About Yokohama

About Yokohama

Yokohama is a beautiful port city located approximately 30km south of Tokyo, the capital of Japan. The Port of Yokohama was opened in 1859, when Japan decided to open its doors to the world. At that time it was a small fishing village with approximately 100 residents. Yokohama has been vigorously acquiring new cultures, technologies and information from foreign countries and hence Yokohama is said to be the birthplace of Japan’s modern culture. The city has been supporting the modernization of Japan through the development of the port. The port was engaged in a trade between Japan and India. Raw cotton was one of major commodities imported from India. In 1960s and 70s, Yokohama experienced rapid urbanization due to dramatic population increase as a dormitory town in proximity to Tokyo. At the same time, the city faced serious urban challenges such as traffic congestion, air and water pollution, increasing solid waste. The city continued to address these issues for a long time and gradually resolved them by implementing its overall urban development plan building social infrastructures. Finally the city has now grown to be the largest city in Japan as a single municipality with a population of 3.7 million. Yokohama is popular among Japanese tourists and also has a lot of popular sightseeing spots. For example, the Sankeien garden is Japanese style garden produced by Mr. Sankei Hara, who made a fortune in raw silk trade. Sir Rabindranath Tagore, a great poet and philosopher in India stayed in one of Japanese traditional houses at the park for a few months in 1916. Besides this, Minato Mirai area, China town, Osanbashi Pier, etc. are popular among tourists.

Accessibility

One of the major advantages of Yokohama is its accessibility. It takes you only 25minutes to reach Tokyo by a commuting train.

Yokohama is well-connected to other major cities of Japan, such as Nagoya (1hour 16 minutes), Kyoto (1 hour 50 minutes), Skin-Osaka (2 hour 4 minutes) by Tokaido-Shinkansen (Bullet train) from Shin-Yokohama Station in Yokohama.

The closest airport is Haneda international airport which is 23 minutes by rail (25 minutes by road) and Narita international airport can be reached by an express train or a limousine bus from Yokohama which takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

Climate

Yokohama has a moderate climate with annual average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius. It has a pleasant weather in spring and autumn, high temperature (maximum 35 degree Celsius) and humidity in summer (June, July, August). In summer as with most part of Japan, heavy rainfall comes down in the city. A mild climate and rare snowfall in winter (December, January, February). The lowest temperature is approximately 5 degree Celsius.

Yokohama-Mumbai Sister City Relations

  • In 1965 through the efforts of the Indian community in Yokohama, the two cities concluded the first sister city agreement between Japan and India.The two cities have shared various cross-cultural events and business relationships since then.
  • In June 1967, the Mayor of Mumbai and his wife visited Yokohama for sister-cities agreement signing ceremony. The objective of signing the sister-city agreement is to further exchange between the two cities in areas such as cultural, technological, business, educational, administrative etc
  • In May 1985, on the occasion on the 20th anniversary, Yokohama received two elephants as gift from Mumbai.
  • September-November 1995, on 30th anniversary, missions were exchanged.
  • Since the signing of sister city agreement, there has been a continuous dispatch of delegations from both cities, not only from city office but also citizen’s group.
  • There have also been commemorative events held periodically every five years.
  • In the year 2015, the two cities celebrated the Golden Jubilee, 50 years of this Sister-City partnership. In June 2015, the Mayor of Mumbai-Ms.Snehal Ambekar was invited to Yokohama to meet the Mayor of Yokohama Ms.Fumiko Hayashi and participated in the 50 years celebrations. Subsequently, Yokohama’s partner, the MCGM too hosted celebrations in November 2015 for the golden jubilee at the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers, which was attended by the official delegation of Yokohama city headed by the Chairman of Yokohama City Council.

Indian Community in Yokohama

Yokohama - India trade relations date back to the early 1860s, when the Indian merchants first set foot in the port of Yokohama. It was the first city in Japan where Indian businessmen set up their bases. Currently, there is a population of around 2000 Indians who have set up their base in Yokohama comprising of the old-comer traders and new comers working with Indian companies like Wipro, L&T infotech. Yokohama offers a business environment with cutting-edge technologies, along with an ideal social environment for Indian businessmen to stay in Japan.

Yokohama also has a number of Indian restaurants nearby to the popular sightseeing spots. Indian Festival “Diwali in Yokohama” is held every year in Yamashita Park since 2003, and well enjoyed by both Indians and Japanese from Yokohama and its surrounding areas.