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Senbon Matsubara means the “Forest of One Thousand Pine Trees”. It is a scenic spot on the coast in Numazu city with sweeping shoreline views of pine trees and a view of Mt Fuji on the other side of the Suruga Bay.  The forest flanks the Senbon Matsubarahama Beach which is a long beach whose special characteristic is its round pebbles. The beach is protected which means you are not allowed to cart away any of the pebbles as souvenirs. The location was famous around 400 years ago during the Edo Period as one of the best scenic spots along the Tokaido Road…the road that linked Kyoto to Nihonbashi in the capital city of Edo.

There is plenty to do within a stone&s throw of the beach. Nearby the beach and pine forested area is an easy nature trail that takes you to the Kakita River and a Spring Water source. The water is clear and pure and wasabi is grown here. In addition to wasabi,  the area is also famous for mandarin oranges and Japanese tea that is shipped all over the nation because the climate here is mild here.

Also nearby and pictured above is the Numazu Imperial Villa Park, a.k.a. Numazu Goyotei Memorial Park, constructed in 1893 as a resort villa for Imperial family in 1893 for Emperor Taisho and the Nishi Fuzoku-tei, its west wing building.

View-O watergate
Should you wish for more to do than just exploring the beach, then you should visit the View-O for an aerial view of the entire city and the surrounding landscape. View-O is one of the largest water gates in Japan, that links the port of Numazu with the outer sea, protecting the populated 50-hectare area from tsunami. There is a 360-degree panoramic view from this 30-meter observatory which offers glimpses of Mount Ashitaka, Mount Fuji, the Southern Alps down to the city of Shimizu on a clear day, the steep peaks of Hakone and the Numazu Alps, the Ganyudo shore just below, as well as Osezaki Cape, located on the tip of Suruga Bay.

Other spots in the vicinity worth visiting are Mount Kanuki, a 193-meter mountain located southeast of Numazu City famous for the view of the cherry blossom-covered mountain from the observatory. In addition, the kids might be interested by the Awashima Marine Park, the aquarium located on Awashima Island that is accessed by an overhead ropeway as well as the Mito Sea Paradise, both offer shows for kids that feature sealife such as performing dolphins, killer whales and sealions or seals.

Resources

 Access info: Numazu city access map

Resources on ovoid pebble beach formation –

How Rocks Are Formed

Big theories from little pebbles grow

Why are the pebbles round?

Why are pebbles round? From the physics forum

Why arent beach pebbles round?

Physicists solve pebble mystery

On some pebbles collected from the Floor of the Japan Sea

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