February 23, 2016

2321 JAPAN (Kantō) - Minato Mirai 21 in Yokohama

2321 Minato Mirai 21 in Yokohama, with Landmark Tower
in center and Mount Fuji in background

When Japan emerged from centuries of isolation in the mid-19th century, Yokohama was a tiny fishing village, home to only 100 people or so. But as the tide of internationalization rose, a port was established and Yokohama began to grow as a gateway to Japan. Yokohama is now a leading international trading port, the second largest city in Japan after Tokyo. Situated just a short distance along the coast from the Japanese capital, Yokohama is now a magnet for tourists.

Minato Mirai 21 (MM), the central business district of Yokohama, was created in 1980s in order to connect the city's traditionally important areas and commercial centers of Kannai and the Yokohama Station area. A shipbuilding facility was relocated, and additional land was reclaimed from the sea. In 1989 an exposition was held to mark the 100th anniversary of Yokohama's city status and the 130th anniversary of the opening of Yokohama Port.

Following that event development gathered momentum, and now the area boasts office blocks, commercial facilities, hotels, amusement parks and convention facilities, as well as such cultural amenities as art museums and concert halls. MM is symbolized by Landmark Tower, the three Queens Square Towers, which contain a large shopping mall, the Pacifico Yokohama convention center, the Intercontinental Hotel, the Cosmo Clock 21 Ferris wheel, and more.

The Yokohama Landmark Tower (296m) is the second tallest building and 4th tallest structure in Japan (in 2016). When was finished (1993), it was the tallest building in Japan until it was surpassed by Abeno Harukas' in 2012. It contains a five-star hotel which occupies floors 49-70, with 603 rooms in total. The lower 48 floors contain shops, restaurants, clinics, and offices. On the 69th floor there is an observatory, Sky Garden, from which one can see a 360-degree view of the city, and on clear days Mount Fuji.

About the stamps

The first two stamps are part of series of definitive stamps, redrawn, issued on October 1, 2011:
Maejima Hisoka (1835-1919) (1 JPY) - It's on the postcard 2321
• olive brown (1 JPY)
• emerald green (3 JPY)
• swan (5 JPY) - It's on the postcard 2321
• multicoloured (100 JPY)
• dark brown (200 JPY)
• dark green  (500 JPY)

The third stamp, depicting a mountain hare, is part of a series of 11 definitive stamps, issued on March 3, 2014. The fourth stamp, depicting Flower Blue Chafer (Oxycetonia jucunda), is part of the definitive series Insects and Flowers, about which I wrote here. The last stamp is part of the series 2015 National Afforestation Campaign - Ishikaw, designed by Tamaki Akira and issued on  May 15, 2015.

Minato Mirai 21 - Wikipedia
What is Minato Mirai 21? - Yokohama, Minato Mirai 21 official website

Sender: Eriko Mikami / ErikoMikami (postcrossing) JP-786187
Sent from Mito (Kantō / Japan), on 12.02.2016

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