FNE Travel || About Us || Contact Us || Travel Info for other Japan Cities || 中文版

logo


Japan More Cities Disney Land Fukuoka City Hakone Hiroshima City Kobe City Sapporo City Yokohama City
 
 
Disney Land

Disney LandTokyo Disneyland is a 115 acre (466,535 m²) theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, near Tokyo. It was the first Disney park to be built outside of the United States and was opened on April 15, 1983.

The park was constructed by Walt Disney Imagineering in the same style as Disneyland in California and the Magic Kingdom in Florida. It is owned by The Oriental Land Company, which licenses the theme from The Walt Disney Company. It, along with its companion park, Tokyo DisneySea, are the only Disney parks not owned by The Walt Disney Company.

There are seven themed areas, each complementing each other yet unique in their style. Made up of the World Bazaar, the four classic Disney lands: Adventureland, Westernland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, and two mini lands, Critter Country and Mickey's Toontown, the park is noted for its huge open spaces to accommodate the massive crowds the park receives on even moderate attendance days.

In 2007, Tokyo Disneyland hosted approximately 13.9 million guests, ranking it as the third-most visited theme park in the world, behind its American sister parks, the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland. Tokyo Disneyland began celebrating the 25th Anniversary of its grand opening in April 2008, with special events, entertainment and merchandise expected to continue into next year.

d Back to Top

Fukuoka City

Tenjin

Tenjin

Uminonakamichi

Uminonakamichi

Canal City Hakata

Canal City Hakata

Bayside Place Hakata Futo

Bayside Place Hakata Futo

Fukuoka is Kyushu's largest and one of Japan's ten most populated cities. Because of its closeness to the Asian mainland (closer to Seoul than to Tokyo), Fukuoka has been an important harbor city for many centuries and was chosen by the Mongol invasion forces as their landing point in the 12th century.

Today's Fukuoka is the product of the fusion of two cities in the year 1889, when the port city of Hakata and the former castle town of Fukuoka were united into one city called Fukuoka. Hakata remains the name of one of Fukuoka's central districts and of the main railway station.

Fukuoka is situated on the northern shore of the island of Kyushu in Japan, and is the largest and one of the most populated cities in Japan. This bustling city is home to a plethora of upmarket hotels and well as a wide array of budget conscious lodgings. Fukuoka has an exciting nightlife with trendy and glitzy clubs sprinkled throughout the city as well as a respected art and theatre community. There is a tremendous amount of attractions on offer including intricately designed Japanese castles and ancient monuments. 

Nakasu

Nakasu

Yatai

Yatai

Marinoa City

Marinoa City

Temple

Temple

With a population of over 1,400,000 people, Fukuoka City is the major city in Kyushu, occupying a central role in travel, information-processing and entertainment, and is one of Japan's five largest cities. The city spreads out around scenic Hakata Bay. Central areas such as Hakata Station, through which most travel between Kyushu and the rest of Japan passes, or Fukuoka's major commercial district of Tenjin, are hopping seven days a week. With historical areas that speak of the past, lush, green parks, entertainment areas and new shopping, eating and drinking establishments opening every day, Fukuoka is developing in its own lively fashion.

The city's public transit is fully developed with a well-functioning bus and subway system making transport to the rest of Fukuoka Prefecture and Kyushu fast and convenient. From Fukuoka Airport, passengers can take regular flights to other major cities in Japan as well as many destinations in Asia. A ferry to Busan, South Korea makes several daily trips from Hakata Port, increasing in passengers year by year.

Fukuoka City's unique charm is its blend of a big-city feel with beautiful natural spaces. For visitors it offers a wild nightlife and endless shopping opportunities, a chance to visit traditional shrines and historical sights, several festivals and special events to take your breath away, and a unique cuisine to enrich your pallet. Twelve months a year, Fukuoka always has something to offer.

d Back to Top

Hakone
Hakone Hakone Hakone
Hakone Hakone Hakone

Hakone is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, less than 100 kilometers from Tokyo. Famous for hot springs, outdoor activities, natural beauty and the view of nearby Mt. Fuji, Hakone is one of the most popular destinations among Japanese and international tourists looking for a break from Tokyo.

