The Former British Consulate (1931), on the Bund, was built on the site where the Treaty of Amity between Japan and the USA was signed.
Yokohama was the first treaty port in Japan to be opened to foreign trade in 1859, and the heart of the foreign concession area was known (and is still known today) as Kannai 関内, or within the Kanmon 関門 (“Kan Gate”).
This is also the area where most of Yokohama’s historic European-style and Meiji/Taisho/Showa-era buildings are found today. Unfortunately, almost nothing from the Treaty Port era (1959 – 1899) actually remains – most were destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923.
But the city still displays the typical layout and architectural vernacular of its sister cities in Nagasaki and Yokohama, albeit with architecture that is a little more early modern.
There are a few sections of the tour of Kannai, the most important being the former Yokohama Bund and its environs, which still exists today, just barely. Along the Bund and just off the Bund we find the city’s most iconic buildings, including two of the “Three Towers” earlier introduced, and the fabled Hotel New Grand.
Just off the Bund are two historic streets – the Bashamichi 馬車道, or “Horse Carriage Street”, which was once the most fashionable street during the Treaty Port era, and the Nihon Oo dori 日本大通り, which houses some of the major Government offices, including the Kanagawa Prefectural Offices (the “King Tower”).
Joining the two is the Honcho 本町 – which was the equivalent of Yokohama’s Wall Street, with its early 19th century local bank headquarters, including the headquarters of the former Yokohama Specie Bank, today’s Kanagawa Prefectural Museum, located one block off the Honcho on Bashamichi.
They are a reminder of Yokohama’s once glorious past as a treaty port; and its continued position today as Japan’s foremost port city.
The Former Yokohama Bund 海岸通り and its Environs
The Yokohama Kaigan Church (1933) is situated adjacent to the former British Consulate.
The Kanagawa Prefectural Office (1928) sits at the intersection between the Bund and Nihon Oo Dori.
The Customs House Building (1934).
The Port Opening Memorial Hall (1917) sits across the street from it.
The Headquarters of the Nippon Yusen Kaisha (1936) still sits on the Bund.
The Hotel New Grand (1927).
The English House No. 7 (1922) is the only remaining building from before the Great Kanto Earthquake.
The Yokohama No. 2 Joint Government Offices Building.
Bashamichi 馬車道 and Honcho 本町 – the Banking Quarter
Former Dai-ichi Bank 第一銀行Yokohama Branch (1929). Actually on the Former Bund.
The Former LoA Bank Yokohama Branch 露亞銀行 (1926).
Street tile depicting a horse carriage on Bashamichi.
The former Yokohama Specie Bank 横浜正金銀行 Headquarters (1904), today’s Kanagawa Prefectural Museum.
The Former Fuji Bank 株式会社富士銀行 Yokohama Headquarters
The Former Tokyo Marine and Fire Insurance Building.
The Former Kawasaki Bank 川﨑 銀行 Yokohama Branch.
The Sumitomo Mitsui Bank 株式会社三井住友銀行 Yokohama.
The former Tokyo Mitsubishi Bank 株式会社三菱東京銀行 Yokohama Branch.
The Yokohama Bankers’ Association and Yokohama Bankers’ Club – note the Art Deco detail.
Yokohama Shiloh Church, at the other end of Bashamichi.
Nihon Oo Dori 日本大通り
Former Yokohama Commercial and Industrial Promotion Centre 1929.
Close-up of Art Deco entrance.
Former Yokohama District Court (1930 – reconstructed).
Former Kanto Local Finance Bureau.
Mitsubishi Industrial Bank.
The Museum of Yokohama Urban History.
About Kennie Ting
I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
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