As the weather warms in Japan, nothing is better than hopping on the train and taking a stroll by the water. Though Yokohama Station is only a 30-minute ride from Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station, the ambiance couldn’t be more different. Both are major, urban centers, however, Yokohama is luxuriously spacious while striking the perfect balance between a bustling city and a laid-back seaside town. If you’re planning a trip to Yokohama, here are 10 things you can do with your friends, loved ones, or children in the downtown area.
1.Picnic at Rinkō Park
Rinkō Park is the largest park in the Minato Mirai 21 business district. Right on the water, it’s the perfect place to bring family or friends to watch boats bob through Tokyo Bay. Bring a tent and a cooler, and enjoy as Yokohama begins to glitter at nightfall.
- Access: Minato-mirai Station (Minato-mirai Line) – 5 min. walk
- Sakuragichō Station (JR Keihin-Tohoku Negishi Line/Yokohama Municipal Subway) – 15 min. walk
- Address: 1 Minato Mirai Nishi-ku, Yokohama, 220-0012
2. Yokohama Tram Museum
In September of 1872, the first railway Japanese railway was constructed, linking Yokohama’s present-day Sakuragichō and Tokyo’s Shiodome. As the rail industry grew, Yokohama’s tram network experienced 68 years of ridership before being retired in the 1970’s. Now, at the Yokohama Tram Museum, you can visit a refurbished tram depot and discover the wonders of 7 authentic, preserved tram cars. Additionally, there are model trains and activities for children.
- Access: JR Negishi Station (Negishi line), transfer to either the #21, #78 or #133 bus for Shiden-Hozokan and ride it to the last stop (7 min.)
- Entrance: Adults – ¥300 Age – Jr. High School Students – ¥100 Seniors (65+) – ¥200
- Hours: 9:00 – 17:00, closed on Mondays except for during school holiday breaks (if Sunday or Monday is a public holiday, the attraction is closed the following Tuesday)
- Website: shiden.yokohama (Japanese)
3. Cosmo World Amusement Park
Follow the Ferris wheel’s swirling light display at the heart of the business district to find Cosmo World, Yokohama’s pay-per-ride amusement park. With a massive roller coaster, log flume, haunted house, and more, this compact urban amusement park has something for everyone. Additionally, just a short walk over the river is a collection of rides designed specifically for young children.
- Minato-mirai Station (Minato-mirai Line) – 2 min. walk
- Sakuragichō Station (JR Keihin-Tohoku Negishi Line/Yokohama Municipal Subway) – 10 min. walk
- Tickets: Prices vary from ¥100 – ¥900 per ride, with ticket packages available
- Website: cosmoworld.jp (Japanese)
4. Nippon Maru Memorial Park
Located amongst a variety of attractions near Sakuragichō Station is the docked training ship, NIPPON MARU. Built in 1930 and used to train cadets, the ship has sailed around the globe 45.4 times and has been open to the public for tours since 1984.
- Minato-mirai Station (Minato-mirai Line) – 5 min. walk
- Sakuragichō Station (JR Keihin-Tohoku Negishi Line/Yokohama Municipal Subway) – 5 min. walk
- Admission: Combo tickets available, lowest (for minors) at ¥300 reaching ¥600 or adults. Please check for details.
- Hours: 10:00 – 16:30, closed Mondays (if Sunday or Monday is a public holiday, the attraction is closed the following Tuesday)
- Website: nippon-maru.or.jp/english
5. North Korea Spy Ship – Japan Coast Guard Museum
This low-key museum in the center of town is home to a North Korean spy ship discovered on December 22, 2001. After an altercation that resulted in the self-destruction of the crew, the ship was eventually pulled from the sea and put on display. At the museum are various items salvaged from the ship, from dictionaries, rudimentary equipment to snack packages, as well as a video documenting the pursuit of the vessel.
- Access: Bashamichi Station or Nihon Ōdōri Station (Minato-mirai line) – 8 min. walk
- Admission: Free to all
- Hours: 10:00 – 17:00, closed Mondays (if Sunday or Monday is a public holiday, the attraction is closed the following Tuesday)
- Website: kaiho.mlit.go.jp/03kanku/kouhou/jcgm_yokohama (Japanese)
6. Catch a baseball game at Yokohama Stadium
With the capacity to hold a little over 34,000 people, Yokohama Stadium is a great place to get your baseball fix while exploring a new city. The stadium served as the 2020 Summer Olympics baseball and softball venue, and has been used for concerts as well, hosting global stars such as Madonna and Bon Jovi.
- Nihon Ōdōri Station (Minato-mirai line) – 3 min walk.
- Kannai Station (JR Keihin-Tohoku/Negishi line/Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue line) – 3 min. walk
- Website: baystars.co.jp/english
7. Design your own packaging at the Yokohama Cup Noodle Museum
Create your own, customized cup noodle packaging, learn how to make chicken ramen from scratch, soak in the history that starts with chicken ramen in a shack to a global phenomenon, as well as “experience” what it’s like to be a noodle in a factory (kids only, unfortunately).
- Access: Minato-mirai Station or Bashamichi (Minato-mirai line) – 8 min. walk.
- Sakuragichō Station (JR/Yokohama Municipal Railway) – 12 min. walk.
- Admission: Adults – ¥500, free for high school age and younger
- Hours: 10:00 – 18:00
- Website: cupnoodles-museum.jp/en
8. Shop in the historic Red Brick Warehouses (Akarenga Sōko)
The two iconic red brick buildings on the harbor boast a 100-year history, surviving the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923, and currently serve as a shopping and event spaces. Originally customs warehouses, the two buildings are now treasured for their historical significance and draw in a large number of domestic tourists. Be sure to check their event calendar – various festivals are organized throughout the year, with an outdoor skating rink to enjoy during the winter.
- Access: Bashamichi or Nihon Ōdōri Station (Minato-mirai line) – 6 min. walk.
- Minato-mirai Station (Minato-mirai line) – 12 min. walk.
- Sakuragichō Station (JR/Yokohama Municipal Railway) – 15 min. walk.
- Kannai Station (JR/Yokohama Municipal Railway) – 15 min. walk.
- Warehouse No. 1: 10:00 – 19:00 (2nd and 3rd floor operating hours depend on individual exhibitions/events)
- Warehouse No. 2: 11:00 – 20:00 (café and restaurant hours may vary)
- Website: yokohama-akarenga.jp (Japanese)
9. Learn about robotic mechanics at Gundam Factory
If you’ve ever wondered about the construction of the Gundam characters, the Gundam Factory has you covered. Though there are multiple exhibits, the biggest draw of the Factory is the 6-story-high Gundam replica that visitors can examine up close.
- Access: Motomachi-Chūkagai Station (Minato-mirai line) – 7 min. walk.
- Monday to Friday: 11:00 – 18:00
- Saturday, Sunday, and holidays: 10:00 – 20:00
- Gundam Factory Yokohama – Adults ¥1,650, Children ¥1,100
- Gundam-dock Tower – an additional ¥3,300
- Website: gundam-factory.net/en
10. Yokohama Chinatown
Yokohama Chinatown is one of three historic Japanese Chinatowns, long with Kobe and Nagasaki. It’s one of Yokohama’s most popular tourist destinations, with streets bursting with food stands, restaurants, souvenir shops, and is also known for fortune tellers. Exploring downtown Yokohama will certainly work up an appetite, and there is no better place to grab a bite than Chinatown.
- Access: Motomachi-Chūkagai station (Minato-mirai line) – direct access.