Nestled on the eastern side of the Izu Peninsula, Atami is a popular seaside resort and gateway to the Izu Islands. It’s dotted with hot springs and historic ryokans and is home to one of Japan’s most impressive private art collections.
Things to do in Atami
Designed to house the art collection of multimillionaire Mokichi Okada, the Museum of Art boasts an impressive range of Japanese and East Asian paintings, sculptures and porcelain. Admire the 16th-century Golden Tea Room reconstruction, as well as the famous panel painting “Red and White Plum Blossoms” by Ogata Kōrin.
Experience one of Japan’s most striking ryokans at the cultural property of Kiunkaku, which was built in 1919 by a shipping magnate as his private villa. Both Western and East Asian influences can be seen in the design, which includes Roman-style tiled baths, traditional Japanese rooms and tranquil landscaped gardens.
Learn about Japanese castle architecture at the purpose-built museum of Atami Castle where you can dress up in Edo Period costumes and solve Japanese riddles. Soak up the magnificent panoramas of Atami and Sagami Bay from the top floor or get creative in the adjacent trick art museum.
A popular side trip from Atami is to the volcanically active island of Izu Oshima, which is dominated by the peak of Mount Mihara. Witness its caldera up close on a hike to the summit and learn about the island’s geology at the Museum of Volcanoes, then relax in one of the hot springs that dot its surrounds.
Getting around Atami
Atami is 45 minutes by Shinkansen from Tokyo or around two hours by local trains. A sightseeing loop bus accesses most of the city’s attractions.