History & culture

About history & culture
The port of Shimoda is naturally formed. Ships traveling between Edo (the former name of Tokyo) and Osaka used to stop at the port of Shimoda to avoid storms back in the Edo period (the 17th to mid-19th century). A guard office was also installed at here as a checkpoint for sea travel.
Black ships led by Commodore Perry from the United States arrived at the port of Shimoda at the end of the Edo period (mid-19th century). This port then became the first in Japan to be opened to U.S. ships. Historic landmarks and cultural features from this period still remain.

Uehara Museum of Art. From Impressionist to Buddha statue, etc.

アタマン
Name of office
Uehara Museum of Arts
Period
Throughout a year
Fee
1 people  1000 yen~
Uehara Buddhist Art Museum and the Uehara Museum of Modern Art were unified and renewed as Uehara Museum of Art (Buddhist Hall/ Modern Hall) on November 3rd, 2017.  We will exhibit a wide range of collections from the Buddhist images of the Heian and Kamakura period, old transcription in Nara era to the Impressionists, Matisse, Picasso and Japanese modern paintings.  Please relax yourself in this new museum where the beauty of Buddhist arts and modern paintings meet.

Let’s learn history of Shimoda and Japan ! (Shimoda Kaikoku Museum)

下田開国博物館_正面
Name of office
Shimoda Kaikoku Hakubutsukan
Period
Throughout a year
Fee
1 people  1,200 yen~
Shimoda Port was opened to the outside world by the arrival of the American fleet,'Kurofune - Black Ships."
As a history museum in Shimoda, we have put around 1,000 historical materials related to Perry, Harris, Putjatin, Shoin Yoshida and Tojin Okichi on display.

Keita’s Walking Tour for foreign tourists (Sun Lover’s Tour)

サンラバーズカフェ
Name of office
Sun Lovers Tour
Period
Throughout a year
Irregular days off. No tours during the summer.
Fee
1 people  3,500 yen~
We will take you out for a stroll about the city of Shimoda, showing you the history and the natural beauty to you.
During the tour, you can experience what you cannot on usual occasions, at Japanese style houses and shops.
We will take photos for you and make suggestions about sightseeing and good eating places.
A light meal provided.

‘Stars and Stripes flutters.’ Arrival of Black Ships lead to Consulate General of Harris.

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Name of office
Gyokusenji Temple
Period
Throughout a year
Fee
1 people  400 yen~
'The Stars and Stripes Flaps.' Please visit the history of opening the country of Japan at Gyokusenji Temple, the first US Consulate General in Japan (30 minutes-)
※ Group guide is available by reservation.
Harris Memorial Hall is an exhibition of a turbulent era of Japan, which displays the arrival of Black Ships, the opening of the Consulate General and the conclusion of the US Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce. Please take a look at Harris's favorite belongings and related materials,
which shows tough negotiations with the Shogunate. By looking at the ground of the temple where the Stars and Stripes was hoisted for the first time in Japan, and Harris's office in the main hall, you will feel Harris's breathing that overcame suffering and fulfilled the mission.

Chorakuji Temple where the Russo-Japan Treaty of Amity was signed.

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Name of office
Chorakuji Temple
Period
Throughout a year
Fee
1 people  300 yen~
Talk about the background of the conclusion of the Russo-Japan Treaty of Amity. Details of what happened in the main hall when Admiral Putyatin arrived and the Treaty was signed.
Feel the sound of Suikinkutsu, echo of dropping water in the vase hid in the soil, near the statue of young Kobo Daishi master, in the precincts.
The temple is also assigned as 88 hallow grounds in Izu, 33 Deity of Mercy hallow grounds in Izu Yokomichi and as seven gods of good fortune in Izu.

Story of Opening the Port of Shimoda, with tea and sweets (Ryosenji Temple)

プラン開国物語
Name of office
Ryosenji Temple
Period
Throughout a year
Fee
1 people  1,000 yen~
Ryosenji Temple (where Shimoda Treaty was signed). 3,000 visual materials are collected based on the history of Opening of Japan and cross-cultural exchange. While watching referencial materials, the chief priest tells you "Foreign countries from Japanese and Japan from foreigners," totally different from traditional historical talks. You can encounter something totally new. Anyway it is amusing ! The common understanding that the story of the priest is difficult and dull will be overturned. ※ This program is generally for group and company guests, with 10 persons and up. 

Harbor Museum & JGFA Marlin Museum

道の駅外観
Name of office
Roadside station Kaikoku Shimoda Minato 'Harbor Museum & JGFA Marlin Museum'
Period
Throughout a year
Fee
1 people  500 yen~
A visit to Harbor Museum and JGFA Marlin Museum. Shimoda has been keping the torch of civilization.  The city flourished as an important point of the sea route that connected Edo(Tokyo) and Kamigata(Kyoto-Osaka area), and accepted the visit of Black Ships, which put an end to the national isolation of Japan.  In harbor Museum, you will feel the tide of the history of Shimoda.
In addition, off Shimoda once was a base for harpoon marlin fishing, and International Billfish Tournament is now held in July every year. More than 100 cruisers assemble from all over Japan to take part in the tournament. In JGFA Museum, replicas of Marlins are displayed and the seat for angler, who fights with Marlin is reproduced.  Imagine the great ocean and immerse yourself in the feeling of being there.

開国のまち下田をボランティアガイドと歩く(下田ボランティアガイド協会)

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Name of office
Period
Throughout a year
Fee
1 people  300 yen~

‘Tojin Okichi, and Ryoma soaring up’ Guide of Okichi Memorial Hall (Hofukuji Temple)

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Name of office
Hofukuji Temple
Period
Throughout a year
Fee
1 people  400 yen~
Historical tour with talk entitled 'Okichi and Ryoma' at the temple. Tojin Okichi, quietly bloomed
in the shadow of the opening of the country, died a lonely death. Hofukuji Temple is well known
as her burial place.
In addition, it's here Ryoma Sakamoto, an ardent patriot, soared up to his stage in the turbulent era.
He was overlooked his crime of running away from his feudal domain.
Please visit the grave of Okichi and listen to the historical talks, while looking at the related items of
the two unique figures in the Memorial Hall.

Transform into Geisha, with kimono, wig and original makeup (Shimoda Geisha Okiya Masuya)

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Name of office
Shimoda Geisha Okiya Masuya
Period
Throughout a year
Fee
1 group  20,000 yen~
'Dokkiri(surprising ) Geisha' Why don't you surprise your friends by transforming yourself into Geisha ? It's an entertainment at the ryokans, on occasion of calling Geishas for banquets. Please contact us.

Guide to Shimoda

We can answer your inquiries and provide extra information.

田中
A Shimoda boy,
Mr. Tanaka
土屋
A Shimoda girl,
Ms. Tsuchiya

Contact

Feel free to contact us to learn more about Shimoda.

The information on this website is subject to change. Please contact individual offices, stores, or the Seamon Shimoda Guide office (TEL: 0558-22-5255) for more detail.