Introducing Shuzen-ji Onsen
Inland Shuzen-ji Onsen is a quaint hot-spring village in a lush valley bisected by the rushing Katsura-gawa. The narrow lanes and criss-crossing bridges are perfect for strolling. Some of Japan’s finest onsen ryokan are here as well.
There's a Tourist Information Office at Shuzen-ji Station, no English is spoken but you can pick up a sightseeing map in English and there is a free internet terminal. Shuzen-ji Onsen is a 10-minute bus ride from the station.
In the middle of Shuzen-ji Onsen is its namesake temple, Shuzen-ji. It’s said to have been founded over 1200 years ago by Kōbō Daishi, the Heian-period priest credited with spreading Buddhism throughout much of Japan. You can wander the pleasant temple grounds free of admission.
History aside, the real reason to visit Shuzen-ji is to takea dip in one of its famous onsen. Inns around town offer day-use bathing. Try Hako-yu, an elegant, contemporary facility identified by its 12m-high wooden tower.
Right on the river is a foot bath called Tokko-no-yu, rumoured to be Izu’s oldest hot spring.