Japan:A Closer Look at Kanto – Kanagawa

Jan 12th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Regional Travel Resources

Kanagawa Prefecture is the sixth smallest prefecture in Japan with only 2,415 square kilometers of area but is home to almost 9 million people.  Located adjacent to Tokyo, many of the the sights in Kanagawa are just a day trip from the city.  Kanagawa’s capital city, Yokohama,  is a major gateway to the Sea of Japan and has been home to a thriving foreign community from the 1860′s until the present day.

Things to See and Do in Kanagawa Prefecture

Minka House Kawasaki Japan Visit the Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum in Kawasaki (pictured top right) to see a collection of old Japanese farm and merchant houses as well as over twenty-five Minkaen thatched roof houses that were prevalent from the 17th to 19th centuries in Japan.

Visit the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art to see more works from the creator of Myth of Tomorrow that is on permanent display in Tokyo’s Shibuya Station.

See the Goma Rite, where a priest burns Goma wood and offers a prayer for the safety and well being of the members and their families of those who have reached Yaku Doshi Age (25 and 42, for women at 19 and 33, and for both men and women at 60), at Kawasaki Daishi Heikenji.

Visit the many ancient temples and shrines of Kamakura, which was the capital of Japan from 1185-1333.

Visit the famous hot springs of Yugawara.

imageTake advantage of the Odakyu Freepass to explore Hakone.  Hakone is located at the base of Mount Fuji and offers visitors hot springs, museums and natural beauty.  Learn more at Hakone-Zenzan.

Explore all that the city of Yokohama has to offer including the ultra modern Minato Mirai area and one of the world’s largest Chinatown‘s.

Catch a Yokohama Bay Star’s game at Yokohama Stadium from March through September (map to Yokohama Stadium)

Visit scenic island of Enoshima (pictured middle right) & the man made Hakkei-jima Island, home to Sea Paradise, one of Japan’s largest aquariums.

Learn more about and taste a staple of the Japanese food scene the Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum.

Visit Zushi beach and explore the coastline of the Miura-hanto Peninsula.

For more trip planning ideas and resources for Kanagawa Prefecture visit Kanagawa Now and the Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO) Kanagawa pages .

Hokusai The Great Wave off KanagawaOdd Facts & Trivia

Meiji Government developed the first railways in Japan, from Shinbashi (in Tokyo) to Yokohama in 1872. Learn about this and other firsts by reading about the history of Japan’s transportation system.

Despite the end of the WWII in 1945, much of the the city of Yokohama remained occupied by allied forces until 1951.

The Great Wave off Kanagawa (picture to the right) is one of the most well known Ukioyo-e paitiings.  It was the first in a series of woodblock paintings by Katsushika Hokusai titled 36 Views of Mount Fiji and is said to have inspired the logo of Quiksilver, the surf-wear and apparel manufacturer.

Articles in the Japan: A Closer Look series:

Image Credit:  Flickr, Emukai house, Shops lining the street up to the Yasaka Shrine on Enoshima & Wikipedia, The Great Wave off Kanagawa

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