HomeStoriesSpotlightKawane Area – The Heartland of Shizuoka

Kawane Area – The Heartland of Shizuoka

Kawane area is nestled in the mountains and has been blessed with the rich nature along the Oi River, one of 2 major rivers that have cut through Japan’s Southern Alps and forged deep valleys in the heart of Shizuoka.

Here you can stay away from the crowds and immerse yourself in nature and the authentic Japanese rural lifestyle.


The Oi River starts as rainfall and snow melt deep in Japan’s Southern Alps mountain range.

The water travels from peaks of some of Japan’s highest mountains such as Mt. Akaishidake 3,121m and Mt. Kitadake 3,193m (Japan’s 2nd highest mountain after Mt. Fuji 3,776m) .

The winding river makes its way through Kawane to the city of Shimada then Yaizu where it flows out into Suruga Bay.

The abundant water that flows in the Oi River is used for irrigating gardens and green tea fields along both sides of the river as it makes its way down to the sea.


Home to some of the finest green tea
Kawane tea is considered one of the best teas in Japan for its fresh aroma, umami and sweetness.

Among many tea producing areas in Shizuoka, tea from Kawane is known as one of the best teas nationwide.

There are several reasons why Kawane tea is so delicious and one of them is its favourable environment. The Southern Alps brings warmer air in the day and wet cold air at night into villages in Kawane area.

This severe temperature variance reduces bitterness and increases Umami in tea leaves.


Traveling by train - Oigawa Railway
Great for a family adventure.

The Oigawa Railway operates a number of trains from Shin Kanaya Station, close to Shimada, all the way up to Ikawa Station by Lake Ikawa. Many travelers to the area choose to take the Steam Locomotive Train which offers a nostalgic journey following the river into the valley.

If you are traveling with kids, they will be excited to ride on an authentic Thomas the Tank Engine.


Sumatakyo Onsen
The alkaline Onsen is believed to make the skin smooth.

If you are looking for an escape to a secluded Onsen resort off the beaten path, then Sumatakyo Onsen is one to discover.

A bus ride from Senzu station takes you to this quaint small Onsen town in Sumata Gorge.

There are several day-use spas in town but staying at one of the Ryokan or Minshuku will give you more time to rejuvenate both your body and soul.


Bridge of Dreams - walk above turquoise blue water
 The hiking course to the bridge is an approx. 90-minute circuit.

If you would like to explore further, take a pleasant walk from Sumatakyo Onsen town and you will find the famous Bridge of Dreams suspension bridge.  

You will marvel at the intense turquoise colour of the water below and the surrounding green nature.


Kawane aarmstay experience
Farm to Table experience with welcoming farmers.

One of the most unique experiences that you can have in the Kawane area is to stay at one of the many Homestay / Farmstay accommodations available.

In addition, most accommodation providers will let you help them prepare your meals with fresh produce sourced from their gardens and farms.

An opportunity to stay with a local resident and learn what life is like living in the area is a truly unique experience for visitors who like to get off the beaten path.

Learn more about farmstay experiences in Kawane.

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