Sakuragicho

 

Sakuragicho Station is a railway station located in the Sakuragicho area of Naka Ward, Yokohama, and is served by the JR East Keihin-Tohoku and Negishi Lines, and the Yokohama Municipal Subway’s Blue Line. The JR East platforms are located above the ground, and the Yokohama Municipal Subway platforms are located on the 4th underground floor, south of the main station. Sakuragicho Station, which is one of the oldest stations in Japan (having been opened in 1872), is located near the Minato Mirai 21 district. 

 

Sakuragicho is one of Yokohama’s oldest towns. It is a beautiful area facing Yokohama Harbor. Its old atmosphere and charm is in sharp contrast to the nearby futuristic Minato Mirai 21 district.

 

Cross Gate

 

Cross Gate is a leisure complex situated right in front of Sakuragicho Station. This building immediately draws one’s attention as it is uniquely designed to resemble a ship deck and a gate. The 1st to 3rd floors of the building consist of shops and a wide variety of restaurants. The middle floors are offices, and from the 9th to 24th floors is Sakuragicho Washington Hotel. Cross Gate is a popular meeting place of the area.

 

Kishamichi Promenade

 

Kishamichi Promenade is a 500 meter long promenade starting from Sakuragicho Station and stretching towards Yokohama World Porters Mall. This beautiful walkway along the seaside offers visitors a spectacular view of the modern Minato Mirai 21 skyline.

 

Kishamichi Promenade was originally a railway track built in 1911. It then connected the customs shipment house to Yokohama station and was used to transport freight between docks. After it was abandoned in 1989, it was converted into this beautiful boulevard.

 

Iseyama Shrine (Iseyama Kotai Jingu)

 

Iseyama Shrine is located in a hilly area about 10 minutes walk from Sakuragicho Station. This shrine, which was built in 1870, is dedicated to the Sun Goddess who is said to be protecting the city of Yokohama. The shrine is visited by the local population in large numbers, especially at New Year’s and at celebrations when children reach the ages of 3, 5, and 7.

 

According to local history, Iseyama Shrine was built as a talisman. After foreigners started arriving in Yokohama, they started building churches in the area. The settlers also ate meat, which was unheard of in this Buddhist area. The local population was surprised to see such changes in their locality and was afraid that Yokohama may be “polluted”. They, therefore, decided to build a shrine as a counterweight to protect Yokohama. In 1870, the Meiji government gave the go ahead and the shrine was built.

 

Iseyama Shrine is an architectural masterpiece built in the shimmei zukuri Shinto style. The central hall is particularly beautiful. The grounds surrounding the temple have numerous cherry trees, which makes it a popular blossom viewing site during spring.

 

Enmei-in, Yokohama sister temple of Narita-san

 

Located not far from Iseyama Shrine is Enmei-in, also called the Yokohama sister temple of Narita-san. This temple was originally built in 1870 in the precinct of Fumon-in Temple in Ota-mura and soon after, received part of the spirit from the main temple of Narita-san. It was moved to its present location on top of a hill in 1893 and renamed Enmei-in. Today, this popular temple is also fondly called Noge Fudosan by the local residents. The main attractions at Enmei-in are the Tori gates and the statues, particularly the main statue Fudomyoo. 

 

Kamonyama Park

 

Kamonyama Park is a small public park located on a small hill about 10 minutes walk from Sakuragicho Station. This park, with over 2000 cherry trees, is particularly famous as a blossom-viewing spot. There is also a beautiful Japanese garden-style pond in the middle of the park. Kamonyama Park is a popular relaxing area for the local residents.

 

At one end of the park is Yokohama Noh Theater, a 120 year old theater for performances of Noh, a traditional Japanese play form. Although the theater is almost as old as the city of Yokohama itself, it is fitted with the latest equipments having been renovated several times. The theater can accommodate 481 spectators and is always full at every performance. If visitors want to tour the theater, they have to wait for a day when there is no performance. Guided tours have to be arranged in advance.

 

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