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Chinatown or Chukagai in Japanese, is a fun place for dining, shopping or just walking around. Chinese people started settling in Yokohama in the mid-1800s when Japan opened its doors to international trade. Since then Yokohama's Chinatown has blossomed into the country's largest Chinese community. The area comprises one major street, dozens of cross-streets and alleys, and is home to over 100 restaurants, most serving Cantonese cuisine. There are also many colorful and exotic shops overflowing with Chinese goods, books, souvenirs and even Chinese medicines.
When Yokohama was chosen by the Shogunate as the site for the foreign settlement, the original Japanese settlers were forced to inhabit the area at the foot of the Bluff. The area was originally called Honmura, but it was later changed to Motomachi, or "the town of the original ones." Many of the original ninety Japanese families who were re-settled here started businesses to serve the foreign community. Some of the first businesses were blacksmithing, carriage making, and hardware and dry goods shops. A critical service, whose providers did a brisk business, was the selling of pure waterGolden Mile, and boasts over 250 shops offering everything from fresh baked breads, to antiques, to the latest in international fashions. A great many of the shops accept most major credit cards.
Kishamichi is a promenade that is located in the Minato Mirai 21 seaside park area. One end of Kishamichi Promenade starts next to the Nippon Maru Memorial Park. The promenade travels along abandoned rail tracks and crosses an old truss-style railroad bridge. The walkway is well lit and connects with Unga Park, a base for waterfront recreation. Inside Unga Park is the Train Road that leads to the old terminal island. In the past this man-made island served as an important warehouse and shipping area. The island's role in the history of Yokohama harbor is being commemorated by Aka-Renga Park. Other attractions on the island include the Hotel Navios Yokohama, Yokohama World Porters commercial complex, and the Yokohama Cosmo World.
The Osanbashi Pier stands at the entrance to the Port of Yokohama from the greater Tokyo Bay. Osanbashi means "Big Wharf," and big it was. What we know today as the Osanbashi Pier was completed in 1894 and was known in its day as the Yokohama Harbor Pier. At the time it was biggest wharf in entire Japan. The Osanbashi Pier became the center of the booming port, and all the large ships were docked here. Consequently, it became the entrance to Yokohama for many visiting foreigners. Today the Pier still stands at the entrance to the Port of Yokohama and greets ships of all kinds from around the world.
Minato Mirai 21 Yokohama Pavilion was originally constructed for the 1989 Yokohama Exotic Showcase or YES Expo, which unveiled the details for the Minato Mirai 21 project. An estimated 13 million people visited the pavilion during 1989 YES Expo. The central feature was Gulliver Land, a model of what Minato Mirai 21 and the Yokohama Waterfront will look like in the 21st century. Gulliver Land contains scale models of over 3,500 buildings with 20,000 people walking through this futuristic vision. The lighting in Gulliver Land changes to simulate day and night. And, of course, the models illuminate in the darkness to create an image of a magnificent "City of Light". Admission is absolutely free.