Escape the city and enjoy fresh air at this buzzing seaside park, which is popular among locals and tourists alike.
The most well-known park in Yokohama, Yamashita Park, stretches 2,460 feet (750 meters) along the city’s waterfront. It’s a relaxing place to go for a walk or enjoy the street performances that typically take place near the park’s entrance. In addition to offering pretty views of the bay, the park is home to a number of interesting attractions that are worth investigating as you stroll past the greenery.
Opened in 1930, the park was built using landfill from the remains of buildings destroyed by the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. The park has thus come to symbolize the city’s recovery from this destructive earthquake.
Look for a few of the park’s noteworthy monuments as you wander around. One statue, called Little Girl Wearing Red Shoes, is based on a popular Japanese children’s song. You’ll also see the Guardian of the Water statue, which was given to Yokohama by its sister city, San Diego. View the statue of a girl symbolizing Japan-U.S. friendship and an unusual statue of a head commemorating the introduction of Western haircuts to Japan.
It’s almost impossible to miss the enormous Hikawa Maru ocean liner, which is docked in the water beside the park’s promenade. Established in 1930, the ship’s elegant first-class cabins once transported Charlie Chaplin, as well as Japan’s imperial family. It later served as a hospital ship during World War II. Take a look inside the ship, which has been converted into a museum and restored with the art deco furnishings of its glory days.
Head to the top of Yokohama Marine Tower, located beside the park. The tower, which also functions as a lighthouse, has an observation deck that offers 360-degree views over Yamashita Park, Minato Mirai and the bay. Be sure to see the tower at night when it’s illuminated with a colorful, ever-changing light display.
Spring and summer are particularly excellent times to visit Yamashita Park, when the area brightens with colorful flowers. The park is located a short walk from Motomachi-Chukagai Station. It can also be reached by taking the Akaikutsu Loop Bus or the “Seabass” boat.