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Shizuoka is the capital city of Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, and the second-largest city of that prefecture in terms of both population and area. It became one of Japan's 19 designated cities in 2005.Shizuoka City centrally located in Shizuoka Prefecture, about halfway between Tokyo and Nagoya along the Tokaido Corridor, sandwiched between Suruga Bay to the south and the Minami Alps in the north. Shizuoka had the largest area of any municipality in Japan after merging with Shimizu City in April, 2003, until February 2005, when Takayama, Gifu merged with nine surrounding municipalities.The total area is 1,411.82 km2.Shizuoka is currently the 5th largest city in Japan in terms of geographic area after Takayama, Hamamatsu, Nikko and Kitami.It is also the 2nd largest city in Shizuoka Prefecture in terms of both geographic area and population after Hamamatsu, but ranks higher as an Urban Employment Area,and leads as a metropolitan area and business region.Shizuoka has an Oceanic climate on the south-central Pacific coast, which is hot and humid in the summers and rarely snows in winter.Further north, however, the mountainous Ikawa area is part of the Japanese snow country, and there are ski areas.The area that is now the city of Shizuoka has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Numerous kofun have been found within the city limits, and the Toro archaeological site indicates that a major Yayoi period (circa 400 BC-300 AD) settlement existed in what is now part of the central city area.Suruga was established as a province of Japan in the early Nara period. At some point between the year 701 and 710, the provincial capital was relocated from what is now Numazu, to a more central location on the banks of the Abe River at a location named Sunpu (a contraction of “Suruga no Kokufu” or alternatively “Fuchu”.

Shizuoka has a long history of being involved in the craft industries going back over 400 years ago, using trees, including hinoki cypress.The model industry goes back to the late 1920s when wood was used to produce model toys, using sashimono woodworking joinery techniques, purely for educational purposes.Craftsmen later moved on to lighter woods including balsa, but following the war, with the importation of US built scale models, many companies either turned to plastic models to compete or went under.The town has since became internationally notable for its plastic scale model kits and is resident to its long established companies such as Aoshima, Fujimi, Hasegawa and the most renowned of them all, Tamiya.The city hosts the long-running Shizuoka Hobby Show annually in May at Twin Messe Shizuoka, which attracts visitors from around the world.Street Performance World Cup.Probably the biggest event on Shizuoka's Calendar, it is an annual international busker's festival, held in November.It includes various shows such as juggling, pantomime, magic, etc.Performers come from around the world and perform throughout the central part of the city as well as in some peripheral locations.From 2005, it expanded from a 3-day to a 4-day festival.

How to Reach

By Air

The nearest airport is Shizuoka Airport, between Makinohara and Shimada. The more distant Tokyo International Airport (Haneda), Narita International Airport, and Chubu Centrair International Airport are commonly used.

By Train

Shizuoka lies on the Tokaido Main Line, the JR main rail line from Tokyo to Osaka, and is well-served by the Tokaido Shinkansen, limited express and regional trains.The central station of Shizuoka is in the city centre. Shizuoka also has an LRT line, the Shizuoka Railway, administered by the Shizuoka Railway Co., Ltd. (Shizuoka Tetsudou Shizutetsu) Shizuoka Station.

Key places to visit
Shizuoka Sengen Shrine, Sunpu Castle, Shizuoka Festival, Daidogei World Cup


Places to Visit

Shizuoka Sengen Shrine

is the name for a collective group of three Shinto shrines now forming a single religious corporation, located at Mount Shizuhata in Aoi-ku, Shizuoka in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. These shrines are the Kambe Jinja, Sengen Jinja, and Ohtoshimioya Jinja.The main festival of the shrine is held annually on April 5.The date of the Shizuoka Sengen Jinja’s foundation is unknown. The area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and a Kofun period burial mound has been excavated at Mount Shizuhata. Per the Nihon Shoki, the area was colonized by the Hata clan during this period. According to unsubstantiated shrine legend, the foundation of the Kambe Jinja dates to the reign of Emperor Sujin, that of the Ohtoshimioya Shrine to the reign of Emperor Ojin, both from the Kofun period.Today, 26 structures in the shrine complex are protected by the national government as Important Cultural Properties (ICP), forming one of the largest such complexes in the country.The shrine has a small museum, which displays finds from the Shizuhatayama Kofun archaeological site, artifacts pertaining to Tokugawa Ieyasu and the history of the shrine, as well as the shrine’s non-structural ICPs, including a Muromachi-period tachi Japanese sword and 17 diagrams of the shrine prior to its late Edo-period rebuilding.

Sunpu Castle

was a Japanese castle in Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan. The sobriquet of this feudal fortress was the "Castle of the Floating Isle."It was also referred to as Fuchu Castle (Fuchu-jo) or Shizuoka Castle (Shizuoka-jo).During the Muromachi period, the Imagawa clan ruled Suruga province from their base at Sunpu (modern-day Shizuoka City). It is not certain exactly when a castle was built on this site. After Imagawa Yoshimoto was defeated at the Battle of Okehazama in 1560, Suruga Province passed to the Takeda clan, and then to Tokugawa Ieyasu, who had spent his youth in Sunpu as Yoshimoto's hostage.The castle grounds became property of Shizuoka city from 1889. Much of the moat system was filled in, and portions of the bailey either became a park, or were used as for prefectural government offices. In 1896, a large portion of the inner castle grounds was turned over to the Imperial Japanese Army as a base for the IJA 34th Infantry Regiment.In 1949, the army base was abolished, and the area turned over to the city government, which transformed the area into "Sunpu Park." Reconstruction projects in 1989 and in 1996 recreated the Tatsumi Yagura and eastern gate.

Shizuoka Festival

The City's April festival during the high point of the year for Cherry Blossoms.A flower-viewing procession imitates the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu's custom of taking daimyo (feudal lords) to Sengen Shrine to view the cherry blossoms.

Daidogei World Cup

Probably the biggest event on Shizuoka's Calendar, it is an annual international busker's festival, held in November. It includes various shows such as juggling, pantomime, magic, etc.Performers come from around the world and perform throughout the central part of the city as well as in some peripheral locations.From 2005, it expanded from a 3-day to a 4-day festival.

Right Time to Visit

January - June
October - December


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