Infobox City Japan
Name= Yokohama
JapaneseName= 横浜市

Region= Kantō
Prefecture= Kanagawa
Area_km2= 437.35
PopDate= June 2008
Population= 3,645,507
Density_km2= 8335
LatitudeDegrees= 35
LatitudeMinutes= 27
LongtitudeDegrees= 139
LongtitudeMinutes= 38
Tree= Camellia, Chinquapin, Sangoju
Sasanqua, Ginkgo, Zelkova
Flower= Rose

Mayor= Hiroshi Nakada
CityHallPostalCode= 231-0017
CityHallAddress= 1-1 Minato-chō, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken
CityHallPhone= 045-671-2121
CityHallLink= [ City of Yokohama]

nihongo|Yokohama|横浜市|Yokohama-shi is the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture, located in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshū and is a major commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area.

Yokohama's population of 3.6 million makes it Japan's largest incorporated city and second most populous urban area after Tokyo. [ Tokyo is not a single incorporated city - see Tokyo for more information on the definition and makeup of Tokyo.]

Yokohama developed rapidly as Japan's prominent port city following the end of Japan's isolation in the late 19th century, and is today one of its major ports along with Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Hakata, Tokyo, and Chiba.

Yokohama is also one of the very few cities in Japan with a diverse multicultural population, although there has been an influx in immigration into Japan as a whole in recent years. As a result it has become a multicultural city with multicultural attractions including multicultural festivals and events. [ [ Things to do in the city of Yokohama ] ]


Yokohama was a small fishing village up to the end of the feudal Edo period, a time when Japan held a policy of national seclusion, having little contact with Western foreigners. A major turning point in Japanese history happened in 1853 and again in 1854, when Commodore Matthew Perry arrived just south of Yokohama with a fleet of American warships, demanding that Japan open several ports for commerce. The Tokugawa shogunate agreed in 1854 by signing the Treaty of Peace and Amity. [ [ Official Yokohama city website] ] It was initially agreed that one of the ports to be opened to foreign ships would be the bustling town of Kanagawa-juku (in what is now Kanagawa Ward) on the Tōkaidō, a strategic highway which linked Edo to Kyoto and Osaka. However, the Tokugawa shogunate decided that the location of Kanagawa-juku was too close to the Tōkaidō for comfort, and port facilities were built across the inlet in the sleepy fishing village of Yokohama instead. The Port of Yokohama was opened on 2 June, 1859.

The Port of Yokohama quickly became the base of foreign trade in Japan. Japan's first English language newspaper, the "Japan Herald", was first published in Yokohama in 1861. Foreigners occupied a district of the city called "Kannai" ("inside the barrier"), which was surrounded by a moat, and were protected by their extraterritoriality status both within and outside the moat. Many individuals crossed the moat, causing a number of problems. The Namamugi Incident, one of the events that preceded the downfall of the shogunate, took place in what is now Tsurumi Ward in 1862. Ernest Satow wrote about the incident in his "A Diplomat in Japan".

After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the port was developed for trading silk, with the main trading partner being Great Britain. Many Western influences first reached Japan in Yokohama, including Japan's first daily newspaper (1870) and Japan's first gas-powered street lamps (1872). Japan's first railway was constructed in the same year to connect Yokohama to Shinagawa and Shimbashi in Tokyo. In the same year, Jules Verne set in Yokohama an episode of his widely-read "Around the World in Eighty Days", capturing - though he had not been there personally - the atmosphere of a fast-developing, Western-oriented Japanese city.

In 1887, a British merchant, Samuel Cocking, built the city's first power plant, a coal burning plant, at first for his own use, but it became the basis for the Yokohama Cooperative Electric Light Company. The city was officially incorporated on April 1, 1889. By the time the extraterritoriality of foreigner areas was abolished in 1899, Yokohama was the most international city in Japan, with foreigner areas stretching from Kannai to the Yamate Bluff area and the large Yokohama Chinatown.

The early 20th century was marked by rapid growth of industry. Entrepreneurs built factories along reclaimed land to the north of the city towards Kawasaki, which eventually grew to be the Keihin Industrial Area. The growth of Japanese industry brought affluence to Yokohama, and many wealthy trading families constructed sprawling residences there, while the rapid influx of population from Japan and Korea also led to the formation of Kojiki-Yato, the largest slum in Japan at the time.

