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20 Free and Unique Things to Do in Yokohama

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Yokohama, Kanagawa is just a short trip from central Tokyo, even shorter from Shibuya, and a must-see place where you can enjoy Japan's unique charms. Here are 20 must-do and mostly free things to enjoy in Yokohama, from hot springs to a ramen museum.

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Explore Yokohama: 20 Great Things to Do

15 Top Things To Do In Yokohama

Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture - just a short trip away from the Tokyo area will bring you to this amazing port city full of exciting, interesting spots and hidden gems to visit. There's a lot to see and do in Yokohama, and it's easy to find even more if you are willing to go on a stroll and see where your feet take you.

Here are 20 fabulous things you can do in Yokohama, from relaxing at seaside parks, to visiting a cup ramen museum, to enjoying hot springs. What makes these 20 spots so fabulous, you ask? Well, many them are things you can do for free! If you want to make the most of your trip and also want to budget, then consider this to be your guide.

Table of Contents:

1. Yamashita Park
2. Zo-no-Hana Terrace
3. Yokohama Marine Tower
4. Yokohama's Landmark Tower
5. Yokohama English Garden
6. Home of Diplomat
7. The Frescoes on the Minato-Mirai Line
8. Tour the City In the Red Shoes Bus
9. Yokohama's Noh Theater
10. Morooka-Kumano Shrine
11. Garden Terrace Cafe
12. Yokohama Chinatown
13. Yokohama Bashi Shotengai
14. Marine Rouge Cruise
15. Hara Railway Museum
16. The Cup Noodle Museum
17. Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum
18. Nogeyama Zoo Yokohama
19. Coquelicot-zaka Kara
20. Yokohama Anpanman Children's Museum

1. Yamashita Park

Yamashita Park

Photo by Pixta

Yamashita Park is a popular spot to both for tourists and Yokohama locals, being a place where you can enjoy walks while taking in the beautiful scenery of the Yokohama Port, which includes the Yokohama Bay Bridge and the ships passing through.

Within the park there are many monuments commemorating Yokohama’s exchanges between other countries, such as the “Indian Water Fountain” created with a pattern of lovely mosaic tiles, and “The Guardian of Water,” which was donated by Yokohama’s sister city, San Diego.

In the park you will also find many flowerbeds to enjoy, with beautiful flowers maintained decorating the entire park. It’s also a famous place to view the flowers of Yokohama and roses, and in the spring and autumn seasons roses are in bloom at the “Future Rose Garden.”

Yamashita Park

Location: Kanagawa, Yokohama, Naka-ku, Yamashita-cho, 279
Hours: 10:00 -22:00
Website: www.city.yokohama.lg.jp (Japanese)


2. Zo-no-Hana Terrace - Enjoy the Sea Breeze

15 Fabulous (And Mostly Free!) Things To Do Yokohama

Zo-no-Hana Terrace was built in 2009 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the opening of Yokohama’s port to the world. This area dates back to the Edo era and has been a place driving the modernization of Japan ever since. This small terrace is a great place to take a break outside, thanks to its charming plazas and cafes that command lovely sweeping views of the Yokohama Port area - all with a cute elephant theme in mind!

Zo-no-Hana Terrace

Location: Kanagawa, Yokohama, Naka-ku, Kaigandori, 1
Hours: Open 24 hours
Website: https://zounohana.com/english/


3. Yokohama Marine Tower

Yokohama Marine Tower

Photo by Pixta

The Yokohama Marine Tower is the symbol of Yokohama and was built in 1961 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Yokohama Port opening. When it was built, it was the tallest lighthouse in all of Japan, as has stood tall to this day protecting the port of Yokohama.

Standing 106 meters high, the 360-degree panoramic night view of the city from the top of the two-story observation floor is a sight everyone must see. The tower was renovated and reopened on September 1, 2022, and was redesigned with the concept of “Nature & Future” that both locals and visitors will come to love.

The other observation floor located 90 meters above ground will have you looking closer at the scenery of Yokohama and is a floor housing a media art gallery where you can enjoy movie presentations while taking in the scenery. Even the lighting of the tower has been renewed, so you can enjoy seeing the tower beautifully lit up in the evenings.

Yokohama Marine Tower

Location: Kanagawa, Yokohama, Naka-ku, Yamashita-cho, 14-1
Hours: 10:00 -22:00
Website: https://marinetower.yokohama/ (Japanese)

4. Yokohama's Landmark Tower - Shop, Catch Pokemon and See the City from Above

15 Fabulous (And Mostly Free!) Things To Do Yokohama

The symbol of Yokohama, the Yokohama Landmark Tower stands 296 meters in height and is full of restaurants, shops, and an observation deck on the 69th floor. Landmark Plaza, a five-story shopping mall neighboring Landmark Tower, has various stores where you can enjoy shopping for a wide variety of items, including the Pokemon Center with many different items inspired by Pokemon of every generation.

