Kanagawa, a town of Japan, on the W. side of a harbor in the bay of Yedo, and 16 m. S. S. W. of Tokio (Yedo); pop. about 4,000. In the town and vicinity are several famous temples and remains of old fortifications. Its former military, ecclesiastical, and strategic importance arose from the fact of its situation at the point where the great highway of Japan, the Tokaido (East Sea road), strikes the bay of Yedo. Along this road the daimios, or territorial nobles, and the envoys of the mikado made their official journeys to and from Yedo, prior to 1868. Kanagawa was to have been opened as a treaty port, July 1, 1859; but the shogun's officials, not wishing to have foreigners live on the Tokaido, chose Yokohama, and had jetties, custom houses, storehouses, etc, already built when the foreign merchants and diplomats arrived. A few missionaries, consuls, and merchants lived for a short time at Kanagawa, but finally the entire foreign settlement was made at Yokohama. Hence arose the official fiction that the consulates of the treaty powers are at Kanagawa. Kanagawa gives its name to the ken or prefecture which includes the country round Yokohama, the 25-mile circuit in which foreigners are allowed to travel. Like many Japanese towns, Kanagawa consists chiefly of one long street.

It has a fort, military barracks, and telegraph and railway station. A causeway connects it with Yokohama. It has lost its former importance.