Lobby, Hotel New Grand, c. 1940.
“It was some time, however, before a new Grand Hotel came into being on the site of the old at the corner where the Bund met the Creek – a fine modern hostelry, but without the alluring front terrace so distinctive of the old.
“Even more sorrowful to the old-timer is the reclamation of the foreshore directly opposite the Grand, projecting the entrance to the Creek several hundred yards out into the harbour … So even if the famous Grand Hotel terrace had been resurrected, its delightful panoramic view from the harbour down the Bay would no longer exist.”
– The Death of Old Yokohama: In the Great Japanese Earthquake of 1923, by Otis M Poole, 2010
From the wiki: “Much of Yokohama was destroyed on September 1, 1923, by the Great Kantō earthquake. A Scotsman, Marshall Martin, advisor to Mayor Ariyoshi Chuichi, is credited with persuading the city government to use rubble from the Kannai commercial district to reclaim the former waterfront as a park.
“Yamashita Park was formally opened on March 15, 1930.
“The park was requisitioned in 1945 during the Occupation of Japan (1945-1952) for US military housing, reverting back to Japanese control in 1960. Adjacent to the park is the Hotel New Grand where General Douglas MacArthur spent his first night on his arrival in Japan on August 30, 1945.
Hikawa Maru museum ship
“As well as public green space with trees, flower beds, fountains and memorials, Yamashita Park is also noted as the location of the Hikawa Maru, a Japanese ocean liner built in 1929 for Nippon Yūsen Kabushiki Kaisha (‘NYK Line‘) now a museum ship. The Hikawa Maru was launched in 1929 and made her maiden voyage from Kobe to Seattle on 13 May 1930, thereafter running a regular liner route between Yokohama, Vancouver and Seattle. She had a reputation for service that combined splendid food and beautiful art deco interiors, and was nicknamed ‘The Queen of the Pacific’.
“In October 1941 Hikawa Maru became the last NYK ship to visit a US port before the Pacific War broke out. She carried US expatriates to Seattle and, on her return voyage, repatriated 400 Japanese nationals. In-service during the war as a hospital ship, the Hikawa Maru was one of only two of Japan’s large passenger ships to survive the war (out of 100+). During the Occupation, Hikawa Maru was requisitioned and used by the Allies to repatriate thousands of Japanese soldiers and civilians from the Pacific Islands, Korea, the Dutch East Indies and China until August 1946, when she was docked at Yokohama for repairs. Returned to NYK in 1947, the Hikawa Maru was used as a cargo ship until 1953 when Hikawa Maru was again fitted for ocean liner service between Yokohama and Seattle before being decommissioned in 1960 and permanently berthed at Yokohama as a museum ship.
“During the course of her peacetime service on the Pacific route 1930–41 and 1953–60, the Hikawa Maru made a total of 238 voyages carrying some 25,000 passengers.”
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