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Take A Break: View Yokohama Harbor From Harbor View Park In Motomachi

Sayaha
Published Feb 26, 2016

Minato No Mieru Oka Park is a park located in Motomachi, Yokohama, Japan where you can view the panoramic view of Yokohama Harbor. Besides the beautiful view, it is also a historical site and memorial. A part of the park is called “French Mountain” and you can even find the British House, which used to be British consular residence. During spring and autumn, there are beautiful roses in the Rose Garden, which attracts people as well as butterflies.

Motomachi, Yokohama as an affluent international community

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Motomachi is located on the coast of Yokohama City, which is an affluent international community. Today, Motomachi is often associated with adjectives like affluent, fashionable, luxurious, romantic, and international. There are luxurious boutiques on Motomachi Shopping Street and it is one of the popular spots for couples to go on a date.

Yokohama being a historical port city, has directly involved the Motomachi area, which thus has become influenced by the movement of people and goods coming through the Yokohama port. This is where you find international schools, international cemeteries, and many significant buildings and facilities that indicate the international relations that came through the port.

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Harbor View Park as Minato No Mieru Oka Park

There are few parks in Motomachi and of all these, Harbor View Park (Minato No Mieru Oka Park) is the largest. You can access the park from both Motomachi Chukagai Station and Ishikawacho Station on foot. For those people who enjoy being outdoors and want to visit other nearby parks, you can go to Yamashita Park, America Yama Park, and Motomachi Park.

Yamashita Park is indeed the most popular and most well-known park in Yokohama, but Harbor View Park is more attractive than Yamashita Park because it is not as crowded as Yamashita Park, so you can enjoy the park without having to share the view and the space with a lot of other people. If you like to spend quiet time at the park, this is a great place to be. The park is also located on a hill so you have a great view of Yokohama Harbor, as the name of the park suggests.

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A great date spot with a view of Yokohama Harbor

The day I visited the park it was a cold, but sunny winter day. Because of that, I saw blue skies without any clouds, with the busy Yokohama Harbor in the background. Because of this view, Harbor View Park is also a popular spot for couples to visit while on a date. During the day, the blue sky view is impressive, but if you are in Yokohama at night, you might like to visit the park in the evening. In the winter, from October to March, the park is open from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, so after 5:00 pm you are likely to see a beautiful night view of Yokohama. During spring to autumn, April to September, the park is open from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm.

In addition to the view, this park has beautiful rose gardens, which flourish during spring and autumn. Unfortunately, I visited during winter so there were no flowers, but for those who enjoy flowers, you may like to take your date or travel partner to enjoy the beautiful view with the incredible the Rose Garden when you visit Motomachi Yokohama.

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Harbor View Park with the French Mountain

French Mountain (France Yama in Japanese) is a part of Harbor View Park. If you do not know Japanese history or even further, Yokohama history, you may wonder why this part of Yokohama is named after France. It is because this location is the center of sad history from the mid to late 19th century.

Even though there is better harmony with international people in Yokohama today, back in the 19th century, there were cases of Japanese murdering international people, which alarmed French living in the area. The particular incident, the “Namamugi Incident”, in 1862 resulted in the killing of one British person and injuring of two other British people. This resulted in France wanting to protect its people and later on built a French Consulate in this location.

Today, what you see is a part of the consulate that burned during WWII. You only see a remaining part of the destroyed French Consulate, but it is still an important international historical site as there is the British House. It was originally built as the British consular residence back in 1937, but in 1969, it was handed to Yokohama city and is now open to public. When you visit Harbor View Park, you are stepping not only into a beautiful park, but also into a historical site.

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Experience a glimpse of Yokohama history

Everyone has a different reason to visit Japan, but Japanese history is something that attracts people from all over the world. When you visit Yokohama, you will also learn unique history that is quite different from other parts of Japan. Motomachi, Yokohama is a great place where you see a glimpse of history that Yokohama experienced as a port city. It is rich and international, and it still attracts a lot of Japanese and international people today. With an incredible harbor view and a piece of history, Harbor View Park would be an unusual experience that you can explore in Yokohama.

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Sayaha Aida has been traveling internationally since the early age of 15. She has lived internationally in Japan, England, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the United States (Miami and San Francisco)...Read more

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