Izu Peninsula is a relatively small landmass that juts out into the Pacific. But its presence creates Sagami Bay on its eastern shore and Suruga Bay on its western shore. The peninsula is also capped by Mount Hakone and on a clear day Mount Fuji fills up the sky as well. It is a spectacularly beautiful and incredibly rugged landscape. Izu Peninsula was created eons ago by the collision of numerous tectonic plates and volcanic eruptions. Due to its tumultuous formation the area is rife with hot springs and a lot of rock formations. The coastline is covered in rock outcroppings, some are hundreds of meters tall, while others are much shorter. Some of the best rock in Izu Peninsula though can be found at Jogasaki, and because of this rock climbers flock from around the country to climb here. The weather and the fact that you’re often climbing within a few feet of the ocean make this a rock climbing destination you can visit year around too.
There are over 500 rock climbing routes at Jogasaki but most of the information is in Japanese guide books. There is some information in English guide books but they are hard to come by. Mountain Project is a good place to start. Luckily the locals are more than happy to help out and many of them speak superb English, so don’t be afraid to ask for some beta or recommendations on routes to climb in the area. The area features some beautiful trails and there are some exciting scrambles down to the oceans edge too. Be sure to take off your climbing shoes and spend some time exploring the area on foot.
Most of the rock climbing can be done in one pitch, meaning all of the climbs can be done with a 60m rope. The Sunrise and Sunset areas tend to be the most popular and for good reason. You could climb here all day following the sun to stay warm or cool, depending on the time of the year. With routes from 5.8 – 5.13 there is something for everyone. However, there is a higher collection of 5.11 and up routes so it isn’t a great area for beginners. For easier climbs head up to the suspension bridge or further up the coast.
The climbing in Jogasaki is mostly comprised of sport routes. However, you will certainly want to bring a traditional climbing rack as there are several classic crack climbs in the area too. Also many of the areas require rappelling in to access so be prepared to climb out when it’s time to leave. Lastly, and most importantly this is a climbing area right on the ocean so the hardware does rust and corrode rather quickly. Be extra cautious when climbing and be sure to inspect all the hardware before committing yourself to trusting it.
All of the rock climbing in Jogasaki is located within Jogasaki National Park. Therefore, there is no overnight parking or camping. This makes driving a little difficult if you are visiting longer than a day trip. There are numerous inns though very close to the national park so that is an option if you wish to spend several days exploring this climbers paradise.
By train the Izu Kyuko Line’s Jogasakikaigan Station is the most central but you could also get off at Izukogen Station. From either station head towards the ocean. You can’t miss the rock formations.