Shimoda, Shizuoka
is a city
Cities of Japan
||A is a local administrative unit in Japan. Cities are ranked on the same level as and , with the difference that they are not a component of...

 and port in Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

, Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

As of 2010, the city had an estimated population
A population is all the organisms that both belong to the same group or species and live in the same geographical area. The area that is used to define a sexual population is such that inter-breeding is possible between any pair within the area and more probable than cross-breeding with individuals...

 of 25,054 and a population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 of 242 persons per square kilometer. The total area was 104.70 square kilometres.

In the 1850s, Japan was in political crisis over its increasing inability to maintain its national seclusion policy
was the foreign relations policy of Japan under which no foreigner could enter nor could any Japanese leave the country on penalty of death. The policy was enacted by the Tokugawa shogunate under Tokugawa Iemitsu through a number of edicts and policies from 1633–39 and remained in effect until...

 and the issue of what relations, if any, it should have with foreign powers. For a few years, Shimoda was central to this debate.


Shimoda is located at the southern tip of the Izu peninsula
Izu Peninsula
The is a large mountainous peninsula with deeply indented coasts to the west of Tokyo on the Pacific coast of the island of Honshū, Japan. Formerly the eponymous Izu Province, Izu peninsula is now a part of Shizuoka Prefecture...

 about 60 miles (96.6 km) southwest of Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

. Shimoda location, with the Amagi Mountains
Mount Amagi
is a range of volcanic mountains in central Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, forming the border between Izu City and Higashi-Izu Town. It is also referred to as the ....

 to the north, and the warm Kuroshio Current
Kuroshio Current
The Kuroshio is a north-flowing ocean current on the west side of the North Pacific Ocean. It is similar to the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic and is part of the North Pacific ocean gyre...

 to the south give the city a humid, sub-tropical climate.

Surrounding Municipalities

  • Minamiizu
    Minamiizu, Shizuoka
    is a town located at the southern tip of Izu Peninsula in Kamo District, Shizuoka, Japan. As of February 2009, the town has an estimated population of 9,637 and a density of 87.1 persons per km². The total area is 110.58 km².-Geography:...

  • Kawazu
    Kawazu, Shizuoka
    is a town located on the east coast of Izu Peninsula in Kamo District, Shizuoka, Japan. As of February 2009, the town has an estimated population of 8,074 and a density of 80.1 persons per km². The total area is 100.79 km²...

  • Matsuzaki
    Matsuzaki, Shizuoka
    is a town located in on the southwest coast of Izu Peninsula in Kamo District, Shizuoka, Japan.As of February 2009, the town has an estimated population of 7,709 and a density of 90.4 persons per km². The total area is 85.23 km². Sakuramochi is a noted local speciality.-Geography:Matsuzaki is...


Shimoda has been settled since prehistoric times, with numerous Jomon period
Jomon period
The is the time in Japanese prehistory from about 14,000 BC to 300 BC.The term jōmon means "cord-patterned" in Japanese. This refers to the pottery style characteristic of the Jōmon culture, and which has markings made using sticks with cords wrapped around them...

 remains found within city limits. It is mentioned in Nara period
Nara period
The of the history of Japan covers the years from AD 710 to 794. Empress Gemmei established the capital of Heijō-kyō . Except for 5 years , when the capital was briefly moved again, it remained the capital of Japanese civilization until Emperor Kammu established a new capital, Nagaoka-kyō, in 784...

 documents as the location to which Prince Ōtsu
Prince Otsu
was a Japanese poet and the son of Emperor Temmu.-Background:His mother was Princess Ōta whose father was Emperor Tenji. He was therefore the younger full-blood brother of Princess Ōku. His consort was Princess Yamanobe, daughter of Emperor Tenji, thus his cousin...

 was exiled in 686 after his failed rebellion, and in Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

 documents in reference to its iron ore deposits. During the Sengoku period
Sengoku period
The or Warring States period in Japanese history was a time of social upheaval, political intrigue, and nearly constant military conflict that lasted roughly from the middle of the 15th century to the beginning of the 17th century. The name "Sengoku" was adopted by Japanese historians in reference...

 it was controlled by the Hōjō clan
Hojo clan
See the late Hōjō clan for the Hōjō clan of the Sengoku Period.The in the history of Japan was a family who controlled the hereditary title of shikken of the Kamakura Shogunate. In practice, the family had actual governmental power, many times dictatorial, rather than Kamakura shoguns, or the...

, who built a castle (later destroyed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
was a daimyo warrior, general and politician of the Sengoku period. He unified the political factions of Japan. He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Sengoku period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle...

). Under the Tokugawa shogunate
Tokugawa shogunate
The Tokugawa shogunate, also known as the and the , was a feudal regime of Japan established by Tokugawa Ieyasu and ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family. This period is known as the Edo period and gets its name from the capital city, Edo, which is now called Tokyo, after the name was...

, Shimoda was tenryō territory directly administered by the Shogun
A was one of the hereditary military dictators of Japan from 1192 to 1867. In this period, the shoguns, or their shikken regents , were the de facto rulers of Japan though they were nominally appointed by the emperor...

