Monday, May 14, 2012

Yokohama Chinatown on the Minatomirai Line


EMU Y500 series, Yokohama Minatomirai Railway

Yokohama is located 25 km south of Tokyo and is the main city of Kanagawa Prefecture. It is the second largest city in Japan in population after Tokyo. As of the year 2010, this city had an estimated population of 3,690,000. Yokohama developed rapidly as Japan's prominent port city after opening up the country in the 19th century, because while it was being opened, the government aggressively accepted Western culture and technology.

In Yokohama, there is a Chinatown (see the following picture). It is one of the largest Chinatowns in the world. There are roughly 250 Chinese shops and restaurants scattered throughout the 300 square meter area. This Chinatown also dates back to the final days of the Edo era in 19th century when Yokohama opened its port to foreigners. One major difference between Yokohama Chinatown and the rest in the world is that most people who come to Yokohama Chinatown are Japanese.

To visit this busy town, the subway Minatomirai Line of the Yokohama Minatomirai Railway is convenient. Connecting Yokohama and Motomachi-Chukagai (Motomachi-Chinatown), the total length is 4.1km. It was opened in 2004 as an access route to the urban development area, Minatomirai 21, in downtown Yokohama.

A stylish EMU Y500 series operates every 3 to 4 minutes throughout the day (see the top photo). For your information, all trains are directly operated into the Tokyu-Toyoko Line. So, it is very convenient from Shibuya in the downtown Tokyo area.


Kanteibyo Shrine in Yokohama Chinatown near Motomachi-Chukagai Station

More information about Yokohama Minatomirai Railway: http://www.mm21railway.co.jp/global/english/index.html