The observation deck on the 69th floor, is one of the most popular facilities within Landmark Tower, and costs just 1000 yen to enter. The day and night views from here are spectacular, and the perfect way to end any day trip to Yokohama.

Yokohama's Landmark Tower

Location: Kanagawa, Yokohama, Nishi-ku, Minatomirai, 2-2-1
Hours: Varies by shop, attraction, and observation deck schedule
Website: https://www.yokohama-landmark.jp/transer/english.html

 

5. Yokohama English Garden

Yokohama English Garden

Photo by Pixta

The Yokohama English Garden is filled with a variety of flowers and trees suited for Yokohama’s climate. Here you’ll find flowers like hydrangeas and cosmos flowers, but the main attractions are the roses.

With over 1800 types of roses in the garden, you can enjoy them twice a year in the spring and in autumn. Split into five areas, the flowerbeds have differing themes with roses of specific colors, making each one unique. In the middle of the garden is a tunnel of roses over 50 meters long. It is a spectacle, especially when fully bloomed in the spring, the wonderous atmosphere becomes filled with the various colors and gorgeous scents of the roses.

Yokohama English Garden

Location: Kanagawa, Yokohama, Nishi-ku, Hiranuma-cho, 6-1 tvk ecom park
Hours: 10:00 -18:00 *Varies by season
Website: http://www.y-eg.jp/ (Japanese)

6. Home of Diplomat (Gaikokan no Ie)

Home of Diplomat

Photo by Pixta

This “Home of Diplomat” refers to the residence of Sadatsuchi Uchida, a diplomat of the Meiji government. First being built in 1910 in Minamipeidai of Shibuya, it was relocated and restored in 1997 to the Yamate Italian Mountain Garden and then became open to the public. The interior furnishings in this home recreate the home of the diplomat, allowing visitors to experience what their life was like back during the Meiji era. This facility was designed by designer James McDonald Gardiner, an American architect and founder of Rikkyo University. The building was designed with Victorian American influence, with the furniture and decoration all having Art Nouveau designs and American Arts and Crafts reform movement influence.

Home of Diplomat/ Gaikokan no Ie

Location: Kanagawa, Yokohama, Naka-ku Yamate-cho 16
Hours: 9:30 -17:00
Website: http://www.hama-midorinokyokai.or.jp/yamate-seiyoukan/gaikoukan/ (Japanese)

7. The Frescoes on the Minato-Mirai Line - Free Art That Many Miss

15 Fabulous (And Mostly Free!) Things To Do Yokohama

The Minato Mirai area is one of the most popular parts of Yokohama and is where you'll find shopping, gourmet restaurants, a theme park that young and old can enjoy, hot springs - practically anything you can imagine. On the Minato-Mirai subway line, there are even massive frescoes by some of Japan's most popular artists too, which you can view for free!

For example, this work found at Nihon Odori Station that was designed by Yokohama's representative illustrator, comic artist and essayist Ryohei Yanagihara, and featuring Uncle Tory, the popular character for Suntory Holdings Tory's whisky brand.

8. Tour the City In Cute Retro Fashion - the Red Shoes Bus

15 Fabulous (And Mostly Free!) Things To Do Yokohama

Filled to the brim with sightseeing spots, Minato-Mirai and Motomachi-Chukagai are collectively known as the Yokohama Bay Area. These numerous must-see spots are somewhat spread out, however, so you may find yourself having to do a lot more walking than you're used to, especially if you want to see as much of this fun-filled city as possible.

The Aka Kutsu or Red Shoes Sightseeing Bus which connects the various sightseeing spots in the Yokohama Bay Area costs 220 yen for adults, and 110 yen for children, and is very helpful when you're feeling worn out from strolling about the city.

9. Yokohama's Noh Theater - Immerse Yourself in Stage History

15 Fabulous (And Mostly Free!) Things To Do Yokohama

A traditional performing art with a history spanning seven centuries, Noh features costumed and masked actors accompanied by traditional music. Yokohama's Noh Theater is one of Japan's oldest Noh stages at 140 years old, and is where visitors can not only see this stage but also the dressing room of the actors, but different stage entrances and backstage areas, plus historical Noh drama props too. If you'd like to learn more about traditional arts in Japan, or Noh in particular, this is a must-see place.