Nature, flowers

Hakone, part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, is a popular sightseeing area where visitors can enjoy natural beauty, colorful flowers blooming throughout the year and scenic views including Mount Fuji, Lake Ashi and Owakudani.

Hot springs (onsen)

Hakone is also famous for its hot springs. Even more unusual is the fact that there are 17 different hot springs here in a relatively small area. For a long time, Hakonefs hot springs have been a favorite spot for relaxing, and there are numerous day spas in addition to hotels and inns offering overnight accommodation for the enjoyment of visitors.

History and Culture

Hakone in known in history as a checkpoint on the old Tokaido Road, which linked the eastern and western parts of Japan. There are many buildings of historic interest to visit here, as well as sites connected to traditional culture. Nature lovers will enjoy the numerous parks and botanical gardens of Hakone, including Hakone Gora Park and Onshi-Hakone Park, which feature displays of seasonal flowers. Itfs a great sightseeing spot, with attractions to enjoy throughout the year.

Hakone is also a showcase for art. Art-related attractions include Japanfs first open-air museum, the Hakone Open-Air Museum, as well as the Venetian Glass Museum, the Museum of Saint-Exupéry and the Little Prince in Hakone, the Pola Museum of Art, the Lalique Museum, Hakone, the Narukawa Art Museum and others boasting first-rate collections.

Transportation

Hakone is easy to reach from Tokyo, and a well-developed transportation network in the Hakone area ensures pleasant, comfortable travel. In particular, the Hakone Tozan Train and the Hakone Tozan Bus make frequent runs and are a convenient way for visitors to get around to the various attractions in the area. Magnificent panoramas can be enjoyed from the Hakone Tozan Train as it winds up steep grades, the Hakone Tozan Cable Car, the Hakone Ropeway running suspended from heights ranging from 700 to 1,000 meters above ground and the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise, which offers spectacular views of Mount Fuji from Lake Ashi. Part of the enjoyment of sightseeing in Hakone is trying out the various modes of transportation available.

Hakone Hakone Hakone

d Back to Top

Hiroshima City

Hiroshima is an industrial city of wide boulevards, criss-crossing rivers and a dense city center. It is located along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea in the western Chugoku region of Japan. Although many only know it for the horrific split second on August 6, 1945, when it became the site of the world's first atomic bomb attack, it is now a modern, cosmopolitan city with a lot of great food and nightlife.

A Bomb Dome

A Bomb Dome

Those expecting to step off the Shinkansen into a pile of smouldering rubble may be in for a surprise, as Hiroshima has all the ferroconcrete and blinking neon of any other modern Japanese city and a population of more than 1,100,000 people. It is the financial center of the Chugoku region and most of west Japan. Automobiles are a major local industry, with Mazda's corporate headquarters nearby. There is also a busy port, Ujina.

Hiroshima was founded in 1589 on the delta formed by the Ota River, flowing out to the Seto Inland Sea. It became a major industrial center and one of Japan's larger cities in the Meiji period. During World War II, the Japanese military used Hiroshima as a communications and supply center, taking advantage of its position on the Inland Sea. It was left largely untouched by aerial bombing campaigns before the atomic bomb was dropped. It is estimated that 140,000 people were killed in the explosion and its aftermath. The survivors, known as hibakusha, were subjected not only to radiation-related diseases but severe discrimination from other Japanese, but have since been at the forefront of Japan's post-war pacifism and its campaign against the use of nuclear weapons.

Although many visitors, especially Americans, may feel apprehensive about visiting Hiroshima, it is a friendly, welcoming city, with as much interest in Western culture as anywhere else in Japan. The exhibits related to the atomic bomb are not concerned with blame or accusations. Tourists are welcomed with open arms. Bear in mind, though, that many of the hibakusha still live in Hiroshima. Even many young people may have personal ties to family members who lived through the atomic blast. As such, the average Hiroshima resident isn't likely to relish talking about it, although you needn't shy away from the topic if one of the chatty fellows around the Peace Memorial Park brings it up. The International Exchange Office near the center of the Peace Park can provide English-language information about any of the many statues and memorials that are dotted throughout the park.

