Sunday, February 14, 2021

Touring in Heda

Between a busy work schedule, winter holidays and COVID restrictions it’s been a while since my last, proper touring adventure. So last weekend I decided to make it right and drove down to Heda, one of my favorite locations.

As always, the day started with an early rise, in line with my “leave early, come back early” philosophy. But thanks to a relatively empty Tomei Expressway I reached Mishima city by 8AM, just in time for a coffee break.

While I usually prefer locally owned shops this Starbucks was actually very nice. As a Tokyo resident I couldn’t help but notice how the service was much slower compared to the big city rhythms.

But that’s a good thing, and helped set the tone for the day. After all, what’s the point of going for a drive if you have to stress about time?

After refueling I jumped back in the car and headed toward one of my favorite routes, the Numazu Toi-sen.

This is a coastline drive that literally follows the contour of the peninsula for a good 5 kilometers, before splitting and going further south.

The view of Suruga Bay and Mt. Fuji early in the morning is fantastic and totally deserved a quick stop to be taken all in.

After another 20 minutes of mountain roads, which are frankly too narrow and twisty to offer proper fun, I reached my destination, Heda.

Located in the north-western side of the Izu peninsula, Heda is a small village apparently famous for crab fishing. Here you can really enjoy a taste of local Japan and discover details otherwise impossible to find anywhere around Tokyo.

The port area and its surroundings are beautiful and somehow reminded me of my mother’s hometown in southern Italy, with fishnets and little boats scattered everywhere.

The town itself is very small and has Gibli-esque feeling to it and is largely inhabited by senior citizens. With Japan’s population rapidly aging one can’t help but wonder what will be the destiny of small towns like Heda over the next 30 years or so...

Getting around is quite easy and you can either walk or drive. The bay area offers another great view of Fuji-san in the backdrop.

I moved the Z around and enjoyed taking a few shots. This time I decided to apply an extra vivid filter for a change; I thought would reflect well the brightness and colors of the day. Thoughts?

The view of Moroguchi Shrine torii gate alone is worth the trip in my opinion, and makes that early morning rise well worth it.

The Shrine itself is quite small, but combined with a walk through the village and down the beach it won’t disappoint you.

Once back to the port area I realized that I wasn’t the only one that planned a visit to Heda on that day. Good to see a fellow Nissan owner!

Now, with lunch time approaching and 120 kilometers under my belt, I thought it would only be appropriate to find out what the local fuss about crabs is all about, no? So I parked the Fairlady and started my research.

After looking at a couple of spots I ended up choosing Kaniya Heda-honten (which means that they have multiple restaurants, but this is the main one).

Once inside it was pretty clear that they had no shortage of raw material: look at the size of those crabs - their leg-span easily reached 80 centimeters.

I ended up choosing their recommended tempura set with 4 crab legs and fresh vegetables. Yes, it tasted as good as it looked.

In contrast with traditional Japanese portions, the size of that ten-don was gargantuan and I left the restaurant feeling a bit like this cat I found in front of the port.

A quick walk to burn the calories off and a coffee to wake me up and I was back in the game.

Before heading home I decided to go for a quick drive up the promontory and stop by Cape Deai, where you can enjoy a clear view of the bay.

With the GT-R enjoying an easy life, mostly made of quick drives around the C1, I’m glad to have the Z on the side for long-distance trips like this. One more shot at the port and then it was really time to go.

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you enjoyed the shots.

Until next time.