Japan’s second-largest city, Yokohama has a long tradition of looking outward. Located just 20 miles south of sprawling Tokyo, it was the first treaty port to conduct foreign trade after Commodore Matthew Perry opened Japan to the West in 1854. Yokohama went on to establish Japan’s first English-language newspaper and intercity train line, but the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and the firebombing of World War II ended Yokohama’s preeminence. Nevertheless, the city has remained a major seaport, and its international outlook is its distinguishing mark.
Few cities match their names as well as Brazil’s Belo Horizonte — beautiful horizon. Not only is the city surrounded by a ring of mountains, but its skyline of impressive modernist and post-modern buildings forms an eye-pleasing silhouette of its own.