10 Yokohama Tourist Destinations to Visit on the Minatomirai Line
Yokohama City in Kanagawa Prefecture has long flourished as a port town and a center of international trade. Due to this historic background, the city has many buildings and features that reflect Western culture. The Minatomirai subway line connects all the main tourist destinations in Yokohama and is a great way to get around the city. This article introduces 10 select sightseeing destinations to visit along the Minatomirai Line.
Feb 19 2021
*This article is written in collaboration with the Kanto District Transport Bureau, as well as local municipal governments and railway companies.
About the Minatomirai Line
The Minatomirai Line is a subway line that runs between Yokohama Station and Motomachi-Chukagai Station in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture. It is a relatively new line that opened in 2004, but because it passes through Yokohama’s key tourist spots, it took just two years for it to exceed 100 million passengers! Its terminus, Yokohama Station, also serves eight other train lines, including the Keihin-Tohoku-Negishi Line which connects Omiya (Saitama Prefecture) and Ofuna (Kanagawa Prefecture), so it is easy to access the Minatomirai Line from all around the Greater Tokyo Area. The line also through-runs onto the Toyoko Line and offers direct service to Shibuya, so Yokohama is just as convenient to see as Tokyo.
All facilities and destinations introduced here have put anti-coronavirus measures in place. For more information, go to the websites of these facilities and destinations, as well as of local tourism bureaus.
Stroll Around Bashamichi Shopping District, Influenced by the West
Bashamichi Shopping District is a wonderful area to stroll in, with elegant Western-style buildings, cafes, restaurants, and shops. It was a center for international trade from the Meiji Period (1868 – 1912), and was where many foreigners and international trade ships could be seen. It had consulates and customs offices and was truly a key point of exchange between Japan and the rest of the world.
The road came to be called “bashamichi” (horse-drawn carriage road) because foreigners and affluent people often rode through it on coaches when going to consulates and customs offices. You can still walk around the area today and get a sense of how this international trading town was at the time.
Enjoy a Full Day of Fun at the Iconic Yokohama Landmark Tower
Yokohama Landmark Tower is a multi-use complex with offices, a hotel, and a shopping mall. The 296-meter-tall tower stands out in Yokohama. There are approximately 160 shops in this 70-floor building. It is crowded every day as one of Yokohama’s leading destinations for shopping.
There is an observation deck, the “Sky Garden,” on the 69th floor, with a 360° panoramic view of Yokohama. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Sky Tree, and Mt. Fuji! Make sure to enjoy the observation deck in addition to all the shopping.
Enjoy Shopping at MARK IS Minatomirai, Full of Popular Shops!
MARK IS Minatomirai is the largest shopping mall in the “Minatomirai 21” area. Minatomirai 21 was developed with the aim of maintaining and improving a quality urban environment. There are many shopping malls in the area, including MARK IS Minatomirai, which has about 190 shops. There is a wide range of shops at the mall, including popular clothing stores, shops selling a variety of stylish items, and toy shops—enough for a full day of shopping.
An Onsen in the City!? Rejuvenate at the Manyo-no-Yu
Manyo-no-Yu offers a variety of services, including hot spring baths and overnight accommodations. The hot springs, especially, are not to be missed! The hot spring water is transported daily in a tanker truck from the famous hot spring areas of Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture and Yugawara in Kanagawa Prefecture. Enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot spring water with a view of the beautiful port of Yokohama.
It is also a lovely experience to see the shimmering views of Minatomirai 21 at night while soaking your feet in hot spring water out in the Ashiyu Foot Bath Garden.
Dazzling Lights Shimmering on the Water—Enjoy the Yokohama Night View
Yokohama is known as one of the best spots for night views in the Greater Tokyo Area—so much so that tourists come from afar to see the beautiful sight. The views from Yokohama Landmark Tower, introduced earlier, are fantastic, and the historic buildings that are lit up at night are also lovely to look at while taking a stroll. The port area becomes particularly romantic when the lights go on in the ships in the port and on the skyscrapers on the opposing shore. Yokohama is an enchanting city that delights visitors throughout the day.
Shining Even Brighter in the Winter—See Yokohama's Beautiful Illuminations
Various parts of Yokohama are lit up in holiday lights every year during the Christmas season. The city of Yokohama at night takes on a magical aspect when adorned by the dazzling illuminations. There is much to see in Yokohama in the winter, including a beautifully decorated 10-meter-tall Christmas tree and a light show featuring light and sound. Some of the events are held until the end of February, so be sure to enjoy the illuminations of Yokohama at night if you have a chance to visit in the winter.
Learn the City's History at the Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History
The Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History exhibits a variety of materials on the history and culture of Kanagawa Prefecture. At this museum, you can learn in detail about the lives and beliefs of the people of Kanagawa and the evolution of its history and economy, including topics such as the opening of Yokohama’s port, popular culture, traditional culture, and contemporary Kanagawa.
The museum’s old building is a historic neo-baroque structure that was built in 1904 as the headquarters of Yokohama Specie Bank. All but the dome of this building remains as it was at the time, and as such, it has been designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. The building itself gives one a sense of how aspects of foreign culture were imported into Japan and the historic background to the development of Japan’s industries.
For a Limited Time Only! Go See a Life-Size Gundam at GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA is the site created to exhibit the “moving GUNDAM,” part of the 40th anniversary celebrations for the popular animation series, Mobile Suit Gundam. It is packed with must-see areas for Gundam lovers, such as a shop selling rare Gundam goods and a cafe serving menu items developed in collaboration with local Yokohama companies. The highlight is the GUNDAM-DOCK, which houses a life-size “moving GUNDAM”. The huge life-size robot is awe-inspiring!
The special GUNDAM-DOCK TOWER viewing space gives you an up-close view of the Gundam’s head and body from a height of 15-18m. The event will be held till March 31, 2022, so be sure to visit if you are in Yokohama.
Relax and Enjoy the Hotel Life at HOTEL EDIT YOKOHAMA
HOTEL EDIT YOKOHAMA’s theme is “editing together your ideal, personalized trip”. It has full-service rental offices in addition to guest rooms in order to meet the needs of both tourists and business travelers. The hotel is equipped with a full range of services, including a laundry service, library, and coin-operated laundry. Food is also a key element of the hotel, with the in-house restaurant serving outstanding grilled dishes made with local vegetables and other seasonal ingredients.
Oakwood Suites: With Full Amenities to Experience “Living” in Yokohama
Oakwood Suites Yokohama is an apartment-style accommodation where each room is equipped with a full kitchen with cooking utensils and tableware as well as furniture and home appliances. It also has a full range of services, including a reception desk that is open around the clock, concierge services, and regular housekeeping services, so guests can relax and enjoy the “hotel life”. The guest rooms have panoramic views of the bustling city of Yokohama.
This article introduced some of the varied appeals of Yokohama. Did you find any place you’d like to visit? Take a ride on Minatomirai Line, which connects all of the major tourist destinations of Yokohama, and discover the many charms of this wonderful city!
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.