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Japan is situated in northeastern Asia between the North Pacific and the Sea of Japan. The area of Japan is 377,873 square kilometers, nearly equivalent to Germany and Switzerland combined or slightly smaller than California. Japan consists of four major islands, surrounded by more than 4,000 smaller islands.

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  3. Art & Spots
  4. Tourist Facilities of Japan
  5. Museums
  6. Shimoda History Museum

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Shimoda History MuseumShizuoka

Together with the historic sites the opening-of-the-country museum in Shimoda is a place to visit

Shimoda History Museum houses historical materials relating to the opening of Japanese diplomacy.
Shimoda is a port town where the first opening of the port in Japan took place. About 100 meters from the museum, there is Ryosen-ji Temple where the Treaty of Shimoda, which stipulated detailed rules of the Treaty of Peace and Amity between Japan and the United States, was signed. The temple is designated as a national historic site because of its historical value.

Since 1639, almost all foreign ships had been banned from entering Japan by the Tokugawa Shogunate which was holding central authority in Japan. However, in 1853, Mathew Perry of the U.S. Navy arrived in Japan with his squadron of warships and demanded opening of the country from Japan. When Japanese saw the enormous black steamboat, they trembled in fear calling it “Kurofune (black ship)."
The Tokugawa Shogunate could not refuse the demand of opening the country and opened the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate (Hokkaido) at first. Then in 1856, the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between Japan and the United States was concluded when Townsend Harris, the U.S. Consul General, came to Japan. Gyokusen-ji Temple in Shimoda was used as the U.S. Consulate.

At Shimoda History Museum, around 1000 historical materials relating to the opening of the Port of Shimoda are exhibited. Among them are: Perry's photos; the portrait of Okichi who served Harris as a maid; a model black ship; a glass Putyatin, a Russian diplomat who came to Japan in the same period and concluded the Treaty of Peace and Amity between Japan and Russia, was using and Ukiyo-e prints of steam boats.
Address & Access
Address: 4-8-3, Shimoda-shi, Shizuoka
Phone: 0558-23-2500
Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.(Last admission 5:00 p.m.)
Closed: No closed days
Admission Fee: 1,000 yen
About 50-min by JR Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Atami Station, about 25-min by JR Ito Line from Atami Station to Ito Station, about 1 hour by Izu Kyuko Line from Ito Station to Izu-kyu Shimoda Station, about 8-min walk from Izu-kyu Shimoda Station