Nihon-odori Station is located on the Minatomirai Subway Line in Naka Ward, Yokohama. It is situated in the neighborhood of Nihon-odori, the site of several sightseeing spots of Yokohama. The station is in fact located just underground of Yokohama Media and Communications Center.
Yokohama Media and Communications Center
Yokohama Media and Communications Center is directly connected to Nihon-odori Station Exit 3. This Center was specifically built to preserve Yokohama’s rich media and communications history and to use it as a base for the city’s media industry. The basement and first floors of the building are a shopping plaza with a wide variety of shops. The 6th and 7th floors have a Seminar Hall and Conference Rooms with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and movable seating systems. The 11th and 12th floors are rented office floors. The other floors are the major attractions of the complex.
The 2nd to 5th floors of Yokohama Media and Communications Center is Newspark or the Japan Newspaper Museum. Established by the Japan Newspaper Foundation for Education & Culture in Yokohama in October 2000, the museum depicts the history of newspapers in Japan, starting from the first paper to the present day ones, including their production processes. On display are all the different newspapers, replicas of old printing machines, Japan’s original printing blocks from the Meiji period, besides many different pictures and documents. The Japan Newspaper Museum is an interesting and delightful experience for all those interested in the newspaper industry. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Tuesdays to Thursdays and Sundays, and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The museum is closed on Mondays. Entry is 500 yen for adults, 400 yen for senior citizens, 300 yen for high school students, and for children entry is free.
On the 8th to 10th floors of Yokohama Media and Communications Center is Broadcast Library. Opened in October 2000, Broadcast Library contains all the programs that have already been broadcast on television. There are over 6000 old television programs of every genre, starting from the very first television broadcast, which have all been digitized. Viewing of these programs is possible through booths from a video server and DVD players. TAO’s gigabit network has also been set up through which viewers in Osaka can also watch the programs from special booths set up there. Various other exhibits related to the old programs are also on display at the Library. The Broadcast Library is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Mondays. Admission is free.
Yokohama Long Distance Telephone Office
The Yokohama Long Distance Telephone Office is located next to the Yokohama Media and Communications Center. This building, built as Yokohama Central Telephone Office in 1929, houses two small but interesting museums:
Yokohama Museum of Eurasian Cultures: This is located on the 2nd floor of Yokohama Long Distance Telephone Office. On display here are folk artifacts and regional archaeology, history and art related materials, collected by an Orientalist, the late Mr. Namio Egami, through his long years of research activities. The museum is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Mondays. Entry fee is 200 yen for adults and 100 yen for children.
Yokohama City Developing Museum: This museum is on the 4th floor of Yokohama Long Distance Telephone Office. On exhibit here are a large variety of materials on Yokohama's history and culture, collected since the opening of the port – which includes building materials, brick drain manholes, and gaslights from the Meiji era. The museum is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Mondays. Entry fee is 200 yen for adults and 100 yen for children.
Jack, Queen, and King Towers
Jack, Queen, and King Towers are three buildings located in front of Nihon-odori Station. All the three towers are associated with the history of Yokohama trade. King Tower is an art deco building with a heavy square tower. It was built in 1928 in the teikan style (a combination of western and Japanese styles) as a landmark for ships sailing into Yokohama Port. Today King Tower is Kanagawa Prefectural Government Office. Queen Tower is the tallest of the three buildings. It was built in 1934 in the eastern style and has a green Islamic-like dome and a softly rounded design which reminds one of a queen of a chessboard. This building is the Yokohama Customs House. Jack House is the third building. This building, with the red brick walls and a clock tower, was also built in 1934. It is today the Yokohama City Port-opening Memorial Hall. All the three uniquely designed buildings are popular tourist destinations.
Yokohama Archives of History
Yokohama Archives of History, located a 2 minute walk from Nihon-odori Station, is the site where Japan and U.S. signed the Treaty of Kanagawa in 1854. The place was renovated and established with this present name in 1981, with the purpose of preserving and exhibiting the historical materials related to the 1854 event and the role of Yokohama in it. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the Archives of History also holds special exhibitions four times a year.
