Comfort Hotel Yokohama Kannai
3-33 Sumiyoshi-cho, Naka-ku
Phone: (81) 45 650-4711
Fax: (81) 45 650-4712
Arts & Museums
The museum occupies the former Yokohama Specie Bank building which was built in 1904. It features a neoclassical facade with carvings designated as important cultural property. This is the place to learn about the history of Yokohama and Kanagawa, from archeology to present-day Japan. Interesting are the grotesque renditions of Commodore Matthew C. Perry and the several rare wood block prints of foreigners. The Edo period wood blocks are supplemented with panels showing pop culture, travel games and torture mechanisms! The various items provide insight into the complex relationship between Japan and other nations.
This museum occupies a former bank (circa 1904) featuring a neoclassical facade, the carvings on which have been designated important cultural property. Here, one can learn all about the history of Yokohama and Kanagawa, from archeology to present-day Japan. Interesting are the grotesque renditions of Commodore Matthew C. Perry and the several rare wood block prints of foreigners. The Edo-period wood blocks are supplemented with panels from the Tokkaido road showing pop culture, travel games and torture mechanisms, providing insight into the complex relationship between Japan and other nations. For example, contemporary Japan is symbolized with a Hershey candy bar. Admission: JPY300.
Just an hour outside of Tokyo, Yokohama is really a great place to spend the day, be it by the waterfront, in Chinatown or popping in and out of its various artistic hot spots. Located just off the port is the Yokohama CreativeCity Center/BankART 1929, headquarters for the city's great, artistic, urban renewal intiative. Housed in the stone building of the former Dai-ichi Bank built in 1929, with almost 23-foot ceilings, this spacious hall is presently the epicentre of the Yokohama art scene. With 2 floors of rental and office spaces, and a small, but comprehensive bookshop, the Yokohama CreativeCity Center/BankART 1929 might not show itself off, but it is certainly the key to unlocking Yokohama's other artistic treasures. - Stephen Lebovits
Ocean travelers will appreciate this small, but beautifully appointed museum on the waterfront in Yokohama. In 1896 Nippon Yusen Kaisha inaugurated the European route when their first passenger ship, the Tosa-maru, left Yokohama headed for London. Service to Melbourne, Australia, and Seattle, USA, also began later that year. The displays include officers' uniforms, crockery, cutlery, furnishings, biographies of the many foreign ship captains, ship models, photographs of famous passengers, and the first dining room menu from 1896, which featured Western food. Mention must be made of the fine library collection, which has several shelves of books in English on shipping and ocean liners. The tea lounge is a remodeled cabin.
Every city should have an art gallery like BankArt1929. Located portside in Yokohama, it is an imposing structure housed in the gutted and renovated former Dai-ichi Bank Building, and stands as Yokohama's commitment to all things artsy - local, national and international. As part of the Landmark Project III, the goal of which is to revitalize the dormant potential of the area's old structures, the BankArt project is a wonderful success. Minimalist on the inside, BankArt covers the gamut from installations to exhibits, performances and gastronomy of all kinds, offering a smattering of arts books, as well as a cozy café. When in Yokohama, drop in and take a peek for free - you can bank on this place!
A profound museum dedicated to the past and the present of daily newspapers in Japan, Newspark was founded in October 2000 and was initiated by Nihon Shinbun Kyoiku Bunka Zaidan (The Japan Newspaper Foundation for Education & Culture). Spread across a sprawling 5000 square meters of space, occupying 3 floors of the Yokohama Media and Communications Center, the museum is divided into different sections. The history section of the museum traces back the emergence of Japanese daily newspapers in the city of Yokohama and its transition to current form. The other sections of the museum are the theater hall, the library which stores daily newspapers in digital format, NIE National Center and an exhibition center. Call or visit their website for more information.
In the early port years, the Kanagawa Magistrate's office (of which the custom house was a part) wielded power not only over the export and import duties levied, but also over foreign matters. The Great Yokohama Fire of 1866 eliminated the Kanagawa Maritime Transportation Office, the forerunner of the Yokohama Custom House, as it has been called since 1872. The present building was built in 1936 and is fondly known as "the Queen," because of its landmark domed mosque-like tower. An exhibit of contraband items includes faux name brand handbags, watches, etc. Ingenious methods for sidestepping customs that were tried and failed are exhibited. (NBW) Admission: Free
Established by the Japan Newspaper Foundation for Education & culture in Yokohama. This museum houses Japan's oldest printing blocks to print a paper from the feudal/Meiji-period in book-style. Production processes are shown and so are replicas of old machines.
Opened in 1981, and housed in the former British Consulate, the archives building was rebuilt in 1931, after having been destroyed in the Kanto earthquake in 1923. The first floor of the Archives gives one an overview of the opening of Japan, with the coming of Commodore Perry. The second floor is used for periodic exhibits, often highlighting early foreign residents and their business. The extensive reading room has not only English language newspapers (published in Shanghai, London, Yokohama and Kobe during the treaty port years until 1923), but also rare first-edition books, mainly from the two major collections of Don Brown and Paul Blum.
The Silk Museum is a delightful museum that portrays the role that silk has played in the history of Yokohama. In the years after Japan opened its doors to the world, silk was its major export, and Yokohama was the primary port for the silk shipping industry. In addition to explaining the role that silk has played in Yokohama's past, the Silk Museum houses a wonderful collection of silk kimonos and antique costumes fashioned from silk. It also houses a library of Japanese books and a movie theater. For those interested in the history of Japanese costumes, and those enraptured by the unique beauty of flowing silk kimonos, the Silk Museum is a rare treat.
Located on Yokohama's waterfront, this museum was established in 1989 in the newly developed Minato Mirai complex. It was built to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the port opening. Exhibits illustrate the pivotal contribution of Yokohama towards Japan's modernization, with general information on marine transport and displays focusing on Japan's international sister-city ports. Open from Tuesday to Sunday 10am.
This museum charts the history of Japanese migration overseas, primarily to the Americas and Hawaii. Scenes depict the early migrants to Hawaii who worked in the sugar industry, the next wave of migrants who went as settlers to countries such as Peru and Brazil, and then the post World War II migrants who went in search of a better life. Each part of the exhibition has English and Japanese explanations and there are documents, videos (with subtitles) photographs and artifacts. The journeys of the migrants are explored and scenes from their new life are recreated in the museum. A huge amount of material has been collected for this museum; much of it is displayed on video or computers. It is closed Mondays. -AH