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It was off the coast here that Commodore Matthew Perry, ordered by the US government to open diplomatic relation with Japan by force if necessary, anchored his fleet of black ships.
The shogunate bowed to the pressure and agreed to accept American diplomat Townsend Harris, who established the first US consulate at Gyokusenji temple in Shimoda in 1856.
Two years later, at nearby Ryosenji temple, negotiations resulted in the first US–Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce.
The monument to Perry and Harris, not far from the harbor, celebrates these epochal events, as does Shimoda's annual Kurobune Matsuri ("Black Ship Festival") in May.
In fact, charming though it still is today as a fishing port and yacht harbor, Shimoda was worthless from the commercial or diplomatic perspective.
The shogunate had simply stuck Harris there to keep the dreaded Westerners away from the capital.
Afterward, he arranged the opening of Yokohama as a port and designated foreigners settlement. Such was the consequent confusion among reactionary groups at this indication of weakness that the Tokugawa shogunate was soon toppled.
Hakone is a resort area, just 90 minutes by train from the city, in a national park southeast of Mount. Fuji that is extremely popular with weekend trippers from Tokyo.
This area makes also make a pleasant day trip, but to enjoy more of the countryside, you should stay overnight and continue further down the Izu Peninsula the next day if possible.
Located in the far western section of the Kanagaaw Prefecture on the eastern side of Hakone Pass sits Hakone. To this day it is counted as one of the first tourist destinations in Japan, and between the epic views of Mount Fuji in the distance across the crystal waters of the Ashi Lake, the Hakone Gongen Shinto shrine, and the various hot springs and the beauty of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park or the Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands, it becomes immediately obvious why this place has been so popular over the years with both domestic and foreign travelers. Between the history and the natural beauty there is no better place to spend a relaxing few days.
Exchange rate fluctuations can have a considerable impact on your trip budget. If your home currency has appreciated in value in the recent term over the currency of your destination you are likely to find the place inexpensive.
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Do you know of anything else about the enviroment that makes you happy to come to Izu Peninsula? If it's a city or neighbourhood are there any climatic, or microclimatic features that you could tell others about. If the location is a building or place, then can you describe it maybe as "sun-lit", or "cold in the mornings". We'd love you to contribute - why not let us know in the drop box below
Graphic showing average weather in Izu Peninsula in Celcius and Centimeters (Change to Farenheit and Inches)
|Month||Temp °C||Rainfall Cm||Temp °F||Rainfall Inches|
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