Peace Memorial Museum

Peace Memorial Museum

Hiroshima Peace Memorial

Better known as the A-Bomb Dome is Hiroshima's best-known symbol. Formerly the Prefectural Industrial Promotional Hall, it was designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel and completed in 1915. The fanciful green dome in particular made the building a much-loved symbol in Hiroshima before the war. When the atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945, the explosion is thought to have taken place almost directly above the building. Its skeletal remains were among the few buildings left standing in the entire city. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996 amid some controversy - the United States and China both voted against the nomination for reasons related to the war. It has become a symbol of the city once again, though, and the benches around the building are as likely to be occupied by Hiroshima natives reading, eating lunch or simply relaxing as they are by tourists. Next to it is the T-shaped Aioi Bridge which was used to target the bomb.

Peace Memorial Museum

This heart-wrenching museum documents the bomb and its aftermath, complete with scale models of "before" and "after", melted children's tricycles and a harrowing recreation of a post-blast Hiroshima street. The first floor describes the events leading up to the bomb and attempts to give a sense of what Hiroshima was like before the war. The second floor contains a number of displays and artifacts related to the day of the bombing. Some of these are extremely graphic, evocative and, consequently, disturbing. The rest of the museum describes the post-war struggles of the hibakusha (bomb survivors) and the state of nuclear weapons in the world today. The museum largely refrains from presenting any particuar political point of view, except to appeal for world peace and for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Entry costs a token ¥50, and audio guides are available for an additional donation. Be warned: a visit here, while by all means worthwhile, will ruin your day. Allow plenty of time afterward to decompress. Shukkeien (below) is a good destination for that purpose.

The Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims is a saddle-shaped concrete memorial containing the names of persons who died from the bombing regardless of nationality. Under the arch is a flame which, it is said, will not be extinguished until the last nuclear weapons are gone from the earth. The inscription in Japanese reads, "Rest in peace, for the error shall not be repeated". Beyond the cenotaph is a pond leading toward the A-Bomb Dome.

Bridges in Shukkeien

Bridges in Shukkeien

Park of Peace

Park of Peace

Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine

Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims. Next to the Cenotaph, this museum is dedicated collecting names and photographs of people who died in the blast. The entrance of the museum leads downward to a quiet hall for contemplation, and then back up again, to a set of kiosks with compelling stories and recollections from survivors.

Statue of the A-Bomb Children

Perennially draped in thousands and thousands of origami paper cranes, folded by schoolchildren across Japan in memory of bomb victim Sadako Sasaki. Dying of leukemia in 1954, she was told an old folk tale according to which anybody who folds over 1000 cranes will have her wish come true. Although was said in many stories told later that she managed 642 before her death in 1955 at the age of twelve, in fact, she folded more than 1000 cranes before she died. The Bell of Peace is near the northern end of the park. Engraved on its surface is a world map drawn without borders to symbolise world unity. The public are free to ring it.

Shukkeien

While not officially one of Japan's Top 3, this is a compact and beautifully landscaped Japanese garden well worth a visit. Despite more and more high-rises peeping over the trees recently, it can feel like an entirely different world. Little paths crossing ponds on bridges and winding their way around graceful teahouses and waterfalls. Open daily 9 AM to 6 PM, entry ¥250. Get there on tram line 9, stop Shukkeien-mae. It's behind the Prefectural Art Museum, and combined admission tickets are available. The garden is especially pretty in spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, in the fall with the Koyo, vibrant colors of the fall leaves, and in winter when the park is covered in a light dusting of snow.

Hiroshima Castle

The castle is a fun place to walk around or jog around- there is a 1.5km running path that circles the castle grounds outside the moat. There is a small kids playpark on one side and its a nice place to sit and relax for a while. Kids have fun spotting the fish that swim in the moat as well as turtles. It's just across the street from Chuo Park. The grounds of the castle and the banks of the moat are great places to view the 350 or so cherry trees that come into bloom in early April. The castle museum is a ferroconcrete reconstruction of the 16th century, 5-story Donjon, well worth a look if you are interested in a bit of culture. There are amazing relics and armor to see (and try on!) as well as informative displays about the history of the castle and the city. The view from the top is worth the entrance fee all by itself.

