Enchanting Yokohama, on the western coast of Tokyo Bay, is the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture and Japan’s second largest city with a population of over three million people, both local and foreign residents.
It served as one of the first ports in the country that opened doors for foreign trade in 1858. Though it suffered a massive decline during the Great Kanto Earthquake, Yokohama, phoenix-like, rose from these havoc and almost completely recovered in 1929 through the strenuous and united efforts of its people.
Tagged as the “maritime city”, Yokohama has a blend of eastern and western mystique that is very evident in some of its enticements like the ever-popular Chinatown, which is the largest Chukagai in Japan, with more than 300 restaurants and souvenir shops that offer authentic Chinese cuisine and wares; the famous Yamate district, known in the city for being the foreigners’ neighborhood.
streets of the largest chukagai in japan.
Not only that Yokohama is historic, yet modern, but its architectural marvels also entice tourists to visit the place. Among its premier attractions are the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise featuring 14 electrifying rides and a three-story aquarium with more than 500 different kinds of fish; Yamashita Park with its gushy display of the Bay Bridge and ships passing through the port; Landmark Tower, the majestic emblem of Yokohama with its 296 meters tall; Yokohama Cosmo World, an amusement park with its 112.5 meters Cosmo Clock 21 Ferris wheel; Minato Mirai 21, a futuristic district constructed entirely on reclaimed, man-made land boasting its posh hotels, shopping centers, restaurants, convention centers and public parks.
landmark tower. Symbol of Yokohama
cosmo clock 21 ferris wheel. One of the largest ferris wheels in the world
There is Sankeien, a genuine Japanese garden famed for its seasonal flowers: the plum blossoms, cherry blossoms and azaleas; Silk Museum which is one of the rare silk museums in the world; Marine Tower with its 106 meters height and one of the tallest inland lighthouses in the world; Yokohama Park with its beautiful and myriad tulip blossoms; Nippon Maru, a retired four-mast exploration ship.
Night views in Yokohama are also stunning and romantically breathtaking, and are even considered as Japanese Night View Heritages.
How to Get There:
From Tokyo Station, take the JR Tokaido Line, JR Yokosuka Line or the JR Keihin Tohoku Line and get off at Yokohama Station.
(Photos by Din Eugenio)
(Published in the August 2008 issue of Philippine Digest, Japan)