Before the establishment of Yokohama Archives of History, the main building was the British Consulate. The main entrance, or the waiting room, of the building is now called Memorial Hall. Displays in the Memorial Hall include a miniature of what Yokohama looked like in 1865, a track chart of Commodore Perry's Japan expedition, a plaque with the names of the British naval officers and sailors killed in the Anglo-Satsuma War, and a plaque with the names of the Consulate staff who lost their lives in the Great Kanto Earthquake and Fire of 1923.
Three exhibition rooms surround the Memorial Hall. One room displays all materials related to the opening of Yokohama port – documents of the arrival and agreements of Commodore’s ships and the opening of the port; newspaper copies of the local people’s reactions; maps and photographs of Commodore Perry’s ships, routes, and the port; and above all, the Report of the Perry Expedition. Another room has a large floor map of Yokohama, printed in 1881, displaying everything that was introduced in Yokohama after the port was opened. The third room is where the special exhibitions are held four times a year. Each time, the exhibition has a different theme related to the history of Yokohama.
The basement floor of the building has a Reading Room with reference books, documents and newspapers from the Meiji to the Taisho periods, including the first Japanese daily newspaper. Permission may be obtained to obtain copies of the documents and newspapers.
The Yokohama Archives of History is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Mondays. Entry is 200 yen for adults and 100 yen for children.
Also located 2 minutes from Nihon-odori Station is Yokohama Park. This beautiful park, which is one of the main attractions of Yokohama, was opened in 1876, and is said to be the first western-style park in Japan. The park has beautiful lush green lawns, a Japanese-style garden, a large play area for children, and a small plaza with a statue of an elephant with water gushing out of its trunk. Every year during the last week of May and the first week of June, a memorial bazaar is held here to commemorate the opening of the port of Yokohama.
Also located within the Yokohama Park area is Yokohama Stadium, home to the Yokohama Bay Stars baseball team. Opened in April, 1978, Yokohama Stadium is the first amphitheater-style multi-purpose stadium in Japan. It has a seating capacity of 30,000 and a unique feature – dirt surrounds and pitcher’s mound, but dirt colored turf infield and base paths. The entire green portion is artificial turf.
The Silk Museum of Yokohama, opened in 1959, is one of the best silk museums in the world. Located just a 3 minute walk from Nihon-odori Station, this rare silk museum exhibits the complete silk production process from silk worms to clothes. It also portrays the role of Yokohama in the silk trade industry.
The first floor of the museum consists of four zones and a hall. The four zones are: Encounters with Silk Zone (with displays illustrating the use of silk in our lives), Learning Zone (showing the complete silk production process – starting from silk worms and their metamorphosis, reeling silk from cocoons, the different kinds of silk yarns, and the different ways of weaving and dyeing them), Production of Silk Zone (explaining the weaving and making of silk materials), and History of Silk Zone (displaying different kinds silks and silk clothing from around the world). The Hall is a movie theater with a seating capacity of 100, two 16 mm projectors and other necessary accessories. There is also a Gift Shop on the same floor.
The second floor of the museum is the History of Silk in Japan Zone. On display here are historical Japanese silk clothing starting from ancient times to the present. The kimonos exhibited here are some of the most beautiful and unique. The role of Yokohama in the promotion and trade of silk is also extensively covered. There is also a library with over 5000 volumes on all aspects of silk
The Silk Museum is open every day except Mondays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission fee is 500 yen for adults, 300 yen for senior citizens, 200 yen for students, and 100 yen for children.
Yokohama International Passenger Terminal "Osanbashi Pier"
Osanbashi Pier is the oldest pier at Yokohama Port and serves as the Pacific Ocean gateway for Japan. It was constructed between 1889 and 1896 as a full-scale modern port and harbor facility. Between 1988 and 2002, it was completely renovated into a modern pier. Also called the “American Wharf”, it serves as the maritime entrance to Yokohama Port and is used as an international terminal for luxury cruise ships.
The terminal is of low height with a rooftop that has a unique loosely bi-directional curved shape. There are no pillars or beams, creating a large open space inside the building. At one time, the terminal can accommodate two 70,000-ton, or four 30,000-ton passenger vessels.
On the first floor of the terminal building, there is a parking area for 400 cars; and the second floor has a lobby, a CIQ (Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine) facility, and a multi-purpose hall.
Located a 5 minute walk from Nihon-odori Station, Osanbashi Pier is open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.