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Here’s Saki, from Local Travel Partners !
Did you know Shizuoka Prefecture is the birthplace of soccer in Japan ? It counts no less than 4 professional clubs in J1 League and J3 League ! One of them is the Shimizu S-Pulse soccer club ! Club fans are recognizable with the orange color which is the club color.
If you’re looking for somewhere to spend the day, you may want to go to the S-pulse dream plaza. People call it ⌈Dori Pura⌋, which is the diminutive of Dream Plaza. It is a shopping mall in Shimizu, located near the marina. It opened in 1999 at the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Shimizu port as an international trade port. The mall was born as one of the highlights of the waterfront redevelopment plan by the public and private sector.
The name S-pulse dream plaza comes from the encouragement of the Shimizu people to their soccer club !
Easily recognizable by its yellow and orange color and the big blue ferris wheel ! You can see the mascot of the Shimizu soccer club : Paru-chan on the logo. It is a lively spot where local come day to day. Dream plaza provides a leisurable environment to spend time with friends and family. On week-end and holiday, people come from the whole prefecture ! Being on the marina, lots of tourists enjoy the complex as well.
I will present here some of the place you don’t want to miss !
The Shimizu Port Hinode area, where the S-Pulse Dream Plaza stands, has a great location. The shopping mall is in front of the historic Shimizu Port and the yacht harbor. Outside you have the Shimizu Marine Park where you can relax. On a nice day, you can see Mt. Fuji from the Ferris wheel Dream Sky. Many people come from inland to enjoy this scenery as well. You may take a leisurely stroll through the bay area where there are various attractions.
It is place for everyone to enjoy ! You can come on a date and have a ride on the ferris wheel ; with your kids, they will enjoy the game space outside ; there is on open space also where a lot of events are organized :
Inside the complex, there are 4 floors and each of them have a theme. Anyone can enjoy and forget about time !
The ground floor is mostly the floor where you can find restaurants and food related shops.
The Suruga miyage yokocho is the alley with all the specialties of Shizuoka :
If you’re hungry, you can go to the Shimizu Sushi Yokocho -the Sushi alley- !
Sushi restaurants that provides fresh sushis following the season. Each has its personality, find the one that suits you best !
On the second floor, you can find the first sushi museum in Japan : “The Shimizu Sushi museum” ! It opens at 11:00, till 18:00. The entrance fee is 500¥ for adult, and 200¥ for 4 to 12 yo children.
At the entrance a fan with all fish names in Japanese is offered to you ! You also have access to the WiFi to open the audio guide !
Have a look at the sushis mountain and the face of some political leader from some time ago in maki sushi !
First, you go through the “Sushi Dojo” 「すし道場」 where you can find books and videos about sushi.
Inside the museum, you can stroll in a nostalgic atmosphere that recreates the Shimizu Port during the Meiji era ! It shows the shitamachi-dôri, where craftman established. You can have a look at the reconstitution of daily commodities store, like clock, candies or medicine.
Here is the Maguro shrine, or tuna shrine ! Shimizu is not the best tuna landing port for nothing ! You have also a stall with bamboo baskets for crickets, and a spice stall.
You can even see how a sushi stall looked like in the Meiji era ! It is called a sushi-yatai. Those stall were the place to find fast-food in the Japan of that time !
At the end of the Meiji set, you will arrive at the “Sushi Gakudo”「鮨学堂⌋, where you can learn about the history and culture of sushi !
There are various displays such as the reproduction of the stage of a Kabuki play, closely related to sushi, or the introduction of sushi from all over Japan, and even tools used to make sushi.
After this tour in this museum, you can call yourself an expert in sushi ! There are explanations in English as well 🙂
Even just for this museum it is worth going to Dream plaza !
On another note, you can find on this same floor a corner with handmade clothes using kimono or handmade accessories.
Further a shop that specialized in soccer, patronizing the team Shimizu S-Pulse ! There is a mascot that appear only in the S-pulse dream plaza shopping mall :
I hope you can meet him : Dream-Paru chan in a sailor uniform, with the dream number 108 !
Another character, very loved by the Shizuokan and especially Shimizu‘s people is Chibi Maruko chan. She is not that known in Occident country, I believe, but she is popular in some Asian, European and Arabic country. Dream Plaza has a place dedicated to her on the second floor, it’s the Chibi Maruko chan Land !
Chibi Maruko chan is a shôjo manga by Momoko SAKURA. It depicts the everyday life of Maruko in her hometown Shimizu : it is actually an autobiographic manga by the author. It has been adapted into an anime and it is the 30th anniversary this year !
You have different spaces, one accessible to all where you can find a lot of Maruko goods or a restaurant, another one you can access for a fee of 600¥ for adult and 400¥ for children. You will enter the world of Maruko, find her home, classroom, etc. You can also read all the manga by the author in the library and visit the gallery with her art works !
The restaurant is interesting as well ! Did you know that in Japan, all primary school students eat in their own classroom ? It is the students themselves that serves their classmates, using a duty system ! The restaurant is a classroom and you can have a try at the school meal in the 70’s in Japan :
One of the favorites of the school meal is the flavored milk ! You can chose the one you want from strawberry, banana, coffee and so on ! Wouldn’t it be fun to return to school life the time of a meal ?
This second floor is the amusement floor you will find a game center and a place for younger one to play “The Kids paradise”, it’s say it all ! You can go shoot a ball in the futsal court ! Anyone, of all ages, can come and enjoy at Dream Plaza.
The third floor is reserved to the cinema !
If you want to eat some sushi and learn more about this Japanese soul-food ; if you want to meet Chibi Maruko chan or Dream Paru, ; if you just want to enjoy some good time shopping with your friend or family, why not going to Dream Plaza ??
- From the Shimizu JR station, there is a free shuttle bus pick up. It take around 10 minutes !
- By car, from Tomei express way, exit at Shimizu IC.
- By water bus, from Shimizu fish market !
I recommend you to have a tour in the water bus if you have the time !
Ther are three stops : the Hinode stop near Dream Plaza, The Miho stop near the Tokai university in the Miho peninsula, and the last one the Irie stop at the Kashi no Ichi Fish market. It takes 50 minutes to do the whole tour. The captain gives a guided tour and you can review Miho history, or Kunozan place, discover about the particularity of this bay and the port of Shimizu. You might even see some fishermen in action ! Not only refreshing the tour was interesting.