Exploring Shizuoka with International Students Part 2
Visit to the National Treasure, Kunozan Toshogu Shrine by Ropeway with a panoramic ocean view

Kunozan Toshogu Shrine, located in Suruga-ku, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, is a shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, who spent his later years at Sunpu Castle (Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City). The shrine features a vibrant and opulent 'Gongen-zukuri' architectural style, designated as a national treasure, making it a representative structure from the early Edo period. It served as a prototype for subsequent Toshogu Shrines established across the country, including the well-known Nikko Toshogu Shrine.

Accompanied by Li Jiang Hua, a graduate student at University of Shizuoka, we visited the Kunozan Toshogu Shrine.

Kunozan Toshogu Shrine is located at an elevation of 216 meters on Mount Kunozan. This time, we are heading to the shrine using the 'Nihondaira Ropeway,' which connects the scenic spot 'Nihondaira' to the Toshogu Shrine in just 5 minutes.

Li: "I really enjoy the views from the ropeway. Around November to December, the colored leaves are so beautiful. You can also see the sea over there, and along the coastline, there are many strawberry greenhouses. Actually, I'm currently volunteering at one of those strawberry farms. The farmer is an 80-year-old lady, and since she works alone, it can be tough, so I go to help her on weekends.

While the ropeway is nice, I also like the route of climbing the mountain from the base of Kunozan to reach the shrine. 1159 stone steps lead up the main approach to the shrine, and people in the old days used to joke, saying 'Ichiichi go kurosan' (word play of number 1159 in Japanese) as they made their pilgrimage.

At the main hall of Kunozan Toshogu Shrine, there is a sculpture depicting the Chinese tale of 'Simawen Gong's Jar Breaking'.

Li: "'Simawen Gong's Jar Breaking' is a story from China about the politician Simawen Gong. In his childhood, a friend playing with him fell into a water jar and was drowning. Simawen Gong chose to break the expensive jar to save his friend's life, emphasizing the importance of life. I learned about this story back in elementary school, and it's a well-known story in China.

Recently, when students from Japan, China, and Korea gathered for the East Asia Cultural City Student Forum and visited Kunozan Toshogu Shrine together, we learned about the history associated with this place. Knowing that Tokugawa Ieyasu also resonated with this story, I felt a connection between Chinese and Japanese cultures."

"Kunozan Toshogu Shrine" proved to be a spot where one could sense the cultural ties between China and Japan. Thank you, Li, for joining us!"

  • Spot Details ①: Nihondaira Ropeway
    • Name: Nihondaira Ropeway
    • Website:
    • Address: 597-8 Kusanagi, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka 424-0886, Japan
    • Access: Take the Shizutetsu Just Line Bus 'Nihondaira Ropeway' from JR Shizuoka Station and get off at the final stop 'Nihondaira Ropeway.'
    • Business Hours: 9:10 AM to 5:00 PM (Detailed schedule available on the official website)
    • Closed: May be closed in case of stormy weather or for facility updates.
    • Google Map:
  • Spot Details ②: Kunozan Toshogu Shrine
    • Name: Kunozan Toshogu
    • Website:
    • Address: 390 Negoya, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka 422-8011, Japan
    • Access: 5 minutes by Nihondaira Ropeway or about 20 minutes on foot from the base of Kunozan.
    • Business Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
    • Closed: Open every day
    • Google Map:

Graduate student, University of Shizuoka Li Jiang Hua

From China. She came to Japan in 2017. After studying Japanese for two years at a Japanese school, she entered the Faculty of International Relations at the University of Shizuoka. Currently a first year graduate student at the University of Shizuoka. In graduate school, she is studying international society and culture.