It's great to just wander around in Atami, taking in the relaxed atmosphere, but there are a few places you shouldn't miss. Young travelers can't do better than to stumble into CAFE RoCA, easy to spot with its distinctive blue storefront. While you enjoy delicious Finnish cuisine, grab some event pamphlets and talk up the waiters and cooks, who seem to have a good knowledge of places to go and things to see in the area. Don't use food rating websites in this town; all the good recommendations will come from the locals.
Get a history lesson at Yushima Yuugijo which serves up manual, antique "smart ball" pachinko, the way it was played before it became Japan's national addiction. Observant tourists will notice that not only this gaming house but many of the storefronts and buildings in Atami look straight out of Japan's boom days, the 1960s to 1980s. Modern buildings are meanwhile hard to spot-- it's as if the whole town has been stuck in time.
Before you leave, don't forget to visit the MOA Museum of Art, a quick bus ride from the station. When you go through the ticket gate and begin your seemingly endless ascent of 14 100-foot-long escalators (1/4 of a mile in total), it's easy to get an eerie inkling that this museum is connected to a religious organization. But at the top of those escalators is a jaw-dropping collection of classic Western and Eastern art that deepens one's aesthetic taste and makes for a fine beginning or ending to a pleasant weekend trip.
Farm Takanawa Club’s beautiful hotel in the hills above Atami is a great escape from Tokyo. The facilities, food and setting a..