Miho no Matsubara

Miho no Matsubara is a national heritage sight a little off the beaten bath in Shizuoka prefecture. During our trip, my friend and I had been desperate to find a place with a stunning view of Mt. Fuji, but after spending hours pouring over reviews of the famous viewing spots such as Hakone, FujiQ highlands, Five Lakes, etc, we'd come across one rather disappointing consistency between them all. 
That is, the sheer amounts of tourists that pile into these places, even during seasonal downtimes. 
Miho no Matsubara had come up a few times in our research, but the amount of time and effort it takes to travel there from Tokyo Station had done nothing but turn us off. It takes about two and a half hours total, and in order to reach the destination you have to take a Shinkansen, local train, a bus, as well as walk over 1km. We were used to going places that are relatively easy to get to with our JR passes and Suica's, so the idea of going so far off the beaten path was nothing short of terrifying.
However, desperate times called for desperate measures, so we started our trek bright and early, leaving our apartments at 9 in the morning to arrive before noon. We could tell after we'd gotten off our bus that we'd made the right choice. The town wasn't exactly small, but it seemed so much more peaceful than Tokyo, and the air was so crisp and clean. Our walk from the bus stop to the beach was beautiful, too. Family houses with gardens, quiet roads with many overhanging trees, little shrines and even a boardwalk leading towards the beach itself. We joked that this was enough to make the travel worth it, but that's only because we hadn't arrived at the beach yet - we definitely weren't prepared for the beauty that awaited us.
little shrine we passed
shrine gate
board walk

There was a little shop selling Omiyage (local souvenirs) as well as some signs going over the history of the area and why the beach is a national heritage sight. We stopped to read the sign on the way in, but decided on checking out the souvenirs on the way out. We could just see the beach coming up, so we were desperate to check it out.
English sign about the legend surrounding this area
First glimpse of the beach and the few tourists (mostly elderly people)

It was a beautiful day, so my friend and I stopped to take our shoes off to get a good feel of the sand and get as close as we could to the water. At this point, we could only see the water and the mountains in the distance, but as soon as we took steps closer to the water, a view so spectacular you wouldn't even be able to imagine it came into our sights.
Mt. Fuji, in all of its beauty. It's a little far away, but the beach offers such a beautiful view of both that and the pacific ocean that it was breathtaking.
view of Mt. Fuji from Miho no Matsubara

We spent some time just staring at the mountain, but of course the travel had taken its toll on us so we hurried back to the little souvenir shop for some sustenance. There was one restaurant in the area, a little locally owned place with a very limited menu. I hope this doesn't turn you off, though - the food was delicious, and the owners so friendly. I am a vegetarian, and I still managed to find something for myself to eat - their green tea cold soba set, while my friend took advantage of their special menu item, which I believe is called "sakura tempura" rice bowl with miso soup.
food at the restaurant

After we ate, we still had about an hour to kill before we needed to head back to Tokyo, so we made our way back to the beach to kill some time, walking a little further to get a better view of the mountain and chat with more locals, making friends with a couple fishermen at the pier.
view of the beach
fuji 1
fuji 2

I think it's needless to say at this point that the trek out was worthwhile. So, if you guys are looking for somewhere to see Fuji without getting shoved around or having your view obstructed by thousands of tourists, I definitely recommend finding your way here. It is obviously more ideal to those who carry a JR pass, however, the commute is only about 6900JPY each way, which I think is incredibly worth it, since Shizuoka city also has quite a lot to offer. It's also easy enough to find your way from wherever you're staying via google maps! 
If you've been, or you are planning to go, drop a comment on this article so we can talk about it! I'd love to hear from you. 
Thanks for reading.

Melissa Adams