Yokohama is an incredibly popular city when it comes to sightseeing, and not just because it is so close to the Japanese capital of Tokyo. Minato Mirai, for example, enchants both locals and tourists with its shopping facilities, attractions, and a large park to relax in. Some of the many fun things to do in Minato Mirai won't cost you a single yen! Let's take a look at five free highlights.
Osanbashi: A 360 Degree Panoramic View over Yokohama
Yokohama Port has a large international passenger terminal called Osanbashi. It's the proud symbol of the port area and, with a wooden roof covering the spacious terminal, is particularly beautiful. Green grass stretches next to the ocean, making Osanbashi a wonderful spot to relax at on a sunny day. Make sure to bring some snacks and drinks for a scenic picnic!
Osanbashi is also famous for the many large commercial cruisers that stop here. If you're lucky, you'll spot a famous luxury cruiser such as the Nippon Maru, MS Asuka II, or Ocean Dream.
Various events take place throughout the year at Osanbashi as well, such as the Oranbashi Marche where numerous, unique products are on offer from all over Japan.
Hours: 24/7 (rooftop), 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. (2nd floor; hall is open until 10:00 p.m.)
Closed: always open
Broadcast Library: Free TV Shows to Learn Japanese With!
The Broadcast Library specializes, as the name suggests, in broadcast programs. You can find it on the 8th floor of the Yokohama Information and Culture Center that is directly linked to the Nihon-Odori Station. Around 30,000 different broadcast pieces, such as TV shows, radio programs, commercials, and news can be watched and listened to entirely for free.
One booth welcomes between one and three people for up to 120 minutes. There are plenty of entertaining programs and we highly recommend everyone who wants to learn Japanese to stop by and watch a drama episode or two!
The upper floor boasts an exhibition about the methods, gadgets, and history of broadcasting. There's even a corner that lets you step into the shoes of a news anchor!
Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed: Mondays (or the next weekday in case Monday is a national holiday), New Year's
- Address 11 Nihon-odori, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken 231-0021
Nogeyama Zoo: Make New Furry, Scaly, and Feathery Friends!
Nogeyama Park is a famous cherry blossom viewing spot in spring, only a 15-minute walk away from Sakuragicho Station. Situated on a hill, it overlooks the entire Minato Mirai area. The real highlight of this park, however, is Nogeyama Zoo, a beautiful botanical garden that is entirely free to enter! Say hello to around 1,500 different animals of 100 species, from exotic critters to local friends. The zoo's concept is a "zoo where everyone feels welcome and can relax."
Of course, Nogeyama Zoo's most popular inhabitant is the red panda. Its cheerful way of strutting about is likely to make you "Aww!" in delight. At the Nakayoshi Square, look forward to shaking paws with guinea pigs and mice, and rare reptiles such as the Ploughshare tortoise are also beloved by young and old.
Yokohama Landmark Tower's Dockyard Projection Mapping: Immerse Yourself in a Powerful Visual Experience
The Dockyard Projection Mapping is a famous event held at Minato Mirai's Yokohama Landmark Tower. Once the sun has set over Yokohama, head over to the tower's Dockyard Garden, a designated national important cultural property that is, in fact, a restored shipyard dock. Enjoy a beautiful projection mapping show that is entirely free!
An 180-degree image is projected on 10 meters high and 29 meters long stone walls, allowing you to really immerse yourself in the fantastic show.
Viewing is free, as already mentioned, but you will have to get a numbered ticket at the Sky Garden entrance on the 3rd floor of Yokohama Landmark Tower. Those tickets are issued from 10:00 a.m. in the morning, so it's convenient to comfortably get one as soon as you arrive at Minato Mirai.
Hours/show theme vary.
※The tickets are issued from 10:00 a.m. in the morning until 40 minutes before each show. Only tickets. Only tickets for the shows of the day can be obtained.
Yokohama World Porters Roof Garden: Spend a Romantic Evening while Gazing over Yokohama
Yokohama World Porters is a large shopping mall that unites numerous unique and interesting shops, restaurants, and even a cinema under its roof. Located close to the ocean, it's not just a popular spot for shopping but also offers a wonderful scenery for a leisurely stroll.
The rooftop garden of Yokohama World Porters boasts the best night view in all of Yokohama. Gaze upon the impressive Yokohama Landmark Tower and Minato Mirai's famous Cosmo Clock 21, the large Ferris wheel of the area's amusement park called Cosmo World. Find yourself a nice bench and let your mind wander, inspired by the colorful lights of the big city.
The Roof Garden is open and entirely free to enter until 10:00 p.m., so it's the perfect spot to conclude your wonderful day at Minato Mirai.
Hours: 10:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. (rooftop garden)
10:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. (shopping)
11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. (restaurants)
※Business hours may vary.
Closed: irregular holidays
Yokohama World Porters Roof Garden横浜ワールドポーターズ ルーフガーデン
- Address 2-2-1 Shinko, Naka-ku Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken 231-0001
Written by: Makiko Shiba
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