I’ve visited Yokohama many times because I love the city. It has its own face, and I’ve often heard that Japanese people also love Yokohama as it reminds them of a city from the future. Why? Maybe because it’s very spacious, and the modern buildings of Yokohama are geometric with no decorations from the past.
Walking in modern Yokohama, it’s hard to imagine that about a century ago it was a small village which only developed into a port city during the Meiji period (1868 - 1912). Yokohama was destroyed by an earthquake in 1923 and later by U.S. air raids during World War II. All its modern buildings, including the Minato Mirai 21 district were built not too long ago – mostly from 1983 to 1993.
Yokohama is unlike any other city of Japan that I’ve seen. I was fortunate that all my visits occurred on fine spring days and I enjoyed blue skies and sunshine together with the views of the spacious city. Closer to the city center there were more and more people, but still Yokohama wasn’t crowded when compared with Tokyo. I still can’t believe that Yokohama is Japan's second largest city with a population of 3,748,781!
I found that Minato Mirai and Osanbashi Pier are two favorite places for Japanese to visit on weekend vacations. Watching people speaks a lot about a country and I saw many happy people in Yokohama. I saw families and pairs, young people and aged couples, bikers, fans of cosplay, and fans of big ships that moor to the Osanbashi Pier. I joined them a few times, and the sight of the huge ship Fuji Maru was really exciting.
There are many shops, restaurants, museums and other places of interest in Yokohama, but I don’t visit them. I prefer strolling along the Osanbashi Pier looking at the water and watching seagulls resting on the powerful chains of ships. By night Minato Mirai with its amusement park Cosmo World looks to be a very festive and happy place. It reminds me of the fantastic city Gel-Gyu from my favorite fiction book…