- 3 min read

Yokohama History Museum

To really get to know Yokohama, start here

Yokohama sightseeing spots are not only located in the bayside area. You can visit a really great spot—the Yokohama History Museum (横浜歴史博物館)—near the so-called “Kohoku New Town”.

And although you may think it ironic that a history museum is situated in a new town, you will quickly understand what a nice combination it actually is. Kohoku New Town is situated in the northern part of Yokohama’s Tsuzuki ward. It’s a beautiful residential area that is a newly developed part of Yokohama. Only a 5-minute walk from Center Kita Station on the Yokohama municipal subway line (this station is crossed by both the Blue Line and the Green Line), when I visited the museum, I found the sedate façade of the museum’s building to be a perfect match with the surrounding modern buildings of the neighborhood.

In this museum, you can learn about the daily life and history of Yokohama in six booths, divided into eras, from pre-historic to modern. In addition to the permanent exhibitions on display, there are also special exhibitions, which change seasonally. An additional admission fee is required for these.

One of the museums delights is the Experience Zone. Here, you don’t just walk around and look at exhibits. No; here you can actually experience using ancient tools (such as striking a spark with a flint), or riding in a real old-time rickshaw. When I rode in the rickshaw with my son, we could easily imagine what life must have been like 200 years ago!

Another interesting concept that makes this museum different from most other museums is the Otsuka-Saikachido Relics Park just outside the museum. (open 24/7 and free) Here, you can also learn real history through reproduced pit dwellings, a moat and a necropolis from the Yayoi Era (300 BC to 300AD). The park also houses the Tsuzuki Private House Garden built originally in the Tokugawa era (and then later reconstructed).

It includes a Japanese Style Tea Room, and if you are lucky, you may even find some Japanese traditional events taking place there when you visit. By the way, the Yokohama History Museum is not just a place for tourists. It is also frequented by Yokohama residents and students, and is one of the main destinations for Yokohama municipal elementary school picnics: Noisy, but full of life and energy!

After the tour is over, please browse in the museum shop, which sells items ranging from chocolate (yummy!) to books and goods related to the history of Yokohama. They are also available for purchase on-line. If you want to learn about the history of Yokohama and don’t feel like visiting all the typical sightseeing places like the Minato-Mirai district, Chinatown and the Yamate area, then I really recommend that you start from here.

This is a hidden gem ready for you to discover!

Was this article helpful?
Help us improve the site
Give Feedback

Join the discussion

Carole Nicolas 3 years ago
This museum sounds great, I will try to go in the coming days! Thank you for the tip!
Anonymous 11 years ago
I love that little tea house with the pond in the front -- looks so cute and photogenic, and my 12-year old would love to try out starting a fire with a flint. Looking forward to going and checking the museum out.

Thank you for your support!

Your feedback has been sent.