1. 初黄・日ノ出町地区
    撮影:笠木靖之Hatsuko-Hinodecho Area
  2. 横浜美術館
    Photo: Keisuke TanigawaYokohama Museum of Art
  3. BAR 崖と階段
    Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa Bar Gake to Kaidan
  4. BankART Station
    ©BankART1929 Photo: Tatsuhiko Nakagawa柳幸典「Ground Transposition, 1987/2016」@BankART Station
  5. Bashamichi Jyuban-Kan
    Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa Bashamichi Jyuban-Kan

33 things to do in Yokohama for art lovers

Explore Yokohama's exciting creative scene with the city's most popular attractions, including art events happening in 2024

Written by Time Out. Paid for by City of Yokohama
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2024 is a momentous year for the arts in Yokohama. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Creative City Yokohama, an urban development project that was launched in 2004 to harness and foster the city's creative culture and art scene. Moreover, the Yokohama Triennale art festival is returning for its eighth edition from March until June, while the Tokyo Gendai international art fair is once again scheduled for this July.

With so much to discover throughout the year, we've rounded up a list of noteable art attractions in and around Yokohama, where you can enjoy a variety of programmes put on by Japanese as well as international artists and creatives. Also included in this feature are Yokohama's top attractions, cafés and restaurants to add some variety to your fun day out in the city.

Art events in Yokohama

  • Art
  • Minato Mirai

Yokohama’s premier celebration of the arts takes place every three years. Themed ‘Wild Grass: Our Lives’, the 2024 edition will centre on the