Hijiyama-koen is a huge park to the south of JR Hiroshima Station, between two branches of the river. (Follow Ekimae-dori from the station to the southeast, and you'll walk directly into it.) There are the usual areas for sitting in the sun (and rather a lot of stray cats), but much of the park remains refreshingly undeveloped forest land. The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Manga Museum are within the grounds of the park, as is a futuristic long tunnel / escalator to the SATY grocery store / shopping mall / movie theater.

d Back to Top

Kobe City
Kobe Kobe
Kobe Kobe

Kobe Overview provides all the necessary information you may require for your holiday in Kobe. The Kobe harbor has been operative since the 7th century. After a brief stint as the capital, Kobe has been an important trading center of Japan. Know more about the history of this city in our section History of Kobe. The section Geography of Kobe includes the physical relief of the region and information regarding the historic earthquake of 1995. Kobe Map is an extremely helpful guide in navigating your way through the city and its neighboring tourist hotspots.

Kobe Weather is equitable throughout the year though temperatures may get chilly during the winter months. Tourists are advised to carry light woolens on their trip to Kobe. Kobe Population is a heterogeneous mix of the native Japanese and settlers such as Chinese and Westerners both from European nations and America. Kobe Tourism is a booming industry and has aided in the growth of many allied businesses such as hotels and restaurants.

Kobe Accommodation is a guide to the best accommodation facilities offered by the town including the many luxury resorts in and around Kobe. Kobe Tourist Information Center provides helpful information and assistance to the many tourists who reach Kobe throughout the year. Kobe Tourist Attractions are the many sightseeing destinations and popular activities in Kobe that lure globetrotters every year. Kobe overview provides a list of attractions that are popular amongst the travelers.

History Of Kobe

Kobe is one of the distinguished port cities in Japan. The city had been the capital of this country for a short while. The five-month reign of Emperor Antoku, grandson of Taira no Kiyomori was conducted from Kobe, it is believed. The history of Kobe takes one back to 7th century when the port is believed to have been active and developed excellent trade links with China and Western countries. Officially set up on April 1, 1889, Kobe City was named thus on September 1, 1956. The World War II wrecked the city with a shower of firebombs from 331 B-29 bomber planes on the March 17 th, 1945. 30 years later, in 1975, the City Council of Kobe forbade the entry or exit of nuclear weapon bearing vessels at the Kobe Port. The injunction is known as the Kobe Formula.

Another notable incident in the history of Kobe has been the tragic Great Hanshin Earthquake that rocked the city for about 20 seconds on 17 th January 1995. Measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale the earthquake caused widespread damage and took a huge toll on the city's shocked population. While almost 6,433 people lost their lives the homes of 300,000 were devastated and the citizens were left deprived of the basic amenities. The famed port suffered huge infrastructure damage and the Hanshin Expressway crumbled. However the courage and never-say-die spirit of the citizens must be applauded as Kobe has now been rebuilt and is better equipped to face a natural disaster such as the last. However the loss and the grief stand out every year as the Luminarie is held in the city hall. What was once Japan's busiest port, has lost much of its sparkle due to this natural disaster. However, slowly and steadily the port is way to recovery. Thus history of Kobe helps us understand the present day city.

Arima Hot Springs Arima Hot Springs
Himeji Castle Kobe Port Earthquake Memorial Park

Sightseeing in Kobe

Arima Hot Springs: Enjoy the bubbles of the hot springs of Arima as it cures you of its ailments.

Mt. Rokko: The 931 meters of Mount Rokko with its amazing beauty is a nice place to see. The picturesque landscape is a heaven for photographers. See the alpine botanical gardens and the Kobe City Rokkosan Pasture that are located here. Have a panoramic view of Kobe from the Garden Terrace and enjoy the dishes of the restaurants that are present there.

Nunobiki FallsKobe Port Tower: The Kobe Port Tower is red dump shaped landmark that towers to height of 108 meters. See and get enthralled as you have a 360-degree view of the entire place.

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge: This is the world's largest suspension bridge that was constructed in 110 meters deep water. The main span of the bridge is 1990 meters with two sides spanning to a total of 960metres.

Venus Bridge: See the panoramic view of the entire city of Kobe from the Venus Bridge. This is a famous date spot where innumerable people come to have a great time together.

Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki): The beautiful cascade near Kobe is a beautiful site that most of the tourists are unaware of.

Eikoku-kan: The historical attraction of Eikoku-kan in Kobe is located at Kitano dori has an inseparable connection with the World War II.

