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KANAGAWA Prefecture

Area: 2,416 km2
Population: 9,079 million
Region: Kanto
Capital: Yokohama

photo by Takahiro Abe

Kanagawa Prefecture is a prefecture located in southern Kantō region of Japan. It lies almost at the center of the Japanese islands and is located in the southwest area of the Kanto Plain, sharing its northern border with Tokyo and its western border with Yamanashi and Shizuoka. Kanagawa is part of the Greater Tokyo Area.
The capital of the prefecture is Yokohama.
Kanagawa is a multifaceted prefecture with a variety of everything, from abundant nature to a near-futuristic urban complex.

Located on the western coast of Tokyo Bay, directly south of Tokyo, Yokohama is the capital city of Kanagwa Prefecture and the second largest city in Japan. It is also one of the city most used to seeing foreigners.
Yokohama was one of the first Japanese ports open to foreign trade in 1859. Since then, the city quickly grew from a small fishing village into one of Japan’s major cities. It contains one of the world’s largest Chinatown with hundreds of Cantonese restaurants and gift shops. The city also preserves some former Western residences in the Yamate district.
Kanagawa has a great variety of outdoor activities available such as hiking, sea kayaking, rock climbing, para-gliding, and much more. Hiking is available around Honatsugi, Isehara, Shibusawa, Hadano in the nearby Tanzawa Mountains and the Hakone Mountains.
If you like beaches, Enoshima is the most popular one. There is a tower at the top of the island, where you can get a view of Mt. Fuji, the ocean, Oshima, and the Shonan Coast.

Some of Kanagawa’s main attractions are:
Yokohama Hakkejima Sea Paradise, an amusement park consisting of an aquarium, shopping mall, hotel, marine and amusement rides.
Yokohama Landmark Tower, the second tallest building and 4th tallest structure in Japan, standing 296.3 meters high. The buildings contains a five-star hotel which occupies floor 49-70, while the lower 48 floors contain restaurants, shops, clinics and offices.
Yokohama China Town, the largest Chinatown in Asia.
Sankei-en, a superb traditional Japanese-style garden in Nara Ward, Yokohama which opened in 1906.
Kamakura town, a small city full of historic treasures such as Hokoku-ji an old temple also known as “Bamboo Temple”, famous for its bamboo garden.
The Onetime Island, a pleasant touristy island connected to the mainland by a bridge. The island offers attractions such as caves, a shrine, a park and an observation tower.
Hakone, an area famous for its many hot springs, beautiful lakes and the view of nearby Mt. Fuji.
By airplane
Kanagawa does not have its own airport, but it can be reached from Tokyo’s two main airports, Narita Airport and Haneda Airport.
Some Narita Express trains from Narita Airport go through to Yokohama. Limousine Buses run frequently from Narita to the Yokohama City Air Terminal.
From Haneda Airport, the Keikyu Line's Airport Express takes you to Yokohama station in 30-35 minutes

By train
Kanagawa's transport network is heavily intertwined with that of Tokyo. Shin-Yokohama and Odawara stations on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen are located in the prefecture, providing high-speed rail service to Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and other major cities.
Kanagawa features a humid subtropical climate with hot and humid summers and chilly, but not very cold, winters. Winter temperatures rarely drop below freezing, while summer can get quite warm due to humidity effects. Snowfall is rare , but does occur almost annually.
The average annual temperature is 15.8 °C, whilst the highest temperature is 35.5°C and the lowest -0.07°C
During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves. Winter boots are not necessary but be sure to bring warm shoes.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket or a sweater should keep you warm.
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