Yokohama's population of 3.7 million makes it Japan's largest city after the special wards of Tokyo. Yokohama developed rapidly as Japan's prominent port city following the end of Japan's relative isolation in the mid-19th century, and is today one of its major ports along with Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Hakata, Tokyo, and Chiba.
Yokohama (横浜) literally means "horizontal beach". The current area surrounded by Maita Park, Ōoka River and Nakamura River had been a gulf divided by a sandbar from the open sea. This sandbar was the original Yokohama fishing village. Since the sandbar protruded perpendicularly from the land, or horizontally when viewed from the sea, it was called a "horizontal beach".