Yokohama Port was opened on July 1, 1859 (June 2, 1859 according to the old lunar calendar. It was counted as the sixth year of Ansei era in Japan.) following the arrival of the "Black Ships" led by Commodore Matthew Perry.Yokohama subsequently developed as a town with a diverse mix of foreign cultures.
With this exotic history, Minato Mirai 21 waterfront area started to develop in the 1980s. Here we introduce Yokohama's representative tourist district where you can sense both history and the future.
Various events are still held to commemorate the opening of Yokohama Port on the old lunar calendar date of June 2.
Minato Mirai 21 is now a famous tourist center, however, it originally served as a port comprised of wharves and shipyards.
It assumed its current form as a result of development geared to integrating and reinforcing Yokohama inner city that was started in the 1980s.
Minato Mirai 21 is home to well-known tourist spots such as the Landmark Tower, Queen's Square, and Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, as well as hotels and numerous company offices, and attracts large numbers of people all year round.
The landscape that faces onto the ocean has been selected as one of the top 100 urban landscapes in Japan.
Ever since Yokohama Port was opened in 1859, it has conducted trade with other countries and attracted many foreign visitors.
Exchanges with Chinese merchants increased following the establishment of liner routes with Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Kanteibyo (Guan Gong Temple), the Institute of Zhonghua-huiguan, the Chinese school and such were built, and Yokohama became home to the largest China Town not only in Japan but the whole of East Asia.
More than 500 Chinese restaurants and miscellaneous goods stores can be found within an area of approximately 0.2 square kilometers.
Yokohama China Town is liveliest at the time of Chinese New Year (lunar New Year).
Opened in 1930, Yamashita Park was constructed as a sea reclamation project to mark reconstruction following the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.
The park contains the statue "The Girl in the Red Shoes" based on the Japanese nursery rhyme, and a monument inscribed with the poem "Kamome-no-Suiheisan" (Seagull Sailors).
Nearby are located jetties that moor large cruise liners, as well as the Hikawa-Maru, which carried numerous famous people from the early to mid-Showa period.
Motomachi, which prospered as a shopping area for foreigners around the time of the Meiji Restoration, still has an exotic atmosphere.
Its history stretches back more than 150 years.
The Yokohama traditional ("Hamatra") fashion that was popular during the 1970s was started among the shops here.
If you climb the hill behind Motomachi shopping area, you will pass Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery and reach Harbor View Park.