First opened as Yokohama Maritime Museum in 1989, this museum was completely renovated and renamed as Yokohama Port Museum for Yokohama Port’s 150th anniversary in 2009. The museum has a variety of exhibits and interactive displays related to the history of this port. Beside the museum is another attraction, the Nippon Maru museum ship, and exploring these two attractions together is a very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.
The museum building has two floors with the ticket counter on the 1st floor and the main exhibition area in the B1 basement level.
The permanent exhibition area has two main zones: The Port of Yokohama History Zone and The Port of Yokohama Rediscovery Zone.
The History Zone has 7 sections:
- The Opening Days of Yokohama Port (1859 – 1888) covers the time before and after the opening of the port in 1859 when Yokohama was transformed from a small fishing village to a center of international commerce.
- The Construction of the Modern Port (1889 – 1922) covers the construction of the Osanbashi pier and the quays, warehouses, and railways that made Yokohama a modern port city.
- The Great Kanto Earthquake and Reconstruction (1923 – 1940) covers the devastation of the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and Yokohama’s remarkable recovery which saw increased industrialization and the golden age of passenger ships.
- The War and the Requisition (1941 – 1956) covers the war years when the port’s activities were limited by the state and Yokohama was badly damaged by air raids. After the war the port was taken over by the occupying forces and was not released to Yokohama City’s control until 1951.
- Rapid Economic Growth and Port Development (1957 – 1967) covers a dramatic era of economic growth across Japan when the port was again busy with ships and trade.
- Beginning of the Containerization Era (1968-1989) covers an era when large container ships began to dominate international shipping.
- Enhancement of International Competitiveness (1990 -) covers the ports more recent developments and its prospects for the future.
The Rediscovery Zone has displays related to the port’s construction, the shipping that uses the port, ship building and repairs, harbor transportation, the port’s environment, and the various operations that take place in the port.
The museum as a whole is fascinating with plenty of scale models, dioramas, and simulators to keep both adults and children highly entertained.
This museum also has a souvenir shop and a café on the 1st floor. The café has a nice view of the Nippon Maru sailing ship from its windows.
Yokohama Port Museum is located beside the Nippon Maru museum ship. These two attractions can be visited separately, or you can buy a combination ticket which covers the cost of both. Information in the museum is given in both Japanese and English.
|Admission Fee||Ship Only||Ship & Museum||Museum Only|
|Adults||400 yen||600 yen||400 yen|
|65 years & over||250||400||250|
|Children (up to senior high)||200||300||200|
Pre-school children can enter the museum and ship for free.
School-aged children can enter the museum and ship for just 100 yen on Saturdays.
Opening Hours: 10.00 – 17.00 (Last entry at 16.30)
Closed on Mondays or on the following day if Monday is a national holiday. Also closed for year-end holidays and for occasional maintenance.
The Yokohama Port Museum is located in Nippon Maru Memorial Park beside the Nippon Maru museum ship. It is a 6-minute walk from Sakuragicho Station on the JR Negishi Line and Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line. It is a 9-minute walk from Minato Mirai Station on the Minatomirai Subway Line. Here is a map showing the location.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.