Japan > Shimonoseki


Shimonoseki is a city located in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. It is at the southwestern tip of Honshu, facing the Tsushima Strait and also Kitakyushu across the Kanmon Straits.

Nicknamed the "Fugu Capital," it is known for the locally caught pufferfish and is the largest harvester of the pufferfish in Japan.

As of October 1, 2016, the city has an estimated population of 265,684 and a population density of 370 persons per km². The total area is 716.14 km².


The Heike and Genji fought at Dan-no-ura near the present Kanmonkyo Bridge.

The city prior to 1902 was commonly known as Bakan (馬關) and formally Akamagaseki (赤間關).

On February 13, 2005, Shimonoseki absorbed the towns of Hōhoku, Kikugawa, Toyota and Toyoura (all from Toyoura District) to create the new and expanded city of Shimonseki. Since October 1, 2005, the city has been designated as a core city by the Japanese Government.

The geographical position of Shimonoseki has given it historical importance, especially with the Bombardment of Shimonoseki in 1864 and the Treaty of Shimonoseki, where a defeated China handed over Taiwan, Penghu, and Port Arthur to the victorious Japanese in 1895.

An Imperial decree in July 1899 established Shimonoseki as an open port for trading with the United States and the United Kingdom.

On January 7, 2006, the wooden station building at Shimonoseki station, which had dated back to 1942, was destroyed in a fire, the cause of which is suspected to be arson.


Shimonoseki has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with hot summers and cool winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but is heavier in summer.


Major companies and institutes


Ferries from Shimonoseki Port International Terminal



Regular bus services are provided by Sanden Kohtsu, as well as by group companies of Sanden Kohtsu.


Chūgoku Expressway


National Highways


Shimonoseki is served by four airports outside the city.


Universities and colleges

Primary and secondary schools

The city has a North Korean school, Yamaguchi Korean Elementary and Junior High School (山口朝鮮初中級学校). It formerly housed two other North Korean schools, Yamaguchi Korean High School and Shimonoseki Korean Elementary and Junior High School (下関朝鮮初中級学校).

As a city of a quarter million people, it has some public schools too.


Regional specialties

Specialty products


Shimonoseki is home to many festivals that are held throughout the year. Of these, the most famous are Shimonoseki Kaikyo Festival and Shimonoseki Bakan Festival.



Professional Teams

Sporting venues

Crime and safety

The Goda-ikka yakuza syndicate is headquartered in Shimonoseki. A designated yakuza group, the Goda-ikka is the largest yakuza syndicate in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Twin cities

Shimonoseki has one Japanese and six international sister cities:

Notable people

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All content originates from the English Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0