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13 Sep 2013

Minato Mirai 21 - Yokohama, Japan

Yokohama [横浜市] • SEPTEMBER 2015
Minato Mirai is an urban development project that was officially launched in 1983 after nearly two decades of planning. It resulted in magnificent high rise buildings both commercial and residential, the most famous of which is Landmark Tower. While no longer the tallest building in Asia, it remains the tallest in Japan.

Landmark Tower, true to its name, along with adjoining Queens Square Yokohama buildings is now the most famous landmark in Yokohama. The skyline is stunning both day and night. A lot of Minato Mirai is built on land reclaimed from the sea but luckily city planning has left a lot of open spaces and parks so even on a busy day it has nowhere near the claustrophobic feel of downtown Yokohama. Construction still continues today with new condominiums and office buildings, such as the new Nissan building, popping up frequently. 

In Queens Square Yokohama you will find Minato Mirai Hall where classical music concerts are held regularly, some of which are free. The famous One Dollar Organ Concerts are also held here. Yes, it costs one dollar or one hundred yen to attend.

A Rainy Day
On a rainy day you can take the Minato Mirai line to Minato Mirai Station which is situated beneath Queens Square Yokohama. From there you have access to Landmark Plaza and Landmark Tower without ever stepping outside and you could easily spend the day checking out the latest fashion, eating, and taking in the free performances that seem to be held regularly in both Queens Square Yokohama and Landmark Plaza. Yurindo in Landmark Plaza has probably the best selection of English books and magazines in Yokohama. If you are looking for something more physical there is even a gym with a swimming pool. You should save going to the Sky Garden on the 69th floor for a clear day as the views are spectacular day or night.

Minato Mirai is blessed with a great location along the water and has a wealth of attractions. Visitors to the area will be able to find shopping centers, hotels, a convention center, an amusement park, a relaxation center with hot spring baths, museums and park space.

[Cosmo World Ferris Wheel]

A Day Out
When the weather is fine though there is much more to enjoy so put on your walking shoes and take a stroll from Yokohama Station. Before you go drop into the Tourist Information near the JR ticket gates and get yourself a free English map of the area. (For those who want to start from Sakuragicho Station there is a Tourist Information on the Landmark Tower side of the station.)

[Sculpture between Landmark Tower and Queens Square Yokohama[

Queen's Square
Hours: Most shops open 11:00 to 20:00 (most restaurants until 22:00) 
Closed: No regular closing days
Queen's Square is located in the lower floors of the three Queen's Towers. They offer a variety of shops and restaurants, including various well known brand stores. The Minato Mirai Station is located in the basement.

[Intercontinental Hotel ]

You may get tired walking around Minato Mirai but don't worry there are other options. You can rent a bicycle from HamaChari or you can hitch a ride on a Velo Taxi. They are both reasonably priced and eco-friendly. Yokohama Guide

[Landmark Tower]

Standing 296m with a total floor area of 392,885m2, the Landmark Tower is a marvelous cityscape featuring offices, a hotel, and a shopping mall in the central tower, as well as a variety of facilities, such as an observatory, a multipurpose hall, and an outside area accentuated by a restored stone dock called the Dockyard Garden.

69F The Landmark Tower Yokohama
2-1-1,Minatomirai 2-chome,Nishi-ku,Yokohama 220-8169 Tel 045-222-5030 Fax 045-222-5039

Admission fee
・Adult (Over high school student)1000yen・School child・Junior high school student500yen・High shool student・Over 65 years old800yen・Child(Over 4 years old)200yen
Business hour 10:00AM-9:00PM
Open until 10:00PM on Saturdays and the summer vacation.
Admission end at 30min.before closing time.
Closing time of admission might be changed by conqestion.
Open 365 days.Yokohama Landmark

How to get to Minato Mirai 21
The most central station is Minato Mirai Station on the Minato Mirai Line, which is located in the basement of Queen's Square and is two stations from Yokohama Station (3 minutes, 180 yen).
Minato Mirai is also easily accessed from Sakuragicho Station on the JR Negishi Line (Keihin-Tohoku Line), which is just one stop from Yokohama Station (3 minutes, 130 yen). The station is also served by the Yokohama Subway Line.

The Akaikutsu Loop Bus connects Sakuragicho Station with the nearby Landmark Plaza, the Pacifico Convention Center, World Porters, the Red Brick Warehouses and other sights in central Yokohama. It costs 100 yen per ride.

Minato Mirai can also be accessed by "Seabass" boats. They depart from Yokohama Bay Quarter (500 meters from Yokohama Station's east exit) and stop at the Pacifico Convention Center (15 minutes, 400 yen) and the Red Brick Warehouses (25 minutes, 580 yen) before continuing on to Yamashita Park. Boats depart about once every 15 minutes, but only half of them stop at Minato Mirai, while the others travel directly to Yamashita Park.


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