Road Trip on Izu KyukoLine (Part 2)
Our two-day journey on the Izukyu Line in Izu Peninsula continues. At the end of the first day, we check into Senoumi in Inatori Onsen.
Our two-day journey on the Izukyu Line in Izu Peninsula continues. At the end of the first day, we check into Senoumi in Inatori Onsen. We are first served sparkling wine as a welcome drink at the lounge, before being taken to our oceanfront Japanese-style room. Dinner is a feast of seafood dishes which include sashimi, red sea bream marinated with kelp, amberjack, sweet shrimp, porgy, deep-fried marbled rockfish and shabu-shabu.
The next morning, after a relaxing hot spring bath, we enjoy some more seafood dishes for breakfast. The hotel’s courtesy car takes us back to Izu-Inatori Station. Our next destination is Izu-Atagawa Station. This time, we ride on the Resort 21 Kinme train, which has a red sea bream theme. We depart at 10.35am and arrive at Izu-Atagawa Station in 10 minutes. We aim to take the 12pm train from here later. We explore the area and meet a lady who manages a government-run lodging. She tells us to check out Fukufuku Wajinmen, a museum of handmade masks.
We call the museum’s owner and he meets us at the entrance within a few minutes. He shows us his collection of masks, which include clay ones, Noh and Kyogen masks, those used in rituals and festivals, Buddhist ceremonial masks, those for court music and theatrical arts, and Japanese masks used for traditional arts. The owner taught himself to make masks about 40 years ago and his goal was to eventually create 1,000 masks. So far, he has produced 900 masks. Some special masks take up to six months to make.
We go back to the station and make our way to Izu-Kogen Station, three stops ahead. The journey lasts around 20 minutes. We ask a local about restaurants in the area and he suggests Kenny’s House Cafe. A stylish restaurant with a log-house feel, it is a 10-minute walk from the station. We order its speciality, beef stew. It is simmered for two days and left to sit overnight. Lots of vegetables are used to make the demi-glace sauce.
After this, we catch the train departing at 2.25pm and head to Futo Station. We reach in five minutes and have until 3.50pm to roam around the area. A local resident recommends we visit the Une Observatory, from where one can see the ocean and the island of Izu Oshima. Tucked away at the corner of a beach, many tourists do not know about this well-hidden spot.
We finally take the train to the last stop on the Izukyu Line, Ito Station. We ride on the Black Ship train and reach the end of the line at 4.10pm. We stroll along a shopping street in front of the station and speak to a woman who has been living in Ito for decades. She tells us about an interesting round sweet called “hole in”, which is sold at Umeya. The treat with a golf ball motif was created 60 years ago. We get to try this popular Ito dessert. The yolk from eggs boiled in hot spring water is mixed with white bean paste. It is then baked in an oven and coated with white chocolate.
1) Red sea bream is Inatori’s speciality
2) Buy Ito’s popular “hole in” dessert with a golf ball motif as a souvenir