Utsunoya was an intermediary stage between the two Old Tokaido Route stations, Mariko in Shizuoka, and Okabe in Fujieda. Even during the Meiji Era travelers had to go through it before climbing up and down steep slopes between the two stations.
Accordingly, many visitors stopped overnight in one of the “Shuukuba” or “Kashiya”/inns. Such establishments can be seen for the sole pleasure of the eyes and learning the history of the region.
Nowadays Utsunoya is easilly accessed by just taking a bus to Fujieda from platform 7 in front Shizuoka JR Station and get off at Utsunoya Iriguchi bus stop just before the Fujieda Tunnel. From here cross the large road by using the overhead bridge and start walking up the street.
You will walk past this beautiful Shizuoka fire hydrant manhole cover
The first houses you will see are not the inns of Utsunoya but they will prepare you for the further sights
These houses have been standing here for a long time and have often been repaired but you can still catch glimpses of old wooden architecture
Depending on the season they will make for great photography
Just walk at an easy pace as your goal is not that far
This sign indicates one of the great soba restaurants in this Prefecture called Kishigami
Getting near! Can you see the houses in the distance?
A little bit of historical information, travelers had to climb past Utsunoya Pass before the Meiji Toll Tunnel was opened in 1870
On that particular occasion we walked through it on a beautiful winter afternoon, but you ought to imagine the same location in all seasons and weathers.
Rare blue glazed roof tiles
All these former inns had names finishing with “ya/屋”
I can’t start to imagine the work involved to build those inns atop stone walls on such steep slopes
Try and imagine tired travelers stopping there overnight
Looking down on your tracks up the slope
Even now it is worth visiting for the sole purpose of eating at traditional Japanese restaurants, Udon Restaurant
Soba Restaurant Kishigami, a favorite of mine and many foreign tourists in search of true Shizuoka gastronomy
And don’t forget to visit the Meiji Tunnel just a little further away.
|Address||Utsunoya,Suruga Ward, Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture 421-0105|
|Access||[map]Utsunoya,Suruga Ward, Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture 421-0105[/map]|