Shimoda is a coastal city in southern Izu that can be visited as an overnight trip from Tokyo. It’s off the beaten track, even for domestic travelers, except in the summer when the beaches are open. It can be reached by train from Tokyo station using the Odoriko limited express (about two and a half hours).
Traditional buildings and weeping willows along the Perry Road
An old store house (“Kura”)
Commodore Perry and his black ships (“Kurofune”) landed there on his second trip to Japan in 1854, and signed a treaty opening the port to American ships. The “Black Ship” has become the main theme for the city. A great place to find out more is the small but interesting MoBS (The Museum of Black Ship) Kurofune museum, where various historical artifacts are on display.
View from the observation deck of Mt Nesugata
View of Shimoda city and Shimoda-Fuji
The road leading to the Museum, called “Perry Road”, follows a narrow canal through a historical neighbourhood that feels quite different from the rest of the city; the weeping willows bring to mind the Gion district in Kyoto. Walking down this street is like traveling back in time and is one of the best-kept secrets of the Tokyo area.
Walking on Irozaki Cape
View of the southern Izu shoreline
The highlight of a visit to Shimoda is the ropeway to the top of Mt Nesugata (199 meters, meaning “sleeping figure”). From the observation platform, one can get a view of the bay, Oshima island and the Pacific ocean; this is supposedly where the Black Ships were first spotted. On the other side is a view of Shimoda city and Shimoda-Fuji; through the trees, the white tip of the real Mt Fuji can be seen on a clear day.
The southernmost tip of the Izu peninsula
View from Cape Aiai
An interesting side trip is to take a bus to Irozaki Cape. One can walk past the lighthouse and the small shrine nestled under the cliffs, to the southernmost point of the Izu peninsula. The sight and sound of the waves crashing on the shoreline is impressive but care must be taken on windy days. A cruise can be done in good weather and it’s possible to explore the coastline further towards western Izu.
See the views of Shimoda City
2 thoughts on “Shimoda City, Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture”
Thanks. I had hoped to add Mt Nesugata to the hiking blog but it’s not a very interesting mountain for hiking. It’s possible to walk down but the path soon turns into a paved road with few views.