Many years ago when first visiting Yokohama’s Minato Mirai district, most of the impressive buildings which we now take for granted such as, Aka-renga and Osan-Bashi Pier were still under construction. Yet, even during this early period, it was obvious that this former industrial site was undergoing a huge transformation as part of a futuristic port city project. The latest addition to this ongoing project opened recently in October 2019, by way of a new cruise terminal and shopping complex known collectively as ‘Hammerhead’.
This complex takes its name from a distinctive crane found towards the back of this complex which has been nicknamed ‘Hammerhead’ because of its distinctive shape. This historic structure dates back to 1914 and was officially registered in 2018 as being a ‘precious historic structure’.
When first approaching this complex you will notice its long pier, known official as Shinko Pier Cruise Terminal that has been especially renovated to hold large ships. One of these ships includes the luxury cruise liner “Pacific Venus”, which periodically embarks at this port.
On the opposite side of this complex is the “Intercontinental Yokohama Pier 8” hotel. This newly built hotel features 173 spacious rooms and is said to boast some spectacular views of the harbor. Since I have never stayed here, I can only take their word for this. However, if I ever get the chance, this is definitely something I would like to experience first -hand!
For the less affluent visitor, this complex features an impressive shopping mall, including a food hall on the first floor where you can enjoy trying several varieties of 'Ramen', (noodles). For a more relaxed experience, the second floor is home to several cafes including a special ‘Peter Rabbit’ themed tea room.
After visiting Hammerhead, I can honestly say that this new complex is definitely worth visiting during the weekdays, as its more ‘low-key’ atmosphere provides a welcome break from the more bustling areas of Minato Mirai
This terminal can be accessed from either Bashamichi or Minato-Mirai Stations. Both of these are on the Minato-Mirai line and represent a 10 to 12 minutes walk. Alternatively, this port terminal can also be reached via a 15 minute walk from Sakuragicho Station on the JR Negishi /Keihin -Tohoku Line.
Find out more about Yokohama Hammerhead.