Instructor introductions

History & culture masters
Gyokusenji Temple
31-6 Kakisaki Shimoda

What is the specialty of this instructor?

Chief priest, Gyokusenji Temple where the first American Consulate General took place


Fumiki Murakami


Chief priest Murakami


I have been the chief priest since 2001. Gyokusenji Temple, deeply related to important figures in the history of Opening of Japan, like Commodore Perry, Admiral Putyatin and the first American Consul Townsend Harris. There are a number of valuable materials concerning the Opening of the country, exhibited at the Harris Memorial Hall. If you are group guests, please ask me to guide in the precincts and the hall. (The guide is free for guests to the Harris Memorial Hall.)


Shimoda is a famous scenic spot, but its history is still the biggest feature. Especially, our temple was designated as the first foreign cemetery in Japan and 5 Americans of Black Ships and 4 Russians are laid to rest. Then Harris has served as the first American Consul General in Japan, here in Gyokusenji, to play a major role in the stage of Japan's opening history. Also, Bentenjima Port, in front of us, is the site from where Shoin Yoshida attempted to get into the Black Ship.

My recommendations

What is the best word to describe Shimoda?
Shimoda jumped to be the world's well known port town by the arrival of the Black Ships. However, the Black Ship's arrival is a prologue of the succeeding major historical events. You should recognize that the staying here of Townsend Harris for three years is the real part of the history of the Opening of Japan. Many cross-cultural exchanges took places during the period, Harris and Heusken stayed at American consulate in Shimoda, after the visit of Black Ships.
The most favorite place in Shimoda
Although Perry Road is more often reffered to, the Kakisaki Coast is the most important historic spot. There are Bentenjima Island related to Shoin Yoshida and Gyokusenji Temple where foreign cemetery of the US and Russian people locates. This is the symbol of goodwill between the United States, Russia and Japan. It is a temple listed even in textbooks, which fulfilled its role as a central stage for the Opening of Japan for six years, from the arrival of Black Ships to the moment the role of Consulate General of the U.S.A. was completed.
The pricincts of the temple where the first Stars and Stripes flag was put up.
A monument marking the arrival of the Russian fleet.
Monument of Shoin Yoshida and the disciple, Jusuke Kaneko(Bentenjima Port)

Guide to Shimoda

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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.