catered to non-meat eaters and very few servers understood when I asked for something without meat, “niku … Read More

Retreat wabi-sabi Cafe

We have come to accept and even embrace the idea that we will never ever finish renovating, growing, developing, designing, and creating. We have grown yet again and still have lots of ideas and plans in the works. Please come and … Read More

Minami Izu Kayaking Shimoda Japan

Kayaking with Surface

Sea Kayaks have got to be the best way to explore Izu’s incredibly beautiful coastline. Guides can take you into caves and through natural tunnels. There are quite a few sea kayak tour guides in the area. We went with … Read More

Tobiishi

Tobiishi is our favorite Japanese breakfast spot. For 600 yen you get a perfectly grilled fish, rice, pickles, miso soup, an egg, and some nori (dried seaweed) and natto.  If you don’t like your egg raw, the friendly obasan is … Read More

Sakanadonya

Kaitenzushi is a sushi shop where nigirizushi rolls up to you on a conveyer belt and you get to take your pick of Japan’s most celebrated culinary tradition. Sakanadonya is on the 2nd floor of Shimoda’s Michi-no-eki (road station), right … Read More

Shimoda Burger

At the Ra-Maru Diner in Michi-no-Eki they serve a fish burger made with Shimoda’s most popular fish, kin-me-dai (aka splendid alfonsino). ¥1000 may seem a little pricey for a fish burger and some chips, but it’s a tasty change from … Read More

Michi-no-eki (road station)

道 (Michi) means road, の (no) is a possessive like our ‘s, and 駅 (eki) means station. Together you have “Road Station“, which have all of the conveniences of a train station but is made for drivers and their cars. … Read More

shimoda bus stop to kisami

Izukyu-Shimoda to Guesthouse tabi-tabi

To get to Kisami from Izukyu Shimoda Station you can take a bus from the rotary right outside the station. Look for the big orange signs. Busses departing from bus stop 2, 3, and 4, all stop at Kisami Bus … Read More

South Cafe

I have been meaning to write about South Cafe for a long time. And so I bring my camera with me every time I go but then as soon as the food arrives, my mouth waters and I dig in … Read More

minami-izu-trail-view shimoda Shizuoka Japan

Cape Tarai Hiking Trail

The Mimami Izu Hiking Trail is know for its amazing views off the high jagged peak of Cape Tarai, or what the local people call “a fierce god”. To get to the trail we took the 20 minute bus ride … Read More

Ryuguktsu sea cave shimoda Izu Japan

Ryugukutsu Sea Cave

sand ski hill shimoda izu geopark

Sand Ski Hill

Sand Ski Hill is right next to Ryugukutsu, a cave that opens up to the sea so if you want to see one you should definitely check out the other. We have toboggans guests are more than welcome to borrow … Read More

Tobiishi

Tobi Ishi is our favorite Japanese breakfast spot. For 600 yen you get a perfectly grilled aji, rice, pickles, miso soup, an egg, and some nori (dried seaweed) and natto. If you don’t like your egg raw, the friendly obasan … Read More

train from Tokyo to Shimoda

Tokyo to Shimoda,… the easiest way.

The easiest way to get to Shimoda is by Odoriko Super Express train. Some of the trains are called Super View Odoriko because they have raised floors and windows that extend to the ceiling so you can enjoy views of … Read More

kanaya ryokan onsen shimoda Izu

Kanaya Ryokan Onsen

Kanaya Ryokan has been welcoming guests since 1866, but is most famous for its 15 meter long “sen-nin buro” (1000-man bath) built in 1915. This beautiful wooden bath is not only long but also very deep. In fact, it’s big … Read More

perry-road-shimoda isu sightseeing japan

Perry Road

Most people only know Shimoda for its pristine beaches and emerald green sea, but there is a lot more to Shimoda you should really check out! Perry Road is a tiny street divided by a river with overhanging wheeping willows … Read More

Shokichinoyu Onsen

This has got to be one of my favorite onsen, ever! So worth the journey up the narrow steep mountain roads (although I refuse to drive myself). When I mentioned that one of our previous guests had said, “Now this … Read More

Flower picking in Matsuzaki

Every year in Matsuzaki (west coast of Izu) wild flowers are grown in rice paddies before the rice seedlings are planted. Once the May flowers bloom everyone is invited to pick as many flowers as they can. I cut and … Read More

