World of Pokèmon Day #5 – Pallet Town/Shimoda

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Today we finally got to see the real life Pallet Town up close and we most certainly spent most of our day there. We strolled down the narrow streets, straight to the Ryosenji Temple which afterwards opened up directly on Perry Road. We got a little lost in the labrythinine Shimoda Park before seeing some of the wonderful Izu coastline. We also took the short Shimoda Cable Car ride up to Mt. Nesugata, a site marked within the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. We’ve seen several monuments and many a stunning sight. But how much like Pallet Town is like picturesque place?
One thing for certain in Shimoda is the pride it shows for its part in modern Japanese history. In 1854, after over a century of isolation from the rest of the world, the first American consulate in Japan, and soon after the first Russian one too, were opened in Japan. Shimoda was declared a free port for any foreign ships and effectively the country was finally prepared to be part of the rest of the world again. It took some persuasion too as strong nationalist views at the time opposed tainting the Kingdom of Heaven with barbarian influence, believing western religion and power would consume their land like many before them. However it was becoming all the more evident that Japan would be left behind in regards to science and technology if they did not embrace the European and American world. Thus the persistent US Commodore Matthew Perry eventually succeeded in opening negotiations with Japan, sailing his black ships into the harbour and marching his men down what is now Perry Road, to the Ryosenji Temple, the new American consulate. A new beginning for Japan, as it welcomed another world.
For a young ten year old boy or girl, Pallet Town was the place where they’d receive their first starter Pokèmon and beginning their journey into the world. It is the place in the games where humans and Pokèmon meet for the first time, with two worlds finally coming together. Thus in the small, peaceful seaside, we have since 1996 been starting our own adventures, and meeting a whole new world from the small seaside town. In this respect perhaps Shimoda is rather fitting as the real life Pallet Town counterpart.
Otherwise Shimoda I believe is considered a city so it’s far too big to be Pallet Town. But there is supposedly a boat to the island Oshima (Cinnabar Island) that leaves from here so there’s another desperate connection…
Regardless Shimoda has been a great place to visit and tomorrow before we leave for Hakone (Viridian City) we hope to sample the towns famous beaches, known for their beauty and surfing potential. Until then however, thank you for reading!

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