Izu Cliff House
Kamo-Gun, Minamiizu-cho・Shizuoka Prefecture
Izu Cliff House. Open Ocean Views. National Park.

This modernist cliff-side villa was built in 1971 and sits alone inside a coastal National Park on the southern tip of Japan's stunning Izu Peninsula. The glass-fronted home and deck were designed to maximize the open views of the Pacific Ocean.

- Authentic example of Japanese modernist architecture.
- Close to famous beaches, hiking trails, hot springs and temples.
- No other buildings within view.
- Natural setting, total privacy.
- West-facing for stunning sunsets.
- Best views in Izu.

The space

Izu Cliff House was built by two married Tokyo University professors in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Their vision was for a tranquil vacation home made of glass and placed atop a cliff, offering endless views of the Pacific ocean and the volcanic topography of the Izu coast.

Today, the surrounding area is a first grade National Park, meaning it's illegal to build any new structures nearby — the house sits alone on the natural cliff face.

Our favorite thing about Izu Cliff House: sitting up in bed, moments after waking up and looking out to see the Pacific Ocean, open sky, islands, seabirds and natural forest.

Our second-favorite thing about Izu Cliff House: BBQ'ing on the deck all afternoon with friends.

The surrounding property is rather large (albeit on a steep, forested hillside), but the house is compact — about 70 square meters of open, lofted space. We tend to spend a lot of time eating and relaxing out on the large deck, which is about 33 square meters and looks directly down over the Ocean.

There is a traditional Japanese room on the upper floor, featuring tatami mat flooring and sliding shoji paper doors. One of the shoji walls folds from the ceiling to complete the effect of a traditional Japanese room/cozy sleeping chamber. For a group of more than two, extra Japanese futons and linen bedding are provided for laying out in the open space of the upstairs loft.

The first floor features a large daybed, built by a local carpentry master from camphor wood. As much as possible, we have tried to source the home's furnishings and accessories from regional craftsmen. The large mirror frame and hinoki cypress stools were also carved by hand by craftsmen.

The kitchen is compact but highly efficient, with commercial fittings and nice accessories. You will have everything you need to prepare great meals from the fresh regional produce and seafood available in the area.

The bathroom is similarly compact but newly remodeled in a contemporary style.

Minami-Izu, Izu Peninsula

The Minamiizu area is well off the beaten tourist path and packed with stunning hidden sites and attractions. The remoteness plays an important part in keeping Minamiizu tranquil and unspoiled by unsightly development projects and overcrowding. We think it's the closest place to Tokyo that offers a truly remote feel. Once you make your booking, we will send you a detailed guide to some of our favorite hidden gems in the area, including restaurants, onsens, beaches, temples, galleries and more.

The drive from Tokyo along the west coast of Izu Peninsula is itself an attraction. Vertical rock formations, islands, views of the Pacific and Mt. Fuji — it's one of the great coastal drives of Japan (the ride is especially popular among motorcyclists and hardcore bicyclists during the summer). The coast is also beloved by Japanese surfers for its many hidden breaks.

Minamiizu is just a few hours by car from the metropolis of Tokyo, but it's truly another world.

Getting around

Izu Cliff House sits about 3-3.5 hours by car from Tokyo, or 40 minutes from the nearest train station, Izukyu Shimoda station. For weekend visitors, reaching the house from Tokyo entirely by public transport is not feasible.

《Rental car》If you don't own a car, you can catch the train to Izukyu Shimoda Station and rent a car upon arrival — you will need an International Drivers License, however, if you don't have a local Japanese one.

Nippon Rent-a-Car (Shimoda Station Shop) and TOYOTA Rent a Car (Shizuoka Prefecture Shimoda Station Shop) both offer online booking in English. Bookings should be made in advance. These companies also allow you to rent a car in Shimoda, and return it at a shop branch in your next destination, such as Tokyo, Mt.Fuji, Hakone, etc. Alternatively, if you're coming on the way to/from Kyoto, closest Bullet train station is Mishima Station where you could rent a car and enjoy a beautiful forest and coastal drive of 2 hours.

《Taxi》If you come by taxi, you will need to do all of your food and supplies shopping in advance, as there are no supermarkets or shops within walking distance of the Izu Cliff House. You can catch a taxi from either Izukyu Shimoda station or Matsuzaki bus station. Using a metered taxi should cost around 6,000- 8,000 yen one way (7am-10pm). You could also charter a taxi for two or three hours (5960 yen per hour), which will give you the option of stopping at sight-seeing spots along the way.

Minamiizu is a hotspot for motorcyclists and bicyclists — if you are a rider, come & enjoy!

Izu Cliff House
General rules
A few stern words but all common sense:
This is our private holiday house with our favourite things in it. For those of you new to vacation rentals, our place isn't a hotel or serviced apartment. Most people don't need to be reminded of below but please read just in case.
- Please don't feed wild animals.
- Please never leave the doors or windows open to prevent insects and monkeys coming into the house.
- Please clean the kitchen and all dishes after use.
- No candles and fireworks in the property including outdoors. No fires besides BBQ if you rent ours or bring one.
- Please don’t wear your shoes inside, Japanese style. We provide slippers.
- Please don't take indoor furniture outside. Most of the furniture is handmade and we want to have quality stuff for our guests. If it's damaged with water marks, stains or otherwise, we’ll have to charge for a replacement (e.g. 50,000 yen for a log stool and 180,000 yen for a Danish chair).

No freezer:
We have a commercial fridge but no freezer.

BBQ Grill Rental:
A BBQ grill is available for rent (3000 yen). The set includes a BBQ grill, charcoal for one use, tong and fire starter. Please book at least 2 days in advance.

Besides all of this, have an amazing time in Izu!