Irozaki

Irozaki is a cape at the very bottom of the Izu Peninsula. There is a lighthouse and a shrine with amazing views of Southern Izu’s rocky coast.  You can visit the shrine and buy an “omikuji” (a fortune) if you … Read More

Morinookurimono Bakery

Shimoda’s wood-burning-oven bakery is set in the heavens above. The scenic drive through the country side, then a hair-raising thrill ride up a steep and narrow mountain road is so worth your test of faith (and brakes!). Once you are … Read More

nikuzuki-bbq- kawazu nanadaru falls

Nikuzuki in Kawazu

Nikuzuki means “meatmoon” but they also serve fish and noodles to feed the vegetarians and semi-vegetarians alike. The food is delicious and the location is amazing. We have decided this will go on the list of “What to do on … Read More

shimoda seasfood local food izu fish

Gorosaya

Shimoda is jam-packed with restaurants, cafes, and bars which can make it really difficult to choose. Well at least that is what happened to me many years ago when I really wanted to try some good local seafood. Eventually I … Read More

Fontaine bakery and cafe shimoda kisami

Fontaine Bakery & Cafe

I think most foreigners living in Japan would agree that there are not enough breakfast places around. So I am happy to have discovered a great new spot with fluffy omelettes, toast, Italian coffee and freshly squeezed OJ.  UPDATE:  I’m … Read More

Tokyo to Shimoda the cheapest way

Tokyo to Shimoda,… the cheapest way.

The cheapest way to get to Shimoda is to take the Odakyu Line train from Shinjuku to Odawara and transfer to the Tokaido line bound for Atami or Ito, then finally switching to Tokyu’s Izu Kyuko line from there. The … Read More

tokaido-shinkansen tokyo to atami bound for shimoda

Tokyo to Shimoda,… The fastest way.

The fastest way to get just about anywhere in Japan is by bullet train or what the Japanese call Shinkansen. There are no direct Shinkansens from Tokyo to Shimoda but it is possible to take a shinkansen half way, from … Read More

Cafe Mellow Kisami Shimoda

Cafe Mellow

For those of you who have been visiting the Kisami area for sometime, you may have noticed that Paradise has been lost and in it’s place Cafe Mellow has set up shop. Although some of the changes will take some … Read More

Snorkeling in Hirizo Izu

Snorkeling in Hirizo Izu

From the Kisami Bus Stop take a 40 minute bus ride down and around the coast to Nakagi, pay a 1000 yen for a 5 minute boat ride and you’ll arrive at the underwater wonderland, Hirizo. Before boarding the ship … Read More

Tandem bike rentals at Retreat wabi-sabi Shimoda Izu

Rental Bikes

Guesthouse tabi-tabi and our second location Retreat wabi-sabi have the cheapest rental bikes in Shimoda. They are simple “moma-chari” (shopping bikes) , but they are the perfect way to get around town for only ¥500 / day! UPDATE: Our simple … Read More

Minami Izu boat cruise shimoda Shizuoka

Izu Cruise

As I have mentioned in my blog about kayaking, the best way to see Izu’s beautiful and rugged coastline is from the sea. But if you are not feeling so active and don’t want to spend a day paddling then … Read More

Kannon Onsen

Kannon Onsen  is tucked away among greenery in the rugged hills of Shimoda. The hot-spring is famous for its super alkaline rich waters. The same waters are flowing through shokichi-no-yu but for those without a car, Kannon onsen is a … Read More

Naocacoan vegan delivery minami izu shimoda

Naocacoan

If you have been in Japan a while and are trying to maintain a plant-based diet, you know that your options can be pretty limited if you want to eat out. I was a fairly strict vegetarian when I came … Read More

Yamatokan Onsen

One of the closest onsens to Retreat wabi-sabi and Guesthouse tabi-tabi is at the Yamatokan Hotel on Tatado beach in the Kisami area of Shimoda. It  has a private and public onsen non-staying guests can use at certain times and … Read More

Happy Buddha Smoothies

Happy Buddha Smoothies is a little hard to find but totally worth the extra effort. To get there take the main road and turn at the entrance for Irita Beach (between Re-mix and the Chinese restaurant). Instead of following the … Read More

