Minato Mirai 21 (横浜みなとみらい21) is the biggest business, shopping, and tourism district in all of Yokohama. It is just a few minutes by train from Yokohama Station using the Minatomirai Line, or about 40 minutes away from Tokyo Station.
Though there are countless things to see and do in this area, here are five recommendations to get you started, all within walking distance of Minatomirai Station!
The Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, also known as Akarenga Souko, was originally built in 1911 and has since become one of the most famous tourist destinations in Yokohama. It does not only consist of souvenir shops and restaurants but also hosts exciting events almost every week. Some of these are quite unique and range from African food markets, nabe (Japanese hot pot) festivals, ice skating rinks, and the hugely popular Yokohama Oktoberfest (usually held from late September).
Make sure to check out all the cool arts and crafts stores while you are here and maybe grab yourself a cool souvenir while you are at it. The wood shop on the second floor is also highly recommended!
Once you’ve built up an appetite after all that shopping, there is no better place to visit than Marine & Walk, three minutes by foot from the Red Brick Warehouse. Here you will find cafes aplenty as well as a collection of cutting-edge fashion apparel shops.
Marine Walk overlooks a small harbor and is a great location for taking beautiful photos both during the daytime and at night. The angel wings painted on the outside wall at the end of Marine Walk are especially popular and often, you will find people lining up for their turn to take a picture.
If shopping is your thing, set your sights on Landmark Tower and the surrounding area. With about 170 shops in Landmark Tower alone, you are sure to find something unique and exciting. Without a doubt, one of the most popular shops is the Pokemon Center located on the fourth floor, featuring goods of all kinds as well as items that you can only find in this specific store.
At the top of Landmark Tower, you will also find the Sky Garden, a fantastic 360-degree panoramic viewing platform and the perfect opportunity for a few sneaky photos to make your friends at home jealous.
The Sky Garden also features the fastest elevator in Japan, which will take you to a height of 273 meters in less than 40 seconds. Entrance is 1,000 yen for adults.
If you have ever wondered how Cup Noodles are made, be sure not to miss this one-of-a-kind museum! Inside you will find the history of how Cup Noodles were invented, as well as the chance to make your very own Cup Noodle flavor that will be packaged right in front of you. You even get a cool inflatable bag to carry your creation around with you!
On the top floor, you will also find a small selection of noodle restaurants with flavors inspired by different countries across the world. On your way out, make sure to stop by the souvenir shop where you will find a treasure trove of noodle-inspired items ranging from towels to noodle-shaped desserts.
While walking around Minato Mirai, you might notice the giant Ferris wheel with a clock in the middle. This eye-catching attraction belongs to Cosmoworld, the biggest theme park in Yokohama.
Yokohama Cosmoworld is split into two by a river running down the middle of the park. While many of the rides here are aimed at kids, there are a few that require real courage as well.
The Ferris wheel is illuminated and changes color depending on the time of day and season, and even has patterns for special events such as the Poké Ball pattern during the Pikachu festival in summer.
Park entry is free, and tickets are bought for each ride, so even if you just want to stroll through on your way to the Red Brick Warehouse, Cosmoworld is worth a visit.
Ferris wheel tickets are 800 yen per person and will give you a great view of Yokohama from the top, while other rides range between 300 and 600 yen.
With choices like these, you are sure to have a great time in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai. And if you are feeling brave and decide to wander off the beaten path, you are sure to stumble upon even more exciting experiences! So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore!