A port city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama is surprisingly laidback as the second largest city in Japan. It has also been one of the most popular day trips from Tokyo. Starting from the Yokohama Chinatown introduced in the previous post, it offers a list of interesting sights just half an hour away from the capital city.
In this article, let’s explore some of the popular attractions in Yokohama, many of which are family-friendly and even ideal for rainy days too!
Minato Mirai 21 みなとみらい21
Minato Mirai is Yokohama’s famed seaside business district which is also a major tourist spot. It has high rise buildings such as the Landmark Tower, hotels, museums, and a number of shopping venues like Landmark Plaza, Queen’s Square, World Porters, and Marine & Walk. The area also features the icon of Yokohama – the Cosmo Clock 21 Ferris wheel which is part of the Cosmo World amusement park where you can find various attractions for kids and adults.
Just outside of the Landmark Tower is Nippon Maru, a sail training ship which has sailed a total of 1.83 million kilometres (equals to 45 times around the earth!) during its service period and is now a museum displaying its well-preserved interiors. Also nearby is the Yokohama Port Museum where you can learn about the history of the port.
The Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse is another symbol of Yokohama which you wouldn’t want to miss in the area. It is consisting of two Western-style brick warehouses that were built in the early 1900s and have since been converted into a popular leisure spot. You will find shops selling unique souvenirs and products, cafes and restaurants, as well as cool seasonal events inside and around these historical buildings.
The Cup Noodles Museum dedicated to instant noodles is also a must-see. Operated by Nissin, the manufacturer of the world’s first instant noodles and the first instant ramen in a cup, the museum is where you can learn about instant noodles by seeing, playing and eating!
Among the highlights are exhibits related to instant ramen and its father Momofuku Ando, as well as noodle factories where you can create your own original instant ramen to take home. It also has a ramen playground, a food court serving noodle dishes from all around the world, and a gift shop with exclusive merchandise.
When in Minato Mirai, feast your eyes on the dazzling skyline as you stroll along the waterfront, on a clear day you could even see the Mt. Fuji! Don’t forget to take in panoramic views of Yokohama and the surrounding area from up high, either from the Sky Garden Observatory at the Landmark Tower or from the giant Ferris wheel at the Cosmo World. The best time to visit is in the late afternoon, spend time until the night draws in and the city lights up – the night view here is simply beautiful.
Hours: 11 AM – 9 PM (Sat & Sun until 10 PM), closed Thursdays
Tickets: Attractions 500-900 yen each
Nippon Maru & Yokohama Port Museum
Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM, closed Mondays
Admission: 400 yen each, or 600 yen for both
Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
Hours: 10 AM – 7 PM (Building 1), 11 AM – 8 PM (Building 2)
Cup Noodles Museum
Hours: 10 AM – 6 PM, closed Tuesdays
Admission: 500 yen
Sky Garden Observatory
Hours: 10 AM – 9 PM
Admission: 1,000 yen
Access: The attractions above can be reached easily from Minato Mirai/ Bashamichi/ Nihon-Odori Station on the Minato Mirai Line.
Osanbanshi Pier 大さん橋
Osanbashi Yokohama International Passenger Terminal is a terminal where domestic and international cruise ships dock and depart. Its spacious deck on the rooftop offers breathtaking views of the city, including the famous Yokohama Three Towers which are nicknamed the King, the Queen, and the Jack. It is open to everyone and is a popular attraction in its own right.
The 400 m long deck is built with long strips of wood. Because of its appearance, it is referred to as “the whale’s back” by the locals. Surrounded by water on all sides, the spacious wooden deck also features grass-covered areas for picnics, shops, and restaurants. It is great for a leisurely walk, needless to say, another top spot for night view too!
Access: 5 minutes walk from Nihon-Odori Station on the Minato Mirai Line.
Yamashita Park 山下公園
Being the first seaside park in Japan (completed in 1930), Yamashita Park is a great spot to gaze out at the ocean enjoying the sea breeze and a couple of relaxing moments. Only a few minutes away from the Yokohama Chinatown, the park stretches about 750 meters along Yokohama’s waterfront and is always popular with locals and tourists alike.
The park is home to several fountains, monuments and many flower beds. From here you also see a few notable sights of the city, including Yokohama Bay Bridge, Yokohama Marine Tower, and Hikawa Maru – an ocean liner which used to serve the likes of Charlie Chaplin and the Japanese royalty and is now a fascinating museum open to the public (admission: 300 yen).
Access: 3 minutes walk from Motomachi-Chukagai Station on the Minato Mirai Line.
Orbi Yokohama オービィ横浜
Operated by SEGA in partnership with BBC Earth, this mini museum is a wonderful place to visit with children. Located in MARK IS Minatomirai shopping centre, it lets you enjoy the wonder of the wild with all your senses! Its main concept is to present the world of nature and animals through reality-bending entertainment technology, so you feel as if you were in the underwater world or freezing mountaintop while viewing the exhibits.
The central theatre even features a super large screen with stunning images and sounds besides special effects such as wind, fog, vibration and scent, what an advanced way to watch a documentary! The museum also has Animal Garden and Cat Paradise where visitors can interact with real animals, among other attractions. Lastly, note that the museum gets crowded with long wait times on weekends, so plan your visit on a weekday is recommended.
Hours: 9 AM – 9 PM (Mon to Thu), 9 AM – 10 PM (Fri to Sun)
Tickets: 800 yen admission + attractions 300-500 yen each / 2,200 yen (all-inclusive pass)
Access: Minato Mirai Station on the Minato Mirai Line.