Yokohama Noh Theater

Location: Yokohama, Naka-ku, Honcho, 6-78
Hours: Varies by performance
Website: https://yokohama-nohgakudou.org/en/


10. Morooka-Kumano Shrine - Hope for Bad Luck

15 Fabulous (And Mostly Free!) Things To Do Yokohama

Morooka-Kumano Shrine is dedicated to the deities of the top three Kumano shrines in Wakayama, and dates back nearly 1300 years. What makes this shrine stand out though, is the fact that here, if you get a fortune indicating bad luck, you can get a special charm called Wazawai Tenji Tefukutonasu Omamori ('a bad fortune turns out to be a good fortune' lucky charm), which is said to be able to turn your predicted bad luck into good fortune instead.

Morooka-Kumano Shrine

Location: Kanagawa, Yokohama, Naka-ku, 1-11-12
Hours: Open 24 hours


11. Garden Terrace Cafe - Take a Break and Soak Your Legs in a Hot Spring

15 Fabulous (And Mostly Free!) Things To Do Yokohama

Conveniently located on the third floor of one of Chinatown's most popular souvenir shops, Yokohama Hakurankan, the Garden Terrace Cafe offers an ashiyu (footbath) for its guests to enjoy for just 100 yen (plus cost of drink/food). Here you can soak your feet and enjoy a mini hot spring break right in the heart of Chinatown. This is a great place to stop, shop, plan your next destination and relax, all the while enjoying the amazing atmosphere of Yokohama's Chinatown.

Garden Terrace Cafe

Location: Kanagawa, Yokohama, Naka-ku, Yamashita-cho 145
Hours: 11:00-18:00
Website: https://hakurankan.jp/ (Japanese)

12. Yokohama Chinatown - Enjoy Chinese Dishes, Find Panda Goods and More

15 Fabulous (And Mostly Free!) Things To Do Yokohama

Yokohama's Chinatown is the largest of its kind in Japan, and where you'll not only find incredible Chinese dishes from across the country, but also amazing traditional Chinese architecture, panda-related goods in the hundreds, Chinese medicine shops, and much more. First opened in 1859, Yokohama Chukagai is home to more than 600 Chinese stores and restaurants and is a lively, fun place to visit both day and night.

Yokohama Chinatown

Location: Kanagawa, Yokohama, Naka-ku, Yamashita-cho
Hours: Varies by shop and restaurant
Website: https://www.yokohamajapan.com/things-to-do/detail.php?bbid=815


13. Yokohama Bashi Shotengai - Find Your Favorite Japanese Dishes in One Place

15 Fabulous (And Mostly Free!) Things To Do Yokohama

Yokohama Bashi Shotengai, is a covered shopping street filled with many different charms, including the Miyoshi Engeijo public theater, food stores and deli shops, general stores, boutiques, flower shops, and of course, restaurants selling plenty of Japanese fare like tempura, unagi, sushi, and soba, plus Korean, Chinese, Thai and more.

If you want to see what the daily shops and lives of the locals are, there's no better place than in a shotengai, and Yokohama Bashi Shotengai is a convenient place to visit if you are sightseeing in Yokohama.

Yokohama Bashi Shotengai

Location: Yokohama, Naka-ku, Benten, 1-1-1
Hours: Varies by shop
Website: https://www.yokohamajapan.com/things-to-do/detail.php?id=177

14. Marine Rouge Cruise - Have a Taste of Luxury

15 Fabulous (And Mostly Free!) Things To Do Yokohama

Marine Rouge is a cruise ship from which you can gaze out at the beautiful scenery of Minato Mirai and, if you choose, enjoy some of the finest French cuisine available as well. This cruise sets off from Yamashita Park, passes Minato Mirai and the Red Brick Warehouse, makes a loop by the Daikoku Wharf, then passes under the Tsurumi Tsubasa Bridge and the Bay Bridge and returns to Yamashita Park.

Prices include the meal and the fare and are set by course.

Marine Rouge Cruise

Location: Kanagawa, Yokohama, Naka-ku, Shinko, 1-1
Hours: Varies by cruise schedule
Website: https://www.yokohamajapan.com/things-to-do/detail.php?id=274

15. Hara Railway Museum - Be Amazed by All the Trains

15 Free Things To Do Yokohama

The Hara Model Railway Museum showcases over 6000 model trains and a massive, incredibly detailed diorama of a cityscape complete with trains.

If you or someone you know is interested in trains, then this is the place to go to learn about their history, differences in types, and more - a free tablet with QR code reading function is available to borrow here, so that international guests can read all about these trains in eight different languages too (English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Korean, Thai, German, French and Spanish).

