Atami Castle 熱海城 is a tourist trap with a free arcade inside. From the outside, it seems quite impressive since it's situated on top of a hill overlooking the ocean; however, it's quite a bit of a let down once you see how "fake" it is up close.
|We started this weekend trip by stopping by Odawara Castle 小田原城, a nice walk close to the station but not overly interesting. Then, we had lunch at Atami and visited the castle before moving on to Jogasaki Kaigan coast 城ヶ崎海岸 and Mount Omuro 大室山 the next day.
Before heading back to Tokyo, we had a soak in the hot spring pools of Akazawa Higaeri Onsenkan 赤沢日帰り温泉館 which has an amazing infinity outdoor hot spring pool. Even though it's 1600 yen on the weekend, the incredible infinity outdoor hotspring pool overlooking the bay is definitely a good way to spend an hour or two.
I saw it in a Japanese travel magazine and it really was just as beautiful in person. Imagine your body soaking in hot water while the ocean breeze massages your face! There's also an indoor hot spring pool with 3 lie-down beds, 2 small round tubs with DHC bath powder, a cold water bath, a sauna, a steam room, showers with DHC products, and free towels. The lockers inside cost 100 yen. Male and female baths are on separate floors, but the resting area is shared. We took the free shuttle bus leaving from Izukogen Station 伊豆高原駅 (There are 2 station exits. The bus stop is outside the exit with lots of restaurants). There are 2 to 3 buses an hour and it takes about 10 minutes.