Shimoda (下田) holds a pivotal place in Japan's history as the spot where the nation officially opened to the outside world after centuries of near isolation. This legacy is preserved in shrines, cultuarlly significant locations and folklore, as well as the ersatz 'black ships' that take tourists on harbour cruises. The small port's laid-back vibe is also perfectly suited to an exploration of its surrounding beaches, which are some of the best in Izu.
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