In Japan's boom days, Atami was the weekend vacation of choice, and on holidays you might still see busy streets and happy shopkeepers. Although its luster has faded, Atami is still well known for its many hot springs as well as coastal fireworks held throughout the year. Add to this an easygoing pace and nostalgic charm, Atami can be the ideal getaway from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.
It's great to just wander around in Atami, taking in the relaxed atmosphere, but there are a few places you shouldn't miss.
Get a history lesson at Yushima Amusement Park (ゆしま遊技場) 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..