Hara Railway Museum

Location: Kanagawa, Fujisawa, Enoshima, Kamitsuruma, 1110
Hours: 10:00 -17:00
Website: https://www.hara-mrm.com/english/

16. The Cup Noodle Museum - Make Your Own Instant Ramen

15 Fabulous (And Mostly Free!) Things To Do Yokohama

The Cup Noodle Museum is a unique learning center where you can learn all about, and make your very own, instant ramen. The Cup Noodle brand first came about in the 1970s and has been an international best-selling product ever since. In fact, some consider it to be “the greatest invention of the 20th century“, so being able to make your very own is a rare opportunity that ramen fans just have to seize while visiting Yokohama.

The Cup Noodle Museum

Location: Yokohama, Naka-ku, Shinko, 2-3-4
Hours: 10:00 - 18:00 (Closed on Tuesdays)
Website: https://www.cupnoodles-museum.jp/en/yokohama/

17. Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum

Photo by Pixta

While there is an entrance fee to enter the museum itself, you can wander around the museum's recreation of a 1950s Tokyo Street for free, which includes several ramen shops offering free samples of their broths.

Inside the museum, the “Ramen Making Experience” is offered where you can learn how ramen is made from scratch, from the flour used to how the noodles are made, by participating in the hands on program. The noodles are made using the traditional noodle making technique called “Aodakeuchi'' using ancient wheat known as “spelt.” Nothing compares with eating delicious ramen you made yourself from scratch.

Admission: Adults 450 yen, elementary to high school students 100 yen, Seniors (65 and older) 100 yen.

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum

Location: Kanagawa, Yokohama, Kohoku-ku Shinyokohama 2-14-21
Hours: 10:30 -21:00
Website: https://www.raumen.co.jp/english/

18. Nogeyama Zoo Yokohama - Make Some Fluffy Friends at a Free Zoo

15 Fabulous (And Mostly Free!) Things To Do Yokohama

Nogeyama Zoo, is a small zoo where you can actually interact with the smaller animals and see other animals up closer too, despite there still being fences of course. There are about 100 different species of animals here, and thanks to its free admission, this zoo is a popular spot to visit every day of the week. If you'd like to see lions, tigers, giraffes and more up close, then a trip to Nogeyama Zoo Yokohama is in order.

Please remember though, that for the safety of yourself and the animals, selfie sticks are not permitted in the zoo, and you cannot feed the animals.

Nogeyama Zoo Yokohama

Location: Yokohama, Nishi-ku, Oimatsucho, 63-10
Hours: 9:30 - 16:30 (Closed on Mondays)
Website: https://www.yokohamajapan.com/things-to-do/detail.php?bbid=112

19. Coquelicot-zaka Kara - Enter the Studio Ghibli Film World

15 Fabulous (And Mostly Free!) Things To Do Yokohama

Daikanzaka Hill in Yamate, part of Yokohama's Naka ward, was the model for the Studio Ghibli’s movie "Coquelicot-zaka Kara", also known as "From Up On Poppy Hill". Throughout this neighborhood, you'll find many of the spots and restaurants you can see in the movie. Not only that, but this area is also a really pleasant place to visit even if you haven't seen the movie, so it's an ideal place for those that like to stroll about to visit too.

Daikanzaka

Location:Yokohama, Naka-ku, Yamate-cho
Access: Follow the slope leading from Motomachi to Yamate-cho
Hours: 24 hours

20. Yokohama Anpanman Children's Museum - A Fantasy Land for Kids

15 Fabulous (And Mostly Free!) Things To Do Yokohama

Have you heard of Anpanman? Created by picture book illustrator Takashi Yanase in 1969, Anpanman was originally a series for adults, but quickly went from being a picture book series to an anime series, and gained unbelievable popularity among Japanese children and is now immortalized at the Yokohama Anpanman Children's Museum.

It is still being broadcast on TV today, and has become known around the world for holding a position in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the greatest number of characters that have appeared in a show - aside from Anpanman, there have been over 1700 other characters in the anime!

1st floor Shops & Food・Restaurant: Free entry

Museum (2nd & 3rd floor) Admission Fee: ¥2,200~¥2,600/person incl. tax. And you need to reserve ticket beforehand.

Entry to the museum (2nd & 3rd floor) is limited to those who have an electronic ticket with designated date & time.

Yokohama Anpanman Children's Museum

Location: Kanagawa, Yokohama, Nishi ku, Minatomirai, 4-4-1
Hours: 10:00 - 16:30
Website: https://www.yokohama-anpanman.jp/en/

Find Your Aesthetic in Yokohama

Whether you are traveling with an unlimited budget or on a strict yen-reduced diet, there is something to do, see, or try in Yokohama that is sure to be right up your alley.

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Writer, translator, designer, weirdo.

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