The most famous festival of Shimoda celebrates in honor of the arrival on the Blackship and Commodore Perry landing in Japan to the world. The three-day festival commemorates the arrival of US Commodore Mathew Perry 152 years ago.
It was US Commodore Mathew Perry and a squadron of nine so-called black ships that forced the opening of Shimoda port in 1854. His statue stands in Shimoda City where he disembarked his black ship. There’s also a street named after him.
The Black Ships Festival celebrates the signing of the treaty, which brought the two countries together as trading partners. Lively parades and events commemorate the arrival of Commodore Perry.
It is rich in international color featuring a ceremony at the Shimoda Park, the parading of the U.S. Naval marching bands to remember the time Japan was led out of isolation. Time travel begins at the Shimoda Station Sekisho (travelers’ inspection point) and continues through the “Open Door” Bazaar in the Old Downtown Area of Shimoda onto Perry Road and the Okawabata bayside area along the harbor.
Visit “Change Into Period Costume” Corner and Edo-style “Open Door” Bazaar to transform yourself into Edo townsfolk. There will be magic shows, old-style banana vendors, candy artwork, Shichimi-togarashi (seven-flavored blended peppers), tubular star mine and marine fireworks at Shimoda sea harbor, official parade of uniformed naval officers with Edo period costumes from Japan and the United States.
The Black Ships Festival offers a variety of events that emphasize both Japanese art and culture. Events include a formal Gala, Japanese Arts & Crafts such as Origami and Ikebana; Martial Arts, and a Japanese Tea Ceremony. A highlight will be the Taiko Drums!
Historic Reenactment Play signing ceremony at Ryosenji Temple reminds the treaty that opened Japan to the world.
Also enjoy formal ceremonies, traditional fisherman dance and sporting events such as Beach volleyball, golf, and Nordic walking and beach yoga in the sea breeze at the beach with full of minerals and various locations throughout the city over the course of the festival. In the Nordic Walking Association Recommended Course enjoy a meal, hot springs and natural history of Shimoda and “bath” Ocean, touching on the nature of each of the four seasons.
Address and Contact:
Sanchome, Shimoda City (Shimoda-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 415-0023, Japan
Festival Period: May 16-18 Tel: 0558-22-1531, 0558-22-3913
Shimoda Tourist Association Website (In English): http://www.shimoda-city.info/english/festival.html