Minato Mirai 21
Minato Mirai 21 is one of Yokohama’s liveliest entertainment districts. Visit the modern retail shops, restaurants and high-rise buildings epitomizing the district’s name, which means “harbor of the future.” Various museums pay tribute to its history as one of the first Japanese ports open for foreign trade.
When Japan first opened its ports to the West at the end of the Edo period, Yokohama was a small seaside village with a population of barely 100 people. Remember that history as you tour the city that has flourished over the centuries to become a leading international trading port and Japan’s second-largest city. Minato Mirai 21 served as an important shipyard until the 1980s, when Yokohama began to develop it into a cosmopolitan city center.
Relax with a massage or hot spring bath at the Manyo Club, a popular spa and relaxation center. Explore high-end shops in Queen’s Square shopping center, next to Landmark Tower. Enjoy more shopping at World Porters, an enormous shopping mall in which the stores are organized by genre for the ease of shoppers.
Visit Nippon Maru, a former sailing ship permanently docked at Minato Mirai 21 and open for visitors to explore. Across from the ship, investigate the Yokohama Port Museum to learn about the history of this important port and its role in the growth of Japan.
Don’t miss the quirky Cup Noodles Museum, which explores the history of instant noodles through hands-on exhibits. You can even design your own cup noodles for a small fee.
Admire contemporary art exhibits at the Yokohama Museum of Art. The museum is home to permanent and rotating exhibitions, with a focus on the work of local Japanese artists.
Be sure to see the Cosmo World amusement park’s enormous Ferris wheel at night, when it illuminates the Minato Mirai 21 skyline with its enchanting lighting effects. This unique Ferris wheel also displays the time, making it among the largest clocks in the world.
Reach Minato Mirai 21 in about an hour by train from Tokyo. You can also take the Akaikutsu Loop Bus from Sakuragicho Station or catch a “Seabass” boat from Yokohama Bay Quarter.