Shuzenji Onsen is one of the major onsen (Japanese hot spring) towns located on Izu Peninsula. It is believed that the hot spring waters there sprang from a rock that the Buddhist priest Kobo Daishi struck with his staff over 1200 years ago. Regardless of whether or not these springs have actually been ordained by Japan’s most famous Buddhist monk, the waters are still very relaxing and the setting and scenery are perfect for an onsen resort. Although it does not have an ocean view like many of the other resorts in the area, its history and legend as well as the surrounding forests and mountain scenery make it a great place for a ryokan retreat.
The namesake of the town itself is the temple supposedly founded by Kobo Daishi, Shuzenji. Nowadays it operates as a Zen Buddhism temple and it is possible to take meditation classes during the week here for those with a particular interest in clearing their mind or in Japanese religion. Another popular activity within this town is heading to the top of a nearby mountain, Mt. Daruma as it gives a great view of Mt. Fuji. Further, there is a small but beautiful bamboo forest which is far less busy than the ones many tourists visit in Kyoto and so makes for a great location for photos.
Shuzenji onsen is reachable in around two hours from Tokyo and so might made a nice side trip or overnight stay if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and experience life in the Japanese countryside.