. During the Edo period
Edo period
The , or , is a division of Japanese history which was ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868. The political entity of this period was the Tokugawa shogunate....

, Shimoda prospered as a seaport, and was a major port of call for coastal vessels travelling between Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

 and Edo
, also romanized as Yedo or Yeddo, is the former name of the Japanese capital Tokyo, and was the seat of power for the Tokugawa shogunate which ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868...

. Until 1721, as a security measure, all vessels were obligated to call at Shimoda before proceeding on to Edo.

During the Bakumatsu period, Shimoda port was opened to American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 trade under the conditions of the Convention of Kanagawa
Convention of Kanagawa
On March 31, 1854, the or was concluded between Commodore Matthew C. Perry of the U.S. Navy and the Tokugawa shogunate.-Treaty of Peace and Amity :...

, negotiated by Commodore Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry (naval officer)
Matthew Calbraith Perry was the Commodore of the U.S. Navy and served commanding a number of US naval ships. He served several wars, most notably in the Mexican-American War and the War of 1812. He played a leading role in the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854...

 and signed on March 31, 1854. Shimoda was also the site of Yoshida Shōin
Yoshida Shoin
Yoshida Shōin was one of the most distinguished intellectuals in the closing days of the Tokugawa shogunate...

's unsuccessful attempt to board Perry's 'black ships
Black Ships
The Black Ships was the name given to Western vessels arriving in Japan in the 16th and 19th centuries.In 1543 Portuguese initiated the first contacts, establishing a trade route linking Goa to Nagasaki...

' in 1854.

The first American Consulate in Japan was opened at the temple of Gyokusen-ji
is a small Buddhist temple in Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It is noteworthy in that it served as the first American consulate in Japan.-History:...

 under Consul General Townsend Harris
Townsend Harris
Townsend Harris was a successful New York City merchant and minor politician, and the first United States Consul General to Japan...

. Harris negotiated the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the two countries, which was signed at nearby Ryōsen-ji
is a small Buddhist temple in Shimoda, Japan. It is noteworthy as the location of the signing ceremony for the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan and the United States of America on July 29, 1858...

 in 1858.

Japan's relations with Imperial Russia were also negotiated in Shimoda, and in 1855 the Treaty of Shimoda
Treaty of Shimoda
The Treaty of Shimoda of 1855, formally Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Japan and Russia , was signed between the Russian Vice-Admiral Euphimy Vasil'evich Putiatin and Toshiakira Kawaji of Japan in the city of Shimoda, Izu Province, Japan, on February 7, 1855...

 was signed at Chōraku-ji
is a small Shingon sect Buddhist temple in Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It is noteworthy in that it was the location of the signing of the Treaty of Shimoda in 1855, which officially established diplomatic relations between Bakumatsu Japan and the Russian Empire.-History:Chōraku-ji was...


However, in June 1859, with the opening of the port of Yokohama
is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture and the second largest city in Japan by population after Tokyo and most populous municipality of Japan. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu...

 to foreign trade, the port of Shimoda was again closed and the American consulate was relocated to Zenpuku-ji in Edo.

After the Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
The , also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, Reform or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868...

, Shimoda came under the control of the short-lived Kikuma Domain in 1868, and the equally short-lived Ashigara Prefecture from 1871. The Mikomotoshima Lighthouse
Mikomotoshima Lighthouse
is a lighthouse located on Mikomotojima, a small uninhabited islet located south of Shimoda port, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.The Mikomotojima Lighthouse was one of eight lighthouses to be built in Meiji period Japan under the provisions of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce of 1858,...

 was completed in 1870 by British engineer
O-yatoi gaikokujin
The Foreign government advisors in Meiji Japan, known in Japanese as oyatoi gaikokujin , were those foreign advisors hired by the Japanese government for their specialized knowledge to assist in the modernization of Japan at the end of the Bakufu and during the Meiji era. The term is sometimes...

 Richard Henry Brunton
Richard Henry Brunton
Richard Henry Brunton FRGS MICE was the so-called "Father of Japanese lighthouses". Brunton was born in Muchalls, Kincardineshire, Scotland...

. It is currently the oldest functioning lighthouse in Japan and is now a National Historic Monument. Ashigara Prefecture was divided between Kanagawa and Shizuoka prefectures in 1876. In a cadastral reform of 1889, Shimoda Town was formally established within Kamo District
Kamo District, Shizuoka
is a district located in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.The district name is very ancient, and is mentioned in the Engishiki records. Kamo District was one of the original districts of Izu Province, having been separated from Suruga Province along with Tagata District in the cadastral reform of 680 AD...

. The town was repeatedly bombed in 1945, in the final stages of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...


Shimoda expanded in March 1955 through the merger of six neighboring towns and villages. In 1958, an All Nippon Airways
All Nippon Airways
, also known as or ANA, is one of the largest airlines in Japan. It is headquartered at the Shiodome City Center in the Shiodome area in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. It operates services to 49 destinations in Japan and 35 international routes and employed over 14,000 employees as of May 2009...

