Yokohama - Encyclopedia

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YOKOHAMA, a seaport of Japan on the W. shore of Tokyo Bay, 18 m. S. of Tokyo by rail. It stands on a plain shut in by hills, one of which, towards the S.E., terminates in a promontory called Honmoku-misaki or Treaty Point. The temperature ranges from 95° to 43° F., and the mean temperature is 57.7° The cold in winter is severe, owing to N. winds, while the heat is great in summer, though tempered by S.W. sea breezes. The rainfall is about 70 in. annually. In 1859, when the neighbouring town of Kanagawa was opened to foreigners under the treaty with the United States, Yokohama was an insignificant fishing village; and notwithstanding the protests of the foreign representatives the Japanese government shortly afterwards chose the latter place as the settlement instead of Kanagawa. The town grew rapidly - in 1886 the population was 111,179 (3904 foreigners, including 2573 Chinese, 625 British and 256 Americans, while in 1903 there were 314,333 Japanese and 2447 foreigners (1089 British, 527 Americans, 270 Germans, 155 French) besides about 3800 Chinese. The Japanese government constructed public works, and excellent water was supplied from the Sagamigawa. The foreign settlement has well-constructed streets, but the wealthier foreigners reside S. of the town, on the Bluff. The land occupied by foreigners was leased to them by the Japanese government, 20% of the annual rent being set aside for municipal expenses. The harbour, which is a part of Tokyo Bay, is good and commodious, somewhat exposed, but enclosed by two breakwaters. There is a pier 2000 ft. long, and two docks were opened in 1897 and 1898, with lengths of 351 ft. and 478 ft. 10 in., and depths of 26 ft. 2 in. and 28 ft. on the blocks at ordinary spring tides. The average depth in the harbour at high water is about 46 ft., with a fall of tide of about 8 ft., the entrance being marked by a lightship and two buoys. The railway connecting Yokohama with Tokyo was the first in Japan, and was constructed in 1872. The value of exports and imports, which in 1880 was £3,79 2 ,99 1 and £5,378,385, and in the ensuing five years averaged £4,638,635 and £4,366,507, had increased in 1905 to £14,861,823 and £19,068,221. Metals and metal goods, rice, wool and woollen goods, and cotton and cotton goods are the chief imports; and silk, silk goods and tea are the chief exports.

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