Much of Yokohama was destroyed on 1 September, 1923 by the Great Kantō earthquake. The Yohohama police reported casualties at 30,771 dead and 47,908 injured, out of a pre-earthquake population of 434,170. [Hammer, Joshua. (2006). [,M1 "Yokohama Burning: The Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II," p. 143.] ] In the aftermath of the quake, mass murder of Koreans by vigilante mobs occurred in the Kojiki-yato slum, fuelled by rumours of rebellion and sabotage. [Hammer, [,M1 pp. 149] -170.] Martial law was in place until 19 November. Rubble from the quake was used to reclaim land for parks, the most famous of which is the Yamashita Park on the waterfront which opened in 1930.

Yokohama was rebuilt, only to be destroyed again by thirty-odd U.S. air raids during World War II. An estimated 7,000–8,000 people were killed in a single morning on 29 May, 1945 in what is now known as the Great Yokohama Air Raid, when B-29s dropped firebombs over the city and in the space of just 1 hour and 9 minutes reduced 34% of the city to rubble.

During the American occupation, Yokohama was a major transshipment base for American supplies and personnel, especially during the Korean War. After the occupation, most local U.S. naval activity moved from Yokohama to an American base in neighboring Yokosuka.

The city was designated by government ordinance on September 1, 1956.

The city's tram and trolleybus system was abolished in 1972, the same year as the opening of the first line of Yokohama Municipal Subway.

Construction of Minato Mirai 21 ("Port Future 21"), a major urban development project on reclaimed land, started in 1983. Minato Mirai 21 hosted the Yokohama Exotic Showcase in 1989, which saw the first public operation of maglev trains in Japan and the opening of Cosmo Clock 21, at the time the largest Ferris wheel in the world. 1989 also saw the opening of the 860m-long Yokohama Bay Bridge.

In 1993, Minato Mirai saw the opening of the Yokohama Landmark Tower, the tallest building in Japan.

The 2002 FIFA World Cup final was held in June at the International Stadium Yokohama.

In 2009, the city will mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of the port and the 120th anniversary of the commencement of the City Administration. An early part in the commemoration project incorporates the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) which will be held in Yokohama in May 2008. The TICAD Yokohama Promotion Committee, described Africa as "an element essential to our discussion on the global environment." Yokohama, which is seeking to demonstrate the image of a creative, environmentally-minded city as well as its "power of citizens" to the world, has coined the slogan "Yokohama Meets Africa."Adisa, Banji. ['s%20growth%20at%20Tokyo%20confab "Japan to promote Africa's growth at Tokyo confab,"] "Guardian " (Lagos). March 25, 2008.]

A noteworthy feature of this year's conference will be the award of the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, established by the Government of Japan to honor individuals and organizations for outstanding achievements in the fields of medical research and medical services in Africa. Winners in the two categories will collect a medal and an honorarium of 100 million Yen (about $1 million) each. The prize, officially named "The Prize in Recognition of Outstanding Achievements in the Fields of Medical Research and Medical Services in Africa Awarded in Memory of Dr. Hideyo Noguchi," is managed by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Noguchi (1876-1928) was a prominent Japanese bacteriologist who died in Accra, Ghana, of yellow fever virus, in pursuit of his research on vaccines to stop diseases such as yellow fever and poliomyelitis. He had travelled extensively in Central and South America before coming to Africa. [see above] ]

Historical population

Census Date Population Rank in Japan
* 2005 3,579,133 2nd
* 2000 3,426,651 2nd
* 1995 3,307,136 2nd
* 1990 3,220,331 2nd
* 1985 2,992,926 2nd
* 1980 2,773,674 2nd passing Osaka
* 1975 2,621,771 3rd
* 1970 2,238,264 3rd passing Nagoya
* 1965 1,788,915 4th
* 1960 1,375,710 4th passing Kyoto
* 1955 1,143,687 5th
* 1950 951,189 5th
* 1945 814,379 5th
* 1940 968,091 5th passing Kobe
* 1935 704,290 6th
* 1930 620,306 6th
* 1925 405,888 6th
* 1920 422,942 6th


The city has a strong economic base, especially in the shipping, biotechnology, and semiconductor industries. Nissan will move its headquarters to Yokohama from Chūō, Tokyo by 2010. [ [ Nissan To Create New Global and Domestic Headquarters in Yokohama City by 2010 ] ]