 DC-3 en route from Haneda to Nagoya crashed offshore Shimoda, killing three passengers. Shimoda suffered damage from sizeable earthquakes in 1974 and in 1978.


The economy of Shimoda is based on tourism (primarily centered on the hot spring resort
An is a term for hot springs in the Japanese language, though the term is often used to describe the bathing facilities and inns around the hot springs. As a volcanically active country, Japan has thousands of onsen scattered along its length and breadth...

 and marine sports) and commercial fishing
Commercial fishing
Commercial fishing is the activity of catching fish and other seafood for commercial profit, mostly from wild fisheries. It provides a large quantity of food to many countries around the world, but those who practice it as an industry must often pursue fish far into the ocean under adverse conditions...



  • Japan National Route 135
  • Japan National Route 136
  • Japan National Route 414


  • Izu Kyūkō Line
    Izu Kyuko Line
    The is a privately owned railway line of Izukyū Corporation in Shizuoka Prefecture, JapanThe line runs along the eastern coast of the Izu Peninsula, a tourist district noted for its numerous hot spring resorts and golf courses, between Itō Station in Itō and Izukyū-Shimoda Station in Shimoda...

    • Izukyu Shimoda Station
      Izukyū Shimoda Station
      is the southern terminal train station of the Izu Kyūkō Line located in Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.-Station layout:Izukyū-Shimoda Station has a double bay platform serving three tracks. Tracks 1 and 3 are used for normal train service, and Track 2 is used by the limited express Odoriko.-...

       - Rendaiji Station
      Rendaiji Station
      is a small train station of the Izu Kyūkō Line located in Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.-Station layout:Rendaiji Station has a single elevated island platform serving two tracks, and the station building is underneath the platforms and tracks....

       - Inazusa Station
      Inazusa Station
      is a small train station of the Izu Kyūkō Line located in northern Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.- Platforms :-Adjacent stations:...

Ferry service is available to Niijima and Shikinejima
is a volcanic Japanese island in the Philippine Sea, administered by Tōkyō and located approximately south of Tōkyō and south of Shimoda Shizuoka Prefecture. It is one of the of the Izu Seven Islands group of the seven northern islands of the Izu archipelago...

 in the Izu Islands
Izu Islands
The are a group of volcanic islands stretching south and east from the Izu Peninsula of Honshū, Japan. Administratively, they form two towns and six villages; all part of Tokyo. The largest is Izu Ōshima, usually called simply Ōshima....

. There used to be a ferry service from Shimoda to Shimizu, Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

, or vice versa; however, it is no longer in operation.

Local attractions

Apart from its role in the opening of Japan, Shimoda is famous for its hot spring resorts
An is a term for hot springs in the Japanese language, though the term is often used to describe the bathing facilities and inns around the hot springs. As a volcanically active country, Japan has thousands of onsen scattered along its length and breadth...

 and beaches. Tadadohama, Ohama and Iritahama beaches attract many tourists in summer and are popular surfing spots year round, and Iritahama has been voted most beautiful Japanese beach a number of years.

Shimoda is also a setting for a much of Yasunari Kawabata
Yasunari Kawabata
was a Japanese short story writer and novelist whose spare, lyrical, subtly-shaded prose works won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, the first Japanese author to receive the award...

's famous short story The Dancing Girl of Izu
The Dancing Girl of Izu
"The Dancing Girl of Izu" or , published in 1926, was the first work of literature by Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata to achieve great popular and critical acclaim. Kawabata would win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1968...

Shimoda is the real world location for Pallet Town in the Pokémon games and anime.

Sister cities

- Newport, Rhode Island
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport is a city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States, about south of Providence. Known as a New England summer resort and for the famous Newport Mansions, it is the home of Salve Regina University and Naval Station Newport which houses the United States Naval War...

, United States - Numata, Gunma
Numata, Gunma
is a city in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. It is in northern Gunma, bordered by Mt. Akagi and Mt. Hotaka. The kanji for Numata approximately mean "boggy field."...

 Japan - Hagi, Yamaguchi
Hagi, Yamaguchi
is a city located in Yamaguchi, Japan and was incorporated as a city on July 1, 1932. Formerly part of Abu District.On March 6, 2005, the former city of Hagi merged with the towns of Susa and Tamagawa, and the villages of Asahi, Fukue, Kawakami and Mutsumi to form the new city of Hagi.Iwami Airport...


Noted people from Shimoda

  • Shimooka Renjō
    Shimooka Renjo
    was a renowned Japanese photographer.- External links :*...

     - photographer
  • Harumi Kurihara
    Harumi Kurihara
    is a celebrity homemaker and television personality in Japan. Kurihara has often been called the "Martha Stewart of Japan", and has enjoyed popularity there for over twenty years...

     - television personality
  • Michiko Matsumoto
    Michiko Matsumoto
    is a renowned Japanese photographer.She was born in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, in 1950, and in 1974 graduated from Hosei University . She is currently based in Tokyo....

    - photographer

External links

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