Maru Cafe

Maru Cafe is set in a quaint old Japanese house just steps from Maiso Beach to get there you need to cross the river. We recommend taking the wooden board-walk along the river then use the overhanging bridge, Maru Cafe … Read More

Irita Beach

The entrance to Iritahama,  Irita Beach in English, is not well marked, moreover, parking is limited and so since access is limited it tends to be a little quieter than some of the other beaches in Shimoda. However, it is … Read More

Yumigahama Beach Minami Izu Japan

Yumigahama Beach

Yumi means bow, as in “bow and arrow”, in Japanese and if you have been there you will know why. Yumigahama is a perfectly rounded shape bay and because it is a bay it is well protected from waves so … Read More

Tatado Beach

Tatado Beach is made famous by the surfers in the area and so tends to be a little busier with locals and tourists wanting to catch some waves. If that’s why you have come to Shimoda, please be aware that … Read More

Manpo Himono

When Japanese people travel to the sea they naturally want to eat fish. It makes sense, what’s local and in season, is tastiest! Overseas a great majority of Japanese restaurants serve sushi but within Japan, the percentage of sushi shops … Read More

Cubstar Cafe

If you love a good sandwich, like I love a good sandwich, you have got to check out cubstar in Shimoda. They have a Panini lunch special to please everyone. A veggie version with mozzarella and cheese, the pescetarian special … Read More

The Guesthouse

Large kitchen at tabi-tabi ShimodaJapanese style room in blueThe pink room at tabi-tabi ShimodaThe blue room at tabi-tabirice bowls at Guesthouse tabi-tabi Shimodalight at Guesthouse tabi-tabi ShimodaGuesthouse tabi-tabi Shimoda mapsGuesthouse tabi-tabi ShimodaGuesthouse tabi-tabi ShimodaGuesthouse tabi-tabi ShimodaGuesthouse tabi-tabi ShimodaGuesthouse tabi-tabi ShimodaGuesthouse … Read More

Jogasaki Coastal Hike

October is by far the best month for exploring and hiking in Japan. Southern Izu is also still warm enough to enjoy the ocean and yet cool enough to appreciate the onsens. On October 27th I started my day with … Read More

osaka to shimoda by train

How to get to Shimoda from Osaka and Kyoto

To get to Shimoda from Osaka, or Kyoto, you should take the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Shin-Osaka or Kyoto Station to Atami (141 min). From Atami take the JR Ito line to Ito (23 min) and from Ito take the … Read More

On the Beach

On the Beach is not actually on the beach but their BBQ sets are all wrapped up to go so you can certainly take it to the beach, or to the boardwalk, or back to your room, or anywhere else … Read More

odaru-waterfall-onsen kawazu izu shizuoka japan

Nanadaru Waterfalls & Onsen

Tucked into the hills above Kawazu Town, the falls range from the towering 30-meter high Odaru Waterfall to the 2-meter high Kanidaru Waterfall. The hiking trail is an easy 1km walk and it’s well sign-posted. Some sections are steep, but … Read More

Kisami Ohama Beach Shimoda Izu Shizuoka Japan

Kisami Ohama Beach

Kisami Ohama Beach is our “home beach”. Less than 5 minutes on foot from Retreat wabi-sabi. We recommend you take the short cut, down a dirt ,road past the baseball field, cross the street, then walk straight into the ocean.  … Read More

Juice cleanse detox and yoga retreat shimoda izu japan

Detox & Yoga Retreat

In October 2017 Retreat wabi-sabi hosted it’s very first juice cleanse and yoga retreat. 9 participants joined us for 2 nights / 3 days to detox, relax, and re-fresh the body and mind. If you have never done a detox … Read More

Shimoda port Izu Japan

A Danish View of Japan: På eventyr i Japan

Japan betyder ”solens ophav” og kaldes for Nippon, 日 (sol) 本 (ophav), men er bedre kendt som solens rige. Efter at have opholdt mig i Japan i to måneder, fremgår det tydeligt hvorfor, at solen har sit herredømme i dette … Read More

shimoda on a bicycle

Japón no es solo lo que viste en Doraemon!

Si durante tu infancia (o puede que incluso ahora) fuiste un fiel seguidor de estos dibujos, al llegar a Japón y empezar a descubrirlo te vendrán a la mente muchas, muchísimas semejanzas que harán que sueltes una sonrisa de vez … Read More

jaJA