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The city began as a tiny fishing village in approximately the 1700's, and remained a peaceful small town until the Europeans landed nearby in 1853. Soon afterward, the city became a major port and trading city, and grew rapidly larger, more prosperous, and powerful.
Today, Yokohama is known for its large size, location in mountain foothills to one side and the sea to the other, its maritime economy, shopping, Chinatown district, and history.
People Born in Yokohama
Yokohama in People's Lives
Jack London: I traveled here following my divorce from my first wife Bessie in January of 1904, as a journalst covering the Russo-Japanese War for the San Francisco Examiner. I continued on to Shimonoseki.
Rudyard Kipling: This was the first city that my new wife and I stayed in, in 1892. We had just gotten married back in London and were setting out on a planned, marvelous tour 'round the world. The train voyage to this city - I had endured quite a lot of those in the past year - was a long one: 12 hours, and with no lavatory. I took in the Japanese scenery almost in bewilderment: rather than staying put on one type of scene, it would flash dizzyingly between humble fishing villages to booming cities, lush forests and mountains to exotic beaches, to choking bamboo groves to open fields. I met a man from Boston on the train. Carrie and I arrived, at last, in this city at 8 p.m. and went to our accomodations at the Grand Hotel. Our clothes were soiled from the journey, and the fancily dressed men and women staying at the hotel looked embarassed to have noticed us. I liked how so many of Yokohama's citizens were centered around horses and racing, and wanted to go bet on a few runs myself, but didn't get the chance. During my stay, I made a few European friends, went to the see the mountain beauty of Japan just outside the city, explored the downtown from a rickshaw, admired the pretty young Japanese servant girls, and smoked. I wrote about my visit in my book From Sea to Sea, and, though it was our honeymoon, mentioned Carrie only once - and then, not even by name. However, my round-the-world tour that was supposed to have taken off from this city was cut short when I learned that our bank had failed, and that we had lost all of our money. Out of funds to continue the trip, we decided to return to Carrie's family's home in Vermont.