Himeji Castle: The Himeji Castle of Kobe built in the first half of the 17th century has been included in the World Heritage list in 1993 and is a popular sightseeing of Kobe. The stony walls, the gates, the whit color of the castle gives a distinct look to the castle makes it a favorite place of many tourists.

Minatogawa Shrine: The Minatogawa Shrine located very near to the Kobe station is a place famous for is association with the great historic warrior Masashige Kusunoki. The Minatogawa Shrine exhibits innumerable collections of Masashige Kusunoki who was enshrined here.

Todaiji Temple: The Todaiji Temple of Kobe is a Buddhist temple reputed for its wooden structure in the world. It houses the giant statue of the Buddha Vairocana that is 15 meters tall. The Buddha is made of 440 kilograms of gold. The hair of the Buddha has spiral perm that consists of 966 balls.

Choueke Yashiki: The building built in 1889 is the only open house that is still inhabited. See the traditional wooden block prints that Mrs. Choueke would herself show with a great deal of interest.

Suma Aqualife Park: Get enthralled as you see the lovely sea otters. Another major attraction of the place is the dolphin shows that are a great source of entertainment to tourists. The vast expanse of the blue waters is a soothing sight that you would find it difficult to ignore.

Kobe Port TowerIkuta Shrine: The famous shrine of Kobe helps one to learn the history of Kobe's protective god. The shrine is open from 7 in the morning till the sunset.

Kazami-dori-no-Yakata: The Kazami-dori-no-Yakata is a famous mansion whose interiors reflect typical German taste.

Kobe Port Earthquake Memorial Park: The Kobe Port Earthquake Memorial Park is reputed in the whole world because it has managed to maintain a pat of the earthquake stricken Meriken wharf. The famous park is 15 minutes from Motomachi Station.

How to Get in

Kobe is as one of the best places to live in and an attractive city too located between the sea and the Rokko mountain range. With a large number of visitors all round the year, getting to Kobe by air or road has been made easy. To reach Kobe, one has to first reach Tokyo or any other international destination in Japan as the airport is Kobe only caters to domestic flights. Kobe airport started its operation since February 2006. Reaching Kobe by air hence is now possible via the other major cities in Japan which have international airports.

There are two major airlines, Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA), which run regular flights to Kobe. These airlines run flights to Kobe from Tokyo, Haneda, Sapporo, Sendai, Okinawa and Kagoshima. Getting to Kobe by air is also possible from Niigata by ANA flights while JAL runs extra flights from Kumamoto. A new low cost airline called the Skymark is also launched to make getting to Kobe by air easier. The nearest international airport from Kobe that runs flight to the city is Kansai International Airport which is 18.5 Kilometers from Kobe. Getting to Kobe by train from here is also equally convenient.

d Back to Top

Sapporo City

SapporoSapporo

SapporoSapporo

Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido and Japan's fifth largest city. Sapporo is also one of the nation's youngest major cities. In 1857, the city's population stood at just seven people. In the beginning of the Meiji Period, when the development of Hokkaido was started on a large scale, Sapporo was chosen as the island's administrative center and enlarged according to the advice of foreign specialists. Consequently, Sapporo was built based on a North American style rectangular street system. Sapporo became world famous in 1972 when the Olympic Winter Games were held there. Today, the city is well known for its ramen, beer, and the annual snow festival held in February.

Tokeidai

Tokeidai, Sapporo's icon

Historic Village of Hokkaido, The Historic Village of Hokkaido (kaitaku no mura) is an open air museum in the suburbs of Sapporo. It exhibits about 60 typical buildings from all over Hokkaido, dating from the Meiji and Taisho Periods (1868 to 1926), the era when Hokkaido's development was carried out on a large scale. The open air museum is divided into a town, fishing village, farm village and mountain village section. The Historical Museum of Hokkaido (kaitaku kinenkan), which documents the history of Hokkaido's development, can be found nearby.

Clock Tower
, close to Odori station. This rather diminutive building has become a symbol of Sapporo, mostly by being the oldest building still standing. It was constructed in 1878 for the Sapporo Agricultural College (now the Hokkaido University) and would not look out of place in Smalltown USA. 200 yen for entry, the inside has a small retrospective of its history. However, visitor beware, this is for some reason a mecca for Japanese tourists coming to Sapporo who feel that no trip to Sapporo would be complete without a photo in front of the Tokeidai, but was actually recently rated as Japan's third "most disappointing" tourist attraction!

