The first seaside park in Japan is located right in front of Yokohama Port, stretching almost 700 meters from the east side of Osanbashi to Yamashita Pier. It was opened in 1930 by landfilling with the rubble from the Great Kanto Earthquake. The park includes a grass field, a rose garden, the “Little Girl With Red Shoes On” statue, the “Guardian of Water” statue which is a gift from San Diego, a sister city of Yokohama, and the “Kamome no Suihei-san (Seagull Sailor)” song monument, water stairs and a stage. The former cargo and passenger ship Hikawamaru is anchored here.
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Open any time, any day, the Yokohama Yamashita Park was the first seaside park in Japan. Located just in front of Yokohama Port, the lovely park stretches along the strip of land for more than 700 meters; the park covers land from the east side of Osanbashi to Yamashita Pier.
In 1930, after the Great Kanto Earthquake (1923), the park was opened after filling the land with rubble from the aftermath of the earthquake. The idea for reusing the remaining debris is credited to Scotsman, Marshall Martin, who was an advisor to the Mayor at the time, Ariyoshi Chuichi. He persuaded the city government to use rubble from the Kannai commercial district as a way to reclaim the former waterfront.
In 1945, during the Occupation of Japan, the park was requisitioned for military housing; and across the street from the park is the Hotel New Grand, this is where General Douglas MacArthur spent his first night upon arriving in Japan on August 30, 1945. The park reverted to Japanese control in 1960 and since then has blossomed into a much-beloved public space.
This impressive park isn’t just a beautiful place to spend the afternoon, it’s also the site of several statues. The “Little Girl with Red Shoes” (Akai Kutsu), the “Guardian of Water” (a gift from sister city, San Diego), and the “Seagull Sailor” (Kamome no Suihei-san) are among the most famous statues in the park. There is also a rose garden, a grass field where children can often be seen playing, water stairs, and a stage (popular for summer events).
Hikawa Maru, a former cargo and passenger ship, is also anchored at Yamashita Park. It now serves as a museum ship. Among its first-class passengers are said to have been members of the imperial family, and even Charlie Chaplin during a transpacific journey from Yokohama to Vancouver/ Seattle. Though the ship has been retired, its interior is a memento of that romantic 1930s style of décor. If you fancy yourself a lover of ships, be sure to stay at the onboard hotel and dine at the restaurant overlooking either the sea or Yamashita Park.
Enjoy walking through the promenades and along the paths in Yamashita Park, beneath the cool shade of trees all while enjoying the sound of waves and the call of seagulls. It’s the perfect place to take a break after sightseeing or shopping in Yokohama Chinatown, or for a morning jog along the pier. With its beauty, nature, and history, you are certain to find something new to enjoy every time you visit.
Yamashita Park is a short five-minute walk from Motomachi-Chukagai Station on the Minato Mirai Line; or a five-minute walk from Yokohama Chinatown. Likewise, the park can be reached by Akaikutsu Loop Bus at the bus stop in front of the middle of the park; the bus even connects to many Yokohama tourist spots and can be a great and cheap way to travel the city. Or, challenge yourself with a sea ride directly from Yokohama Bay Quarter, 500 meters from Yokohama Station.
Early Morning Sightseeing
With the sun rising over the sea as your landscape, experience physical activities in Yamashita Park, which includes walking, jogging, exercising, yoga, Tai Chi, and more. A Yamashita Park morning with Minato Mirai 21 in the background is an iconic morning view of Yokohama.