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Where to Go in Yokohama Minatomirai

Yokohama has a uniquely cosmopolitan history: it was here that US Commodore Perry arrived on his second Japanese voyage in 1854; ultimately succeeding in his mission to open the nation up to world trade, and ending Japan’s centuries-long period of self-imposed isolation. Reminders of this storied past are abundant even in the city’s future-focused Minatomirai (‘Harbor of the Future’) district, where century-old former warehouses offer some of the city’s best shopping and dining, and Japan’s largest Chinatown continues to be one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the entire Kanto region.

Where to Go in Yokohama Minatomirai
  • Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse

    Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse

    Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse

    One of Yokohama’s most popular destinations, with tourists and locals alike, the ‘Akarenga’ began life as a pair of customs warehouses almost a century back. Now renovated inside but retaining their charming early 20th century facades (which really stand out due to the rarity of brickwork constructions in Japan), the buildings house over 40 independent shops with a strong focus on arts and crafts; a concert and theater venue; and a variety of cafes and restaurants. Several Akarenga eateries boast terrace seating with great views out over the harbor and Minatomirai’s huge Cosmo Clock 21 ferris wheel; the latter stunningly illuminated after sundown. The courtyard between the two buildings also hosts frequent events, ranging from winter ice skating to an annual Oktoberfest beer festival each September.

  • Osanbashi Terminal

    Osanbashi Terminal

    Osanbashi Terminal

    This vast international and domestic sea terminal itself somewhat resembles an ocean-going vessel, with expansive wooden decking and a shape echoing the swell of the sea. A superb place for a stroll while taking in the sea air, Osanbashi offers 360-degree panoramic views over Yokohama Port and the surrounding waters, and also boasts a sizable lawn up on its rooftop square.

  • Yokohama Chinatown

    Yokohama Chinatown

    Yokohama Chinatown

    Yokohama’s Chinese enclave, an eight-minute-walk southeast of Minatomirai, is the very largest of Japan’s three main Chinatowns (the other two are located in Kobe and Nagasaki). As with those other two historic port towns, Yokohama Chinatown emerged organically as Chinese merchants chose to make their homes here after Japan opened up to foreign trade towards the end of the 19th century. These days the focus is firmly upon pleasure, courtesy of countless authentic Chinese restaurants. Four colorful and imposing gates, of traditional Chinese design, mark the entrances to these almost always bustlings streets, with a further six to be found inside the district.

  • Marine & Walk Yokohama

    Marine & Walk Yokohama

    Marine & Walk Yokohama

    A recent addition to Minatomirai is this upmarket shopping and dining complex sitting right on the waterfront. Marine & Walk Yokohama is an entirely different proposition to the retail centers typically found in Japanese cities, in that it succeeds in making shopping a chilled-out experience. Stylish contemporary architecture takes external design cues from its neighbor the historic Akarenga warehouse, while inside on the first floor over a dozen trendy shops (men’s and women’s fashions predominate) are interspersed with several highly relaxing lounge areas offering views out over the sea. Head upstairs to find an eclectic selection of eateries ranging from Spanish tapas to a Snoopy and Peanuts-themed diner.

  • Yokohama Landmark Tower

    Yokohama Landmark Tower

    Yokohama Landmark Tower

    With a scale befitting its ambitious name, at 296.3 meters high this is Japan’s second tallest building, and its fourth tallest structure. Completed in 1993, its design by architect Hugh Stubbins still looks futuristic. Across 70 stories the tower houses a multitude of shops, restaurants, and offices (floors one to 48) as well as the five-star Royal Park Hotel above these. Visitors will probably want to head straight to the Landmark Tower’s crowning glory, the 68th-floor Sky Garden observatory. Here you can enjoy 360-degree views over the Kanto region, with Mt. Fuji visible on clearer days.

  • Zou-no-Hana Park and Terrace

    Zou-no-Hana Park and Terrace

    Zou-no-Hana Park and Terrace

    This pleasant waterside spot is another site steeped in Yokohama’s international history: it marks the site of the city’s very first quayside where Perry disembarked in 1854. Zou-no-Hana (‘elephant’s nose’) is named for the elephant’s nose-shaped dykes that once stood here. These days visitors come to enjoy unique elephant-shaped soft cream; shopping at denim boutique Blue Blue Yokohama; and simply to hang out while taking in the fresh ocean air.

    Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
    Address
    Kanagawa Pref. Yokohamashi Naka-ku Shinkou 1-1
    Phone
    0452111515
    Yokohama Chinatown
    Address
    Kanagawa Pref. Yokohamashi Naka-ku Yamashitachou
    Phone
    Osanbashi Yokohama International Passenger Terminal
    Address
    Kanagawa Pref. Yokohamashi Naka-ku Kaigandori 1-1-4
    Phone
    0452112304
    MARINE & WALK YOKOHAMA
    Address
    Kanagawa Pref. Yokohamashi Naka-ku Shinkou 1-3-1
    Phone
    0456806101
  • Yokohama Landmark Tower
    Address
    Kanagawa Pref. Yokohamashi Nishi-ku Minatomirai 2-2-1
    Phone
    0452225015
    ZOU-NO-HANA CAFE
    Address
    Kanagawa Pref. Yokohamashi Naka-ku Kaigandori 1 elephant's nose terrace
    Phone
    0456805677
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