|Ward of Yokohama|
|• Total||20.86 km2 (8.05 sq mi)|
|Population (February 2010)|
|• Density||7,030/km2 (18,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|Address||Nippon Odori 35, Naka-ku Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken
|Website||Naka Ward Office|
Naka-ku (中区) is one of the 18 wards of the city of Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. As of 2010, the ward had an estimated population of 146,563and a density of 7,080 persons per km². The total area was 20.86 km².
Naka Ward is located in eastern Kanagawa Prefecture, and east of the geographic center of the city of Yokohama. Its name means "central ward." It is host to the Yokohama city hall and the headquarters of the Kanagawa prefectural government. The northern part of the ward is flat. The central part includes highlands in the interior; this area is known as Yamate (山手), and has long been a residential area. Along the shore lies reclaimed land upon which port facilities, part of the Minato Mirai 21 complex, and Yamashita Park were built. To the south are the piers, oil refineries and the central port of Yokohama. The Nakamura River, a branch of the Ōoka River, cuts across the northern part of the ward. The northernmost and southernmost points are upland.
In the Edo period, the area of present-day Naka Ward was part of the tenryō territory in Musashi Province controlled directly by the Tokugawa shogunate, but administered through various hatamoto. In the Bakumatsu Period, the signing of the Kanagawa Treaty provided for the opening of treaty ports, and the area of what is now central Naka Ward was designated as open to foreign settlement in 1859. The Yokohama Cricket Club (now Yokohama Country & Athletic Club) was established in 1868. Yokohama Chinatown was also established during this period.
After the Meiji Restoration, the area was transferred to the new Kuraki District in Kanagawa Prefecture. Yokohama's wards were established on October 10, 1927, with this area becoming Naka Ward. The 1923 Great Kantō earthquake devastated downtown Yokohama. Yamashita Park was established in 1930 with landfill from the earthquake rubble. In December 1943, Minami Ward was separated from Naka Ward, which also gave up some territory to Kanagawa Ward and Hodogaya Ward. Nishi Ward was separated from Naka Ward in 1944. During World War II, the Yokohama Air Raid of May 29, 1945 left 14,157 people dead, injured, or missing. After the surrender of Japan, some 74% of the land, 90% of port area in Naka Ward was occupied by the American military. The last of this territory was not returned to Japan until March 31, 1982.
Naka Ward is a regional commercial center and the old main business district of Yokohama.
- East Japan Railway Company – Keihin-Tohoku Line, Negishi Line, Yokohama Line
- Keihin Electric Express Railway - Keikyū Main Line
- Yokohama Minatomirai Railway Company – Minatomirai Line
- Yokohama City Transportation Bureau – Blue Line
- Japan Freight Railway Company-Tōkaidō Freight Line
- Hikawa Maru
- Japan Coast Guard Museum Yokohama
- NYK Maritime Museum
- Ōsanbashi Pier
- Yamashita Park
- Yokohama Archives of History
- Yokohama Bay Bridge
- Yokohama Chinatown
- Yokohama Curry Museum
- Yokohama Marine Tower
- Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
- Yokohama Stadium
- Yokohama Honmoku Jazz Festival, annually in late summer
Noted people from Naka Ward
- Jirō Osaragi, author
- Ryo Owatari, musician
- Anna Ogino, author
- Kimiko Yo, actress
- Eiji Yoshikawa, author
- Chiaki Takahashi, voice actress
- Yuko Hara, musician
- Kato, Yuzo. Yokohama Past and Present. Yokohama City University (1990).
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