Yokohama is a beautiful harbor city, having a distinguished and exotic atmosphere.
Yokohama first appeared in history only 168 years ago when Commodore Matthew C. Perry landed on the desert village to end Japan's seclusion policy held for over 200 years in the samurai era.
Shortly after that, Yokohama began developing as an international port town opened to Western countries.
Despite damaged by a great earthquake and WW II, the city has a beautiful landscape with a calm and comfortable atmosphere.
The charm of Yokohama
The charm of Yokohama lies in the exotic cityscape, a bit different from the other cities in Japan.
One of the elements is the modern architecture appearing in ordinary streets, with distinctive Western and Japanese designs, such as British-style brick buildings, classical banks, and churches with various motifs. Furthermore, the remains of the former foreign settlement are tucked in the streets.
By visiting them, your memories of Yokohama will be even more impressive.
Treasure trove of modern architecture
Since the port opening in 1859, many Western-style buildings have been built, suitable to the international port city, with prominent architects designing splendid buildings as if competing for their skills.
Unfortunately, many of the early buildings were damaged by the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, but some buildings still decorate the city beautifully.
They are the classical Meiji and Taisho structures surviving the earthquake, the gorgeous art deco buildings, the Showa modernist architecture from the postwar to the high-growth periods, and the latest post-modern architecture.
The representatives are the so-called Yokohama Three Towers: Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall "Jack," Yokohama Customs Office "Queen," and Kanagawa Prefectural Government Main Building "King."
Witnesses to Yokohama's history
Those precious buildings are witnesses of the town's history, built along with Yokohama's development.
Not only has a beautiful appearance, but exciting stories related to the background of the time, thoughts of the people involved in the construction, and memories of the people who used the structure.
Once you know the stories, the scenery of the buildings and surroundings will become more and more attractive.
Tracing the memories of the city while visiting the architecture
Many of Yokohama's famous buildings are located near the harbor, in the area called Kannai, and are within a moderate distance to walk around.
You can trace the hidden memories of the city while walking the streets and visiting the buildings.
Suppose you carefully connect and interpret the traces, such as the industrial heritage, public spaces including Japan Boulevard and Yamashita Park, and the remains of the former foreign settlement, Yokohama's sights in the past would loom up in your mind.