It may be a stretch to say this, but when we spent a long weekend discovering Shimoda’s coves and sandy stretches, we felt the kind of wonder that can only come with racing on a scooter between Italy’s Sorrento and Positano. Shimoda is part of Shizuoka Prefecture, which is situated along the Izu Peninsula, and boasts nine main beaches all worth visiting.
We stayed at Shimoda Tokyu Hotel and, on our first morning, we wandered to the end of the hotel’s garden path to a steep set of stairs that took us all the way down past the hotel’s leafy pool area to a narrow road. Just a few metres on, we discovered a small, quiet patch of sand overlooking a bay of emerald water. This beach is called Nabetahama. Make sure you take a walk along the rocky sidepath until you’re within swimming distance from the shore. Dive in and swim your way through tiny jumping fish who look as happy as you’re bound to feel.