Shimoda, Shizuoka

Shimoda, Shizuoka

Infobox City Japan
Name= Shimoda
JapaneseName= 下田市

Region=Chūbu (Tōkai)
PopDate=May 2008
LatitudeDegrees= 34
LatitudeMinutes= 41
LongtitudeDegrees= 138
LongtitudeMinutes= 57
Tree=Oshima Cherry

SymbolDescription= Flag
Mayor= Naoki Ishii
CityHallAddress=1-5-18, Higashihongō, Shimoda-shi, Shizuoka-ken
CityHallPhone= 0558-22-2211
CityHallLink= [ Shimoda City]

nihongo|Shimoda|下田市|Shimoda-city is a city and port in Shizuoka, Japan, which played an important part in the opening of Japan to the outside world in the 1850s. The city is located at the southern tip of the Izu peninsula about 60 miles southwest of Tokyo.


In the 1850s, Japan was in political crisis over the issue of what relations, if any, it should have with foreign powers. For a few years, Shimoda was central to this debate.

The port was opened to American trade under the conditions of the Convention of Kanagawa, negotiated by Commodore Matthew Perry and signed on March 31 1854. The first American Consulate in Japan was opened at Gyokusen-ji under Consul General Townsend Harris. Harris negotiated the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the two countries, which was signed at Ryōsen-ji in 1858.

Japan's relations with Russia were also negotiated in Shimoda, and in 1855 the Treaty of Shimoda was signed at Chōraku-ji.

Shimoda was also the site of Yoshida Shōin's unsuccessful attempt to board Perry's 'black ships' in 1854.

Monuments at Gyokusen-ji claim that it is "the spot where the first cow in Japan was slaughtered for human consumption", and where the habit of humans drinking cow's milk started in Japan.Fact|date=September 2008

Around March 31, 2010, Shimoda and three municipalities in Kamo District (Kawazu, Matsuzaki, and Minamiizu) will merge.]


As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 25,541 and a population density of 244 persons per square kilometer. The total area is 104.70 square kilometres.


Apart from its role in the opening of Japan, Shimoda is famous for its hot springs and beaches. Tadadohama, Ohama and Iritahama beaches attract a lot of 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's famous short story "The Dancing Girl of Izu".


Shimoda's train station, Izukyu Shimoda Station, is served by the Izu Kyuko Railway, which provides service north to Itō, and through service on the Ito Line to Atami Station. Ferry service is available to Niijima and Shikinejima in the Izu Islands. There used to be a ferry service from Shimoda to Shimizu, Shizuoka, or vice versa; however, it was shut down a couple of years ago.

Sister cities

flagicon|United States Newport, Rhode Island, United States


External links

* [ Shimoda official website] — in Japanese
* [ Shimoda city and great beaches]
* [ Article in the Observer]
* [ Book about the history of Okichi Saito and the black ships]

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