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.

 

SN3O5284

 

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.

 

SN3O5285

You will walk past this beautiful Shizuoka fire hydrant manhole cover

 

SN3O5286

The first houses you will see are not the inns of Utsunoya but they will prepare you for the further sights

 

SN3O5287

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

 

SN3O5288

Depending on the season they will make for great photography

 

SN3O5289

Just walk at an easy pace as your goal is not that far

 

SN3O5290

This sign indicates one of the great soba restaurants in this Prefecture called Kishigami

 

SN3O5296The all-important sign! Take the left-hand path

 

SN3O5297

Getting near! Can you see the houses in the distance?

 

SN3O5298You have reached Utsunoya which depended on the Mariko Old Tokaido Route Station

 

SN3O5299

A little bit of historical information, travelers had to climb past Utsunoya Pass before the Meiji Toll Tunnel was opened in 1870

 

SN3O5300

Enter Utsunoya

 

SN3O5301

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.

 

SN3O5302

Rare blue glazed roof tiles

 

SN3O5303

All these former inns had names finishing with “ya/屋”

 

SN3O5304They all share the same wooden architectural design

 

SN3O5305One can still discover stone foundations even older than the houses

 

SN3O5306Antique rain water stone jars

 

SN3O5307A postcard view

 

SN3O5308Now the owners have generally turned to farming

 

SN3O5309

I can’t start to imagine the work involved to build those inns atop stone walls on such steep slopes

 

SN3O5310Walk the stairs keeping an eye for interesting details

 

SN3O5311A typical example of the old architectural design of the tiled roofs

 

SN3O5312

Try and imagine tired travelers stopping there overnight

 

SN3O5313

Looking down on your tracks up the slope

 

SN3O5314How many of these tiles had to be replaced? This is a cold area and especially exposed to the natural elements.

 

SN3O5315

Even now it is worth visiting for the sole purpose of eating at traditional Japanese restaurants, Udon Restaurant

 

SN3O5319

Soba Restaurant Kishigami, a favorite of mine and many foreign tourists in search of true Shizuoka gastronomy

 

SN3O5316Souvenir shop and restaurant

 

SN3O5353

And don’t forget to visit the Meiji Tunnel just a little further away.

    
NameUtsunoya-tōge Pass
Category
AddressUtsunoya,Suruga Ward, Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture 421-0105
Access[map]Utsunoya,Suruga Ward, Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture 421-0105[/map]
Opening Hours
Price Range
Payment options
Robert-Gilles Martineau

Robert-Gilles Martineau

Robert-Gilles Martineau, a 40-year French resident in Shizuoka and japan has been blogging and writing about his love for Japanese gastronomy and tourism in three languages since 1998. His motto: "There is always a new place to visit and a new food to taste out there!"

Leave a Reply


X