Shizuoka, centrally located between Tokyo and Nagoya along the Tokaido Corridor is the capital of Shizuoka Prefecture and the prefecture's second-largest city. 

The prefecture is wet by Japanese standards, but Shizuoka is the sunniest of Japan's major cities due to the absence of summer fog and a location that shelters it from northwesterly winds off the Sea of Japan. 

The name is made up of two kanji, Shizu ("still" or "calm") and oka ("hills"). 

Shizuoka Domain was created out of the older Sunpu Domain in 1869, and the name was retained when the city was incorporated. Human occupation goes back to prehistoric times, and the Toro archaeological site indicates a significant Yayoi period (400 BC-300 AD) settlement in what is now the central city.

Shizuoka is on the Tōkaidō Main Line from Tokyo to Osaka and is served by the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, limited express and regional trains.

Since the modern city was founded in 1889 Shizuoka has seen its share of misfortune. 

The day the Tōkaidō Main Line connection opened (1 February 1889) a fire destroyed most of downtown Shizuoka. 

Post-typhoon floods in 1914 inundating the downtown area and the city had been rebuilt after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in 1935 when another fire destroyed much of the central business district. 

Since there were few significant military targets in the area, the city was largely unaffected by air raids until a firebombing attack on 19 June 1945 inflicted high casualties and widespread destruction.


© Ian Hughes 2017