Yokohama was a small fishing village up to the end of the feudal Edo period, when Japan held a policy of national seclusion, having little contact with foreigners. A major turning point in Japanese history happened in 1853–54, when Commodore Matthew Perry arrived just south of Yokohama with a fleet of American warships, demanding that Japan open several ports for commerce, and the Tokugawa shogunate agreed by signing the Treaty of Peace and Amity.
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 that linked Edo to Kyoto and Osaka. However, the Tokugawa shogunate decided that Kanagawa-juku was too close to the Tōkaidō for comfort, and port facilities were instead built across the inlet in the sleepy fishing village of Yokohama. The Port of Yokohama was opened on 2 June 1859.
often shortened to Minato Mirai, is a large urban development in Yokohama, Japan.
The name, which means "Harbor Future 21," was selected in a public competition. Construction of the area started in 1983. Built largely on reclaimed land, the area now features the Landmark Tower, Japan's tallest skyscraper, the Queen's Square shopping mall, the Pacifico convention center, Intercontinental Hotel, and more. Next to Landmark Tower is Yokohama Museum of Art.
As of 2004, 20 years after the start of development and despite a 50 percent asset tax discount, half the 88-acre (356,000 m²) area remained unoccupied. The February 1, 2004 completion of the Minatomirai Line, which connects the area directly to both central Yokohama and Shibuya in Tokyo, is expected to revitalize construction in the area. Planned new tenants include the United Nations University.
The area is a popular tourist spot together with nearby Yokohama Chinatown. Minato Mirai is one of the few places in the Tokyo-Yokohama area where the seashore is accessible, and not blocked by industry and harbour areas. Another is Odaiba.
Kawasaki is a city located in Kanagawa, Japan, between Tokyo and Yokohama. It is the 8th most populated city in Japan and one of the main cities forming the Greater Tokyo Area and Keihin Industrial Area.
Kawasaki occupies a belt of land stretching about 30 km along the south bank of the Tama River, which divides it from Tokyo. The eastern end of the belt, centered around JR Kawasaki Station, is flat and largely consists of industrial zones and densely built working-class housing, the Western end mountainous and more suburban. The coastline of Tokyo Bay is occupied by vast heavy industrial complexes built on reclaimed land.
The western area of Kawasaki, also known as the Tama Hills, largely consists of newly developed residential areas which are connected to Tokyo by the Odakyū Odawara Line and Tokyu Denentoshi Line. The area also houses several university campuses, suburban commercial developments and light industrial complexes.