Factory Nightscapes of Japan: 16 Factory Zones With a Futuristic Industrial Aesthetic

Being one of the world’s leading manufacturers, Japan is full of factories working to supply goods to the world. While some may see them as an eyesore, these complexes brim with a hypnotic industrial aesthetic reminiscent of a sci-fi city. Japan’s factory nightscapes are especially stunning, and can even be enjoyed on dedicated tours, cruises, or from lookouts. In this article, we’ll introduce you to 16 of Japan’s best factory nightscapes to witness the crux of its industrial aesthetics for yourself.

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1. Muroran, Hokkaido

Muroran is located in the southwest coast area of Hokkaido. With the Shiratori Ohashi suspension bridge, Muroran offers a spectacular night view. You can take a bus tour or a cruise tour from April to November, or can visit by car as there are several observatories which are not included in tours. It takes one and half hours from Sapporo to Higashi-Muroran on the JR express.

HP: www.muro-kanko.com/yakei/index.html (Japanese Only)

Address: Muroran-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)

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2. Kawasaki

Kawasaki is a huge industrial zone, neighboring Tokyo and Yokohama. It is one of the most popular areas to enjoy factory night views, and as such, there are a wide variety of tours on offer. We recommend taking one of the weekly cruise tours. With the glittering illumination of the factories and city, you are sure to have a fantastic time.

HP: https://trip.pref.kanagawa.jp/destination/kawasaki-factory-night-view-cruise/539

Address: Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa (Google Map)

3. Kawasaki - Higashiogishima-Higashi Park

If you are with children, we wholeheartedly recommend this park. Located along the canal near Haneda Airport, you can enjoy watching both ships and aircraft come and go. Why not come to spend a relaxing time among the beautiful scenery? You can get here by taking the city bus from Kawasaki Station to the Higashiohgishima-Higashi Park stop.

Address: 58-1 Higashiogishima, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa (Google Map)

4. Kawasaki - TEPCO Minami Thermal Power Plant

This is another photogenic spot. From the neighboring area of this thermal power plant, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the oil plants on the opposite bank. This is really a place for enthusiasts. You can get here by taking the city bus to Todenmae stop departing from Isogo station on the JR Negishi line.

Address: 37-1 Shin-isogo, Isogo-ku, Yokohama-shin Kanagawa (Google Map)

5. Yokkaichi - Night Cruise

Yokkaichi is Japan's first petrochemical complex, established in 1955. Crowded with huge factories lined up along the waterfront, the view of this area from the night cruise is breathtaking. The 1 hour cruise usually takes place on Fridays and Saturdays. Fare: Adult 3900yen/ Child 3,400yen. The area is about 33 minutes from Nagoya on the Kintetsu Railway to Yokkaichi.

HP: https://www.kankomie.or.jp/en/report/detail_100.html

Address: Yokkaichi-shi, Mie (Google Map)


6. Yokkaichi - Umiterasu14 (Port Building)

Yokkaichi Port Building is a popular spot for enjoying the panoramic view of Yokkaichi City and the glittering coastal industrial zone. On the 14th floor of this 100m high building, there’s an observatory room which closes at 17:00 (and at 21:00 on Fridays) from July to November.  It is a 15-minute walk from Tomidahama on the JR Kansai line. Admission is 300yen. The building is closed on Wednesdays.

HP: https://www.kankomie.or.jp/en/report/detail_161.html

Address: 2-1-1 Kasumi, Yokkaichi-shi, Mie (Google Map)

7. Yokkaichi - Taishobashi Bridge

Taishobashi Bridge is another spot for enthusiasts. With only a few trains running every hour, and a 15-minute walk from Yokkaichi Station on the JR Kansai Line, this place is really worth visiting. The brightly lit factories and their reflections in the river viewed from the bridge and the neighboring area are a magical sight.

Address: Kitanaya-cho, Yokkaichi-shi, Mie (Google Map)

8. Shunan, Yamaguchi - Harumi Water Park

Shunan petrochemical complex is very close to the Tokuyama downtown, which makes it easy to enjoy the night view from various spots. Harumi Water Park is the easiest and best option. You can view the factories on the opposite side and their reflections on the sea from almost 0m above sea level. It is a 15-minute walk from Tokuyama Station on the JR Line.

