About Yokohama





Skylines and views


Landmark Tower


and its views

CENTRAL Yokohama:
  Landmark Plaza, Minato Mirai 21   Views from Landmark Tower
Minato Mirai 21
Port of Yokohama

Yokohama Station area

  Nissan Global HQ

Cosmo World Amusement Park, Cosmo Clock, Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, Queens Square, Yokohama Bay Bridge

  Yokohama Station, Sogo, River   Nissan cars
City center

  Chinatown   Yamashita Park

Yokohama Park, Yokohama Stadium


Chūkagai odori, Goodwill Gate, Eastern Gate


Hikawa Maru ship,
The Guardian Statue

Yokohama by night       Train to Yokohama
Outskirts, other cities
Minato Mirai 21, City center, Chinatown, Sakuragicho Station, Yokohama Stadium     KAWASAKI, KANAGAWA, OTU

ABOUT Yokohama:

Population: 3 732 000 (Tokyo metro 38 305 000)
Tallest building: Landmark Tower (296.3m, 70 floors, built 1993)
Port of Yokohama 1859
437.38 km² (Tokyo metro 13 572 km²)
Year visited: May 2018


Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan. It is also the most important port in the country, even ahead of Tokyo. The city is just a few km south of the capital, facing Tokyo Bay. It is part of the most populous metropolitan area of Japan, Tokyo. Yokohama literally means ”horisontal beach”. On clear days, Mount Fuji can be seen from the city’s tallest buildings. Ooka River is one of the rivers that flows through the city. Nakamura is the other one. Yokohama was originally a fishing village, but grew significantly when the large port opened in 1859.

Minato Mirai 21 (MM) is the central business district and modern harbourfront skyline of Yokohama. It attracts numerous tourists each year, and most of Yokohama’s skyscrapers can be found in the MM area. Minato Mira literally means "future harbour".
Landmark Tower, the tallest building in Japan 1993-2014 (296m) stands in Minato Mirai. Since a few year ago there is a taller one in Osaka, but it still exceed the height of all skyscrapers in Tokyo, not counting observation towers. Landmark Tower has 70 floors with an observation deck (Sky Garden), a luxury hotel (Yokohama Royal Park Hotel) and a large shopping mall, Landmark Plaza. Home to the world's second fastest elevators, which travel 750m per minute. Yokohama Grand InterContinental is another skyscraper, a 31-storey hotel from 1991 with a curved shape. Queens Tower A from 1997 is the second tallest building in Yokohama, much shorter then Landmark Tower (height: 172m). If you count masts, Yokohama Media Tower from 1999 is the second tallest, with only 23 floors but a tall mast on top that increases the height to 253m. All these buildings are in MM. In front of the three Queens Towers and the large, futuristic Queens Square shopping mall is Queens Square, where you find a very exciting, large, rollercoaster like sculpture "Moku-Moku Waku-Waku Yokohama Yo-Yo".
Marine Tower from 1961 is a famous landmark, one of the tallest lighthouses in the world. It is situated right between he waterfront and Chinatown. It is 106m tall and has an observation deck.  The lights are flashing red and green at dark, every 20 seconds.

The circular Shin-Yokohama Prince Hotel (42 floors) is situated in another district, Shin-Yokohama west of the city center. Here you find the large Shin-Yokohama Station.

Pacificio is a huge convention center in Minato Mirai. It opened in 1991 and the exhibition hall has an area of 20,000 m2.  It is situated right next to Yokohama Grand InterContinental.
The main railway station of Yokohama, a large Sogo department store, Yokohama Museum of Art, small canals, shopping malls, cafés can be found in MM and the area to the North of it. A central pedestrian promenade follows the waterfront and leads to the small but beautiful Yamashita Park, known for its flower arrangements and sculptures, facing the waterfront. The Water Guardian Statue is the most central statue and fountain, sitauted in a pond. Next to the park is the famous ship Hikawa Maru, an ocean liner launched in 1929. It ran to Seattle and Vancouver, but today it is a museum ship. In 1940-41 it saved many Jewish refugees from the Nazis. Kano Jigoro, the founder of judo, died on this ship in 1938. Nippon Maru, built in 1930, is another museum ship, but this one is situated next to Landmark Tower. Rinko Park, Unga Park and Takashima Central Park are other  waterfront parks, closer to the central station.

