Now Japan's second largest city, a bustling metropolis with a thriving port and a stunning waterfront, Yokohama was largely insignificant until the middle of the nineteenth century.
The immediate area has been populated for centuries, with many historical sites remaining from the Yayoi Period (300BC to 300AD) and the Kamakura Shogunate (1192 to 1333). But modern Yokohama remained a small fishing village until the 1850s, when in 1855 international trade rights for foreign vessels were transferred there. In 1872, Japan's first railroad was built to connect Yokohama with Shimbashi in Tokyo, reinforcing a growth that would transform this small village into a port city of 3 million in just over a century.
Today's Yokohama boasts one of the world's most stunning high-rise waterfronts, with Japan's tallest building as its pinnacle. The city's skyline grew almost entirely during the 1990s, when a massive project known as Minato Mirai 21 regenerated the dock area of Nishi-ku. The project is still continuing, with residential towers now joining the office and hotel towers built over the last decade.