Address: 6-3 Harumi-cho, Shunan-shi, Yamaguchi (Google Map)

9. Kitakyushu with Night Cruise

Kitakyushu is one of the biggest industrial zones in Japan, and the first place to operate a modern iron and steel works. Besides iron works, there’s other factories, such as chemical plants. With many spots to see, the best way to enjoy the impressive landscape is on a cruise tour, which we highly recommend if you have a chance.

HP: www.kanmon-kisen.co.jp/contact/ (Japanese Only)

Address: Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka (Google Map)

10. Kitakyushu - Tips

Here, there are two great spots to visit. The easiest is a sidewalk, 10 minutes from JR Kokura station in the direction of the ferry terminal. For a photographer, the quay at Nishi-ko Port is a good option (about 12 minutes by car). From both spots, the night views on the opposite side are spectacular.

HP: sangyokanko.com/kojyouyakei/ (Japanese Only)

Address: Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka (Google Map)

11. Kitakyushu - Yawata Steel Works

Introduced here is the Higashida First Blast Furnace, a part of the industrial heritage site Yawata Steel Works. Operated from 1901 to 1972, after several expansions and repair works, it has now been revived as a historic park displaying the equipment of iron manufacturing. The night view from the area around the station is nostalgic. It is a 10-minute walk from Space World, on the JR Kagoshima line.

HP: www.kitakyushu-museum.jp/

Address: Kokura, Yahatahigashi, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka (Google Map)

12. Kashima - Sunayama Toshi Ryokuchi Park

With its inconvenient location, this place is one only for real enthusiasts. The factories lined up on the opposite shore-side look like futuristic cities with their glittering orange and blue lights. Sunayamaryokuchi Park, 10km from Shimousa-Tachibana station on the JR Narita line, is open year-round and is free for public. Access by car recommended.

Address: 21-2 Higashiwada, Kamisu-machi, Kashima-shi, Ibaraki (Google Map)

13. Chiba - Chiba Port Tower

With nothing to block your sight, the 113m high observatory room on the 4th floor provides you an extensive panoramic view of the factories packed alongside seashore. We also recommend taking a relaxing walk along the coast close to the tower. It is a 12-minute walk from Chiba-minato Station on the JR Keiyo line. It closes at 21:00 from June to September, and at 19:00 from October to May. Admission is 420yen. Open year-round except New Year holidays.

HP: https://chiba-porttower.com/(Japanese Only)

Address: Chuoko 1 chome, Chuo-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba (Google Map)

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14. Sakai - Hamadera Park

The Sakai Senboku Coastal Industrial Zone in Osaka looks like futuristic fortress. The easiest way to get here is by the Hamadera Park. You can take a spectacular view of factories on the opposite bank. If you are moving from or to Kansai Airport at night, make sure you are seated on the side looking over the sea so you can enjoy the picturesque scenery through the window. The closest stations are Hamadera-koen on the Nankai Railway and Hamadera-koenmae on the Hankai Railway.

HP: www.osaka-park.or.jp/rinkai/hamadera/main.html (Japanese Only)

Address: Hamaderakoen-cho, Nishi-ku, Sakai-shi, Osaka (Google Map)

15. Himeji - Aboshi Nagisa Park

Himeji and its surrounding area is one of the top 5 industrial regions in Japan. Aboshi Nagisa Park has a lookout where a unique nightscape spreads before your eyes. At less than 30 minutes by train from Himeji, home of the famous Himeji Castle, why not add this to your list of places to visit in the area? It is a 25-minute walk from Sanyo Aboshi Station on the Sanyo Railway.

Address: 246-2 Shinzaike, Aboshi-ku, Himeji-shi, Hyogo (Google Map)

16. Mizushima - Washuzan Observatory

Though accessible only by car, the night view of the Mizushima Industrial Complex from Mt. Washuzan is always included in the top 10 factory night views in Japan. From the observatory, you can enjoy a fantastic view of bright mega complex spread below and floating along the coast line. It is 5 minutes from Kojima IC of the Seto-Chuo Expressway, and 40 minutes from Kurashiki station via the expressway.

HP: https://www.okayama-japan.jp/en/spot/912

Address: Shimotsui-tanoura, Kurashiki-shi, Okayama (Google Map)

Top image: PIXTA

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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