Places of interest

The places of interest are mainly around the historic port area of Kannai. Next to the waterfront Yamashita Park is Yokohama Marine Tower, the tallest lighthouse in the world. [Citation|last=Sabin|first=Burritt|title=Yokohoma vs. Kobe: bright lights, big beacons|newspaper=The Japan Times|date=2002-03-17|url=|accessdate=2008-01-29] Fact|date=January 2008 Further inland lies Yokohama Chinatown, the largest Chinatown in Japan and one of the largest in the world. Also in the vicinity is the Yokohama Stadium, the Silk Center, the Yokohama Doll Museum. [ [ Official Yokohama city website] en icon] There is also a large immigration office, near Yamashita Park. Nearby Isezakicho and Noge areas offer many colourful shops and bars and, with their restaurants and stores catering to residents from China, Thailand, South Korea, and other countries, have an increasingly international flavour.

The small but fashionable Motomachi shopping area (where there are various shops starting with Cyrillus, Godiva, and so on) leads up to Yamate, or "The Bluff" as it used to be known, a 19th/early 20th century Westerners' settlement overlooking the harbour, scattered with foreigners' mansions. A foreigners' cemetery and the Harbour View Park is in the area. The Rose Garden can be found in the park.

There are various points of interest in the futuristic Minato Mirai 21 harbourside redevelopment. The highlights are the Landmark Tower which is the tallest building in Japan, Queen's Square Yokohama (a shopping mall) and the Cosmo Clock 21, which was the largest Ferris wheel in the world when it was built in 1989 and which also doubles as "the world's biggest clock".

The Shin-Yokohama district, where the Shinkansen station is located, is some distance away from the harbour area, and features the 17,000 capacity Yokohama Arena, the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, and Nissan Stadium, once known as the International Stadium Yokohama when it was the setting for the final for the 2002 FIFA World Cup held on June 30, 2002.

The city is also home to the Central League baseball team, the Yokohama BayStars, and the soccer teams, Yokohama F. Marinos and Yokohama F.C..

Politics and government

The Yokohama Municipal Assembly consists of 92 members elected from 18 Wards. The LDP has minority control with 30 seats with Democratic Party of Japan with a close 29. The mayor is Hiroshi Nakada.


Yokohama has 18 wards ("ku"):

ister cities

Yokohama has sister city agreements with the following cities. [ [ Official Yokohama city tourism website] en icon]

*flagicon|Romania Constanţa, Romania
*flagicon|France Lyon, France
*flagicon|Philippines Manila, Philippines
*flagicon|India Mumbai, India
*flagicon|Ukraine Odessa, Ukraine
*flagicon|United States San Diego, California, U.S.
*flagicon|China Shanghai, People's Republic of China
*flagicon|Canada Vancouver, Canada


Public elementary and middle schools are operated by the city of Yokohama. There are 9 public high schools which are operated by the Yokohama City Board of Education [ [ Official Yokohama city website] ] , and a number of public high schools which are operated by the Kanagawa Prefectural Board of Education.

Yokohama in fiction

* Events of Ashinano Hitoshi's manga Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō unfolds in Kanagawa prefecture with some chapters involving visits to Yokohama.
* Two successful Godzilla films feature Yokohama and the famous clock (being destroyed) in Godzilla vs. Mothra and GMK.

ee also

*Foreign cemeteries in Japan
*Osanbashi Pier
*Yokohama Rubber Company, manufacturer of tires
* Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize -- May 2008



* Hammer, Joshua. (2006). [ "Yokohama Burning: The Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II."] New York: Simon & Schuster. 10-ISBN 0-743-26465-7; 13-ISBN 978-0-743-26465-5 (cloth)
* Heilbrun, Jacob. [ "Aftershocks,"] "New York Times." September 17, 2006.

External links

* [ Official website] en icon
* [ Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau] en icon
* [ Wikitravel: Yokohama]
* [ At the Future Port] Yokohama’s Minato Mirai 21 is an ultra-modern port… a far cry from its origins as a small fishing village, a travel report by Vinod Jacob 06 Jul 2007
* [ Yokohama guide in Pictures] ( Minato Mirai, Chinatown, Yamashita park, Sakuragicho, Stadium, Cosmo World )
* National Archives of Japan, Digital Gallery: Marine survey chart: [ Yokohama harbor] , published 1874

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