Writer: Tony Everitt

I'm a Kiwi (New Zealander) living in Atami. Passionate about and travel, history, and nature. 22 years working as a tourism marketing professional in Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Fiji, China, and Indonesia. Of course also love rugby, so very excited about Japan's inaugural participation in the Super Rugby Franchise in 2016, and hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

Walking On An Alien Planet, Izu Cactus Park

A little way down Izu Peninsula’s scenic east coast, near Ito City, you will find Cactus Park, Shaboten Koen. Originally set up over half a century ago, cactii that had been used for research at a Tokyo University were planted out at the Park. Large glass pyramids connected by walk-through underground tunnels were an innovative design to house the tropical Central American plants.


It’s 1854. US Admiral Perry’s fleet of Black Ships have returned to Japan to claim their prize – opening up of Shimoda Port for international trade. Just the previous year Perry had steamed into Tokyo Bay demanding at cannon-point that Japan open up, breaking 3 centuries of isolation of the Japanese capital from the outside world.

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