Nissan Motors, JGC Corporation, Chiyoda Corporation all have headquarters in Minato Mirai. Nissan has a large store with a showroom open for public, part of the Nissan Global Headquarters in Minato Mirai. Nissan Stadium is an important stadium that opened in 1992 and has the highest seating capacity of all stadiums in Japan (72 327). It has been used for football, rugby, athletics, concerts and more. Yokohama Stadium is a large circular stadium in the city center. It opened in 1978 for baseball in the middle of the Yokohama Park and has a capicity of 30 000 people.

Cosmo Clock 21 is a high ferris wheel in MM (on the small Shino island), facing the waterfront. It was the world’s tallest ferris wheel 1989-92. In 1997 its height was increased to 112.5m. It is part of the Cosmo World amusement park, that features a landmark rollercoaster, a water ride, a shopping mall and more.
Compared to Tokyo, Yokohama’s skyline is not impressive, but it is popular because many buildings with significant shapes form an interesting skyline.

Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, also on Shinko island, is a redbrick building complex, reminding of  British warehouse buildings, facing the water. It was originally used as a customs building but is now a shopping mall, banquet hall, and event venues. The complex consist of two similar buildings facing each other. They were built in 1911 and 1913.  The large postmodern mall Yokohama World Porters with about 200 stores is next to it. Navios Yokohama is a postmodern hotel building with a gate right through the building.

Port of Yokohama is the most prominent port in Japan. Yokohama Bay Bridge is a beautiful white cable stayed bridge. It is 860m long, 172m tall and opened in 1989. Osanbashi Pier is a modern international pier where huge cruise ships dock. It has a futuristic internatinonal passenger terminal.

Chinatown (Yokohama Chūkagai ) in Yokohama is the largest Chinese district outside China. It is situated right in the city center and has two beautiful gates (Goodwil Gate and Eastern Gate). It has pedestrian streets filled with nice Chinese restaurants, markets and shops, beautifully illuminated with numerous neon signs after dark. Kwan Tai Temple is also situated here. It is the nicest and most lively part of Yokohama. It has a 150 year long history, but today only a few Chinese people live in Chinatown after the big 1923 earthquake and conflicts.
Except for the port area around Mirato Mirai business district and Chinatown, the city center of Yokohama is quite impersonal, with typical Japanese modernist lowrise and midrise buildings, a few highrises, stores and restaurants. The biggest difference from Tokyo is that the roads are much smaller and more narrow, except for the port area where you find highways and large roads. It is also slightly rougher then Tokyo, rough with Japanese standard still means very modern and clean though (though you can find more edgy clubs). Yokohama Stadium and Yokohama Customs Bldg with its tower are landmarks in the center of Yokohama. Except for in Chinatown, neon signs are quite rare. Central Yokohama is mostly flat, but in the outskirts there are hilly residential areas.

Yokohama has subway and buses. Yokohama Municipal Subway opened in 1972 and has two lines and 42 stations. There are 3 large railway stations; Yokohama (Central), Shin-Yokohama (West) and Sakuragicho Station (harbour). The Yokohama Central Station is the busiest station in Kanagawa prefecture and the 5th busiest in the world (2013)!


We made a daytrip to Yokohama during our trip to Tokyo in May 2018. I takes just about one our by train from Shinagawa Station in Tokyo. Even though the city is very large, the city center and waterfront area is compact and it is easy to walk around. There are many large roads and highways, but also pedestrian bridges and tunnels that make it accessible. Yokohama feels more continental and has more palms then Tokyo.
We arrived in the modern Yokohama main station, a few minutes walk from the Minato Mirai waterfront area. It was warm and sunny. The first thing we did was havin lunch at a waterfront café before going up to the observation deck of Landmark Tower with one of the world’s fastest elevators. It started to become a bit grey and foggy then. When we went down via the Landmark Plaza mall, the sky was really grey and unfortunately it stayed like that for the rest of the day. then walked along the waterfront, visiting Yamashita Park –a Belgian beer festival was going on- and ships and then central Yokohama and Chinatown, were we had diner. After Chinatown it was dark, and many of the impressive buildings were illuminated, both the Chinese restaurants and the harbourfront skyscrapers.
Time to get back to Tokyo via the modern Sakuragicho Station.

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