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17 Dec 2013

Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse Part 2, Japan

Yokohama [横浜市] • DECEMBER 2013
The two brick buildings are former shipping warehouses from the early part of the last century that have been renovated to today house fancy shops, restaurants, and art exhibition rooms. 

More important though, the project represents a breath of fresh air that blows through Japan very infrequently: a preservation of the past in the face of a seemingly never-ending onslaught of new shopping centers and housing complexes.

It has never been a tradition for Japan to preserve her cultural landmarks. Historic buildings utilizing architectural styles from Japan's past are often demolished quickly with no, or very little, protest. This was especially true during the booming economy of the '70s. Many areas rich in cultural heritage, such as Kyoto and Nara, suffered great losses. Even today, older houses in Tokyo are being demolished at an alarming rate to make way for multi-story apartment complexes. As a result, this preservation project at the edge of Yokohama's Harbor is a step in a different direction.

A Flower event held every year at Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse. This year,more than 47,000 flowers were used to decorate the warehouse. We enjoyed the entire view of this spectacular garden from the 2m high bridge setup over the gardens. We were very lucky to be there during this Spring- Flower Garden event.
Dated: March 30 (Sat.) to April 21 (Sun.), 2013 *Illuminated at night

In keeping with the methods of the factory restoration, the exteriors of Yokohama's warehouses (referred to as Warehouse No. 1 and No. 2) have been held largely to that of the original. It is the insides that have been given a modern touch.

Spring: Flower Garden – Beautiful flowers ornate the square like a colorful fantasy;

Summer: Red Brick Resort – The 2011 edition transformed Event Space in a tropical resort paradise of cottages floating on water;

Autumn: Oktoberfest – A lively beer garden that warms up the city (Munich style);

Winter: Ice Skating Rink – Like skating along with light itself in an enchanted rink.
Christmas Market – A Christmas Market spread around a majestic Christmas tree, with wodden shacks, German cuisine and vibrant decorations.

It has fulfilled its’ goal; now it is one of the most famous shopping areas in Yokohama. With a variety of shops (ranging from leather-making to bath salts) and confusing layout, it is easy to get lost for hours inside the Red Brick Warehouse.

The exterior of the building is quite interesting compared to most modern or Japanese style buildings. There are many nice shops in the longer bldg 2 where you will find Yokohama favourite souvenirs like Red shoes, nautical motif items and Kit-Kats, on top of boutique shops and ice cream stores, a great gift shopping experience. I understand that the big open space between both buildings serves as a big exhibit space/venue for outdoor festivals and concerts. 

I saw a gorgeous book in Yokohama, depicting the story of this girl, and I wish I had bought it.  I thought I would be able to find the story easily enough on the internet, but I haven’t been able to find it yet. 
I was fascinated by the many stores in this place! Its worth spending some time going through the warehouse. We spend 2-3 hours inside the shop.

Area:  Minato Mirai 21/Sakuragi-cho
Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00
Open : 7 days a week
Address: Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse 1st Building, 1-1-1 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama, 231-0001
Closest Railway Station :Bashamichi Station / Nihon Odori Station: Minato Mirai Line
Tel: 045-226-1513
Foreign Language Support: Japanese Only
Credit card Most major credit cards accepted


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