• Yokohama Retro Architecture's photo

Yokohama Retro Architecture

Minato Mirai


From a small fishing village to Japan’s premier port town

The port town of Yokohama was born in the year 1859. Japan was closed off to the outside world for a long period from 1639 to 1854, and in the mid-nineteenth century, relations were reopened with countries in Europe and America, with Yokohama becoming a port in these times. The opening of the port saw the arrival of trading vessels, which resulted in the establishment of an area for foreigners to live, transforming Yokohama from a small fishing village into a refined town. Yokohama continued to develop as the earliest location in Japan to incorporate foreign culture.

  • Yokohama Retro Architecture's photo
  • Yokohama Retro Architecture's photo

The Yokohama Three Towers are the port town’s symbol of Western culture.

Yokohama, experiencing prosperity through its overseas trade, is still home to many Western-style brick buildings built from the Taisho to early Showa periods. Among these structures, the most famous is the three towers called the “Yokohama Three Towers”. The Kanagawa prefectural office nicknamed “King” is a blend of Japanese and Western styles with its five-storied pagoda shape. The Yokohama Customs building is nicknamed “Queen” and has features like an Islamic mosque. The Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall is nicknamed “Jack”, and has impressive striped bricks. It is said that if you can find the spot where all three towers are visible, your wishes will come true.

  • Yokohama Retro Architecture's photo
  • Yokohama Retro Architecture's photo
  • Yokohama Retro Architecture's photo

Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse is a spot to relax by the ocean

One of the spots where all three towers can be seen at the same time is the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse by the ocean. The warehouse was built in 1911 as a temporary storage place for freight, but closed its doors in 1989 after more than 80 years of business. However, plans to find a way to preserve this historical structure began to emerge, and in 2002 it was reborn as a commercial facility for shopping and dining. You can view the three towers from the deck of Red Brick Park and there are even signs on the ground indicating where to stand. Come take a look and you can feel the history of Yokohama.

  • Yokohama Retro Architecture's photo
  • Yokohama Retro Architecture's photo

For reference

Kanagawa Prefectural Government Building

  • Address
    1 Nihon-odori, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken
  • Telephone
    045-210-1111
  • Open
    8:30 A.M. to 5:15 P.M.
  • Closed
    Saturday, Sunday, national holidays
  • Access
    Keikyu Airport Line from Haneda Airport to Shinagawa Station: 25 min.
    Keihin-Tohoku Line from Shinagawa Station to Yokohama Station: 30 min.
    Minato Mirai Line from Yokohama Station to Nihon-odori Station: 10 min.
    A 3-minute walk from Nihon-odori Station

Yokohama Customs

  • Address
    1-1 Kaigan-dori, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken
  • Telephone
    044-266-5621
  • Open
    10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
  • Closed
    Saturday, Sunday, national holidays
  • Access
    Keikyu Airport Line from Haneda Airport to Shinagawa Station: 25 min.
    Keihin-Tohoku Line from Shinagawa Station to Yokohama Station: 30 min.
    Minato Mirai Line from Yokohama Station to Nihon-odori Station: 10 min.
    A 3-minute walk from Nihon-odori Station

Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse

  • Address
    1-1-2 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken
  • Telephone
    045-226-1911
  • Hours
    Differs depending on the shop.
  • Open
    Everyday
  • Access
    Keikyu Airport Line from Haneda Airport to Shinagawa Station: 25 min.
    Keihin-Tohoku Line from Shinagawa Station to Yokohama Station: 30 min.
    Minato Mirai Line from Yokohama Station to Bashamichi Station: 5 min.
    A 5-minute walk from Bashamichi Station

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