Ishiya Chocolate Factory, A 15-20 minute subway ride away from Odori park, the chocolate factory has an incredibly corny, but fun, tour building up to a view of the actual chocolate making floor, and ending with a random toy museum. Also there are two restaurants, a souvenir store, and an hourly robot show complete with annoying music. Famous for its white chocolate, which is sold under the brand "White Lovers", and is only available in Hokkaido.

Sapporo TV Tower

Sapporo TV Tower

Odori Park Sapporo's most famous park, it is located in the center of town and is considered to be a symbol of Sapporo. Although quite narrow (one might argue that it is a nice boulevard), the park is quite long, stretching over fifteen blocks across downtown Sapporo. Filled with (during the summer) numerous flowers, trees, and fountains, Odori Park provides a welcome respite from the maddening crowds of the surrounding city.

Sapporo TV Tower, the eastern end of Odori. A tourist trap carbon copy of the Eiffel Tower with an observation deck at 90m.

Sapporo Beer Museum, North 7, East 9, next to the Ario shopping center. Run by the Sapporo Brewing Company, offers free guided tours covering the history of beer in Japan and the process of brewing. The museum is not very big and the printed descriptions on the displays are not in English. Despite this it makes an interesting diversion for an hour or so, and anyway admission is free. At the end of the tour you can "taste" all the different beers for a small fee (200 yen for a mid sized glass, or a sample of three for 400). Finish off the tour with more brews at the Beer Garden next door (see Eat). Open 9 AM to 6:00 PM, get there on the Loop 88 Factory bus line from the Odori subway station, or by walking from JR Naebo station.

Pioneer Village, A large historical village on the outskirts of Sapporo, offers a snapshot of Japan in the newly-industrialised age. The front gate (an old railway station) opens up into a series of opens alleys and buildings of the style pre-20th century. Also a variety of different gardens and shrines. Don't expect costumed performers however - everything is self guided (so a Japanese host would be advisable). Just down the road there is the 100th anniversary Memorial Park (Hyakunen Kinentou), the site of a giant (and somewhat imposing) tower which can be climbed, providing a good vantage point of Sapporo (though quite some distance from the city centre) and surrounding mountains. Admission is free, but expect to compete with school groups.

Moiwayama, or Moiwa Mountain, overlooks the city and is especially worthwhile at night to observe the city-lights. Can be reached by cable car, or with a car, the summit (and tourist centre) can be reached directly. To reach drive there by car, a small entrance fee is required, but the lookout has free entry.

Asahiyama Koen, (admission free) beautiful flower garden and natural parklands that overlooks the city centre. Noted for being a good place for romance, and is particularly good for cherry blossoms in spring and autumn colours, and local wildlife such as squirrels and foxes (somewhat of a feral pest around Sapporo).

Jozankei, on the southern outskirts of Sapporo (but still nominally in the city), approximately 40 - 60 mins drive. This area is famous for both its onsen (due perhaps to proximity to Sapporo) and the very beautiful autumn colours (especially around the Houhaikyou Dam).

SapporoSapporo

SapporoSapporo

d Back to Top

Yokohama City

Yokohama

According to documents, Yokohama dates back to the 11th century. The Kanmu Heishi family is said to be from Yokohama. Yokohama was ruled by the descendants of Yoshibumi Taira, and this rule continued up to the 16th century. In the 12th century, the Kamakura period, Yokohama was developing, and Shomyoji Temple and Kanazawa Bunko were built in Kanazawa by Hojo. At the same time, in Kozukue, rice cultivation had been established by Yasutsuna Sasaki.

Before the Opening of the port

After this, during the Edo period, most of Yokohama came under the direct control of the feudal government except for the Mutsuura Clan in Kanazawa which came under the control of a feudal lord. In 1601Kanagawa and Hodogaya, and in 1604 Totsuka became post stations on the Tokaido Route. In the early 19th century as the population increased Kanagawa became as important as a town as Odawara (a castle town).

