By Peter Sidell
Located at the entrance of Fuji Hakone Izu National Park, Mishima is a city of clean spring water. It offers several natural beauty spots related to water that flows near Mt. Fuji. There are also historical sites such as Mishima Taisha Shrine, partly because Mishima is located along the old Tokaido, a highway which was developed in the 17th century to connect Tokyo and Kyoto.
One of the attractive spots related to water is Kakita River Park. From Mishima Station, a 10-minute bus ride will take you to the spring water park. Kakita River is a nationally designated natural monument where underground water from Mt. Fuji wells up. You can see several springs in the park where water gushes out. There is also a wooden walkway near the river for enjoying the rich nature.
Another natural spot is Genbe River. Only a few minute's walk from Mishima Station, you will find a peaceful atmosphere with clean water flowing. The origin of the river is melting snow from Mt. Fuji. There are stepping stones placed in the river, so you can walk on the stones in the river while listening to the sound of the stream.
As a most important historical site in the city, Mishima Taisha Shrine holds a long history of worship. It is the first shrine in Izu province and the main god of Mt. Fuji has been enshrined here since ancient times. It is located along the old Tokaido highway and is just a 10-minute walk from Mishima Station. The main hall is designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan, and there are other precious structures which are also very impressive. Visitors can also enjoy viewing a peaceful pond and garden before going to the main hall.
In addition to natural water spots and historical sites, Mishima Skywalk has become a new tourist attraction in the area. It is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Japan with a length of 400 meters. It offers scenic views of Mt. Fuji and Suruga Bay. The 360-degree view of the Izu mountains is also magnificent. It takes 25 minutes by bus from Mishima Station and tickets cost 1,000 yen for adults.
From Tokyo to Mishima, It takes about an hour by Tokaido Shinkansen or two hours by JR express/local trains. There is a tourist information office at Mishima Station where information in English is available.
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