Yokohama, the City of the 21st Century

by ebazaar 2 November 2009 No Comment

Yokohama – The second most populated city in Japan, is the capital of the Kanagawa perfecture located at Tokyo Bay, south of central Tokyo. It is also the city where the tallest building in Japan is located, which is the Yokohama Landmark Tower. You know how delicate Japanese people are with tall buildings. They don’t have much of it due to the frequency of earthquake all over the Japanese islands. Nevertheless, all the many kinds of attractions and development available in Yokohama have earned the city the title ‘The city of the 21st century’.

Yokohama’s population stands at 3.6 millions of people and is one of major commercial hubs in Japan, if not the first. It remained as the nation’s largest international port and supported a large international community since the city actually started with merely a small fishing village. There are many foreigners residing in this area, with a substantial number of Chinese populations and the city had also located Japan’s largest Chinatown. Other ethnics residing here includes Koreans, Filipino and Brazilians. The weather in Yokohama does not differ much from that of Tokyo, but due to its location near to the ocean, the air seems less condensed than Tokyo.

Small stats of Yokohama:

  • Area 437.35 km2 (168.86 sq mi)
  • Population (2009) Total 3,654,427
  • Density 8,335 /km2 (21,588 /sq mi)

Brief History of Yokohama City

Yokohama started out as a small fishing village, with only about 100 houses around in 1850s. With the existing development, we can wonder how rapidly the city had developed ever since. There’s not much of activities in this area when Japan held the national seclusion policy, but once the policy had been lifted a little through the Treaty of Peace and Amity made between Tokugawa Shogunate and Commodore Matthew Perry, the village was selected by the shogun as one of the several ports to be open for international trades. The Port of Yokohama was opened on 2 June 1859. Yokohama then, saw a substantial and quite dramatic development and growth as a city with major interest.

If you’re going to Tokyo, you should not miss even a short visit to Yokohama, and experience first-hand of Yokohama Minato Mirai 21 (Port Future 21), the first and largest urban development project more than a decade ago. There are conference center, museums, hotels, shopping centers and restaurant in all kinds and shapes, befitting the city’s image now. There you’ll be able to experience Yokohama Cosmo World which is a amusement park spread along both sides of the canal, get on the Ferris Wheel, see and be on top of the highest building in Japan, and enjoy the Sky Garden.

Ferries wheel in Yokohama (Credit:Azlin)

Ferries wheel in Yokohama (Credit:Azlin)

How to get to Yokohama from Tokyo?

Do not worry, getting to Yokohama from Tokyo is so much easier than you think because many Japanese who work in Tokyo, but stays in Yokohama. You have several options like trains, buses and taxi but that’ll be your last resort though. Taxis are expensive. Your best bet is to get on a train from Tokyo Station on JR Keihin-Tohoku Line costing you about ¥450/way. Alternatively, you can also take Minato Mirai Line from Shibuya station with a fare about ¥460/way. There are also ferry shuttles to get around the city of Yokohama.

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