Opening of the port

In 1854(Ansei 1), the Japan-US Treaty of Peace and Amity (Treaty of Kanagawa) was signed by representatives, Mr. Hayashi Daigaku and Mr. Commodore Perry from Japan and the USA respectively. In 1858(Ansei 5), Japan-US Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed by Consul-General Harris, followed by treaties with Holland, Russia, Great Britain, and France. The opening of the port was planned for July 1st, 1859 (June 2nd in the year Ansei 6 in the lunar calendar). The feudal government established a foreign resident zone in this year as well as a Japanese resident zone. The Japanese zone was divided into five districts called Yokohama-cho which was controlled by a senior statesman of the Shogunate Government (sotoshiyori) and each district was controlled by a local official (nanushi).

Introduction of Municipal Goverment

On April 1st, 1889, the Municipal Government was established. The areas under control were limited to a small area in present day Naka-ku except for Honmoku and Negishi, but the population had already reached 121,985 and the number of houses was 27,209 (as of 1889).

Modern City of Trade

After the port was opened, raw silk, tea and sea products were exported from Yokohama and silk and wool products were imported. Merchants in Yokohama established a silk trading company in 1873 and in 1881 a silk holding house was set up, so taking the initiative to expand the silk trade. At the start of the Meiji 20's, 1887, a prefectural water service was introduced, and the first light in Yokohama was lit by the Yokohama Public Electric Company in 1890. In 1891, Juzen Hospital and in the following year, the gas company and newspaper publishing company came under municipal management, thus establishing Yokohama's basic infrastructure.

The Great Kanto Earthquake

The Great Kanto Earthquake on September 1st, 1923 totally devastated Yokohama, turning Yokohama into a sea of flames. The earthquake left 20,000 dead and, 60,000 houses destroyed, bringing Yokohama to its knees. However, due to the resilience and strenuous efforts of its citizens, Yokohama had almost completely recovered by 1929 (Showa 4).

Yokohama Yokohama
Yokohama Yokohama

Introduction of Ward System

The first two expansions of municipal government control took place in 1901(Meiji 34) and 1902(Meiji 44), and the third in 1927 (Showa 2), taking in Tsurumi and Hodogaya-cho etc. In October of the same year, the ward system was introduced, and Yokohama was divided into five wards; Naka-ku, Isogo-ku, Kanagawa-ku, Hodogaya-ku, and Tsurumi-ku. In 1936 (Showa 11), the fourth expansion took place, the 5th the following year. In 1939 (Showa 14), the 6th expansion took place which included Kohoku and Totsuka. After further expansion, an extra three wards; Minami, Nishi and Kanazawa were included, making a total of 10 wards. In 1969 (Showa 44), Konan, Asahi, Midori, and Seya were included, making a total of 14 wards, and in 1985 (Showa 61), Sakae and Izumi were added, bringing it to 16 wards. Finally in November, 1994 (Heisei 6), Aoba-ku and Tsuzuki-ku were made, bringing it to a total of 18 wards at present.

From a Commercial Trading City to an Industrial City

The estuary of the River Tsurumi was reclaimed in 1931(Showa 6), and thereafter part of the coast line was reclaimed and turned into the Keihin Industrial Belt. Since the opening of the port, Yokohama developed as a commercial trading city and industrialization subsequently followed especially in heavy chemicals.

The Bombing of Yokohama

In 1945 (Showa 20), the bombing by the USA became more intense and the whole city of Yokohama was burnt to the ground by repeated bombings. Especially in the air raid on May 29, a total of 14,157 died, were injured or went missing, 79,017 houses were destroyed, and 42 percent of the city area was burnt to ashes.

Delay in Reconstruction After the War

After Japan's defeat on August 15th, 1945, 90 percent of port facilities and 27 percent of the city was taken over by the allied forces. Due to this requisition, Yokohama's adjustment and recuperation fell behind that of other cities. However, in 1951(Showa 26), Japan regained independence after the peace treaty was signed. On June 1st, 1951 (Showa 26) the administration of Yokohama was transferred to the city municipality from the national government. Furthermore, in 1952 (Showa 27), citizens' efforts finally paid off when Osanbashi Pier was released from requisition and returned to the Japanese.

d Back to Top



FNE Travel || About Us || Contact Us || Travel Info for other Japan Cities || 中文版