Shimizu, Japan

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Widely regarded as one of Japan’s most beautiful ports, Shimizu affords peerless views of Mount Fuji on a clear day and claims the scenic Miho-no-Matsubara pine forest as a backdrop (both are UNESCO World Heritage sites). The port’s temperate climate and rich culture—heavily connected to the surrounding Shizuoka region—have made it one of the country’s prime sightseeing destinations. A few of the main attractions include Kunozan Toshogu Shrine, designated a National Treasure by the Japanese government, Sumpu Castle (built in 1586) and Shizuoka Sengen Shrine, where warlord Tokugawa Ieyasu, who ushered in the Edo period, held his coming-of-age ceremony. Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japan for 250 years, until 1867. The broader region offers plenty in the way of picturesque coastal landscapes, tea plantations and a wealth of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, while the port itself—famed in the 1900s for its tea exports—is today best known for its prodigious tuna haul, the biggest in Japan, samples of which can be enjoyed in many of the port’s fantastic restaurants along with other local delicacies such as sakura shrimp and shirasu (whitebait).
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