During medieval times in Japan, Kanagawa was a part of the provinces of Sagami and Musashi. During the Kamakura Period of Japan, which lasted from 1185 to 1333, Kamakura – at the time located in Sagami – was the capital of Japan.
In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Kanagawa, signing the accord that forced Japanese ports to open to US ships. Yokohama, as the largest port in Tokyo Bay was opened in 1859 to foreign traders and soon became the largest such port in Japan. Later, Yokosuka, a nearby naval port, became a central point for Japanese forces before US occupation and the headquartering of the U.S. 7th Fleet.
The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 was centered below Izu Oshima and destroyed much of Yokohama and Kanagawa Prefecture.
Kanagawa Prefecture is relatively small compared to other nearby prefectures and is directly between Tokyo and Mount Fuji. The Pacific Ocean sits on the south while Tokyo Bay lays on the east. The eastern side of the prefecture is flat and heavily urbanized with cities like Yokohama and Kawasaki. However, the southeast is much more rural with the ancient city of Kamakura’s tourist attractions. The western portion is largely mountainous with resort towns in Odawara and Hakone.
Cities currently located in Kanagawa Prefecture include:
Districts and towns currently in Kanagawa Prefecture include:
The transportation in Kanagawa Prefecture is mostly interlinked with that of Tokyo. Most air traffic passes through Tokyo International Airport or Narita International Airport, while most trains pass through Odawara and Shin-Yokohama Station on the way to Tokyo or Osaka.
Major tourist attractions in Kanagawa Prefecture include the multiple Buddhist and Shinto temples and shrines as well as the Yokohama Chinatown, the largest such neighborhood in the world.