Yokohama

Overview

Introduction

Located 20 mi/32 km southwest of Tokyo on Tokyo Bay, the important port city of Yokohama, Japan, was one of the first places where European and U.S. traders were allowed to settle in Japan. The country's largest Chinatown is here too, creating an international character subtly different from Tokyo, despite being joined at the hip in a continuous urban sprawl.

After the massive Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and bombing during World War II, little remains of Yokohama's early days as a treaty port, but today the city bustles with ships from all over the world loading and unloading cargo; it's possible to take a harbor tour by boat for a firsthand inspection. Indeed, the city is very much a port and its center of activity always turns toward the water. Much expense has gone into the development of the port as a mixed-use area, a place for industry and for citizenry. The Minato Mirai 21 district, just south of Yokohama station, turned brick warehouses and shipyards into a popular shopping and dining area, fulfilling the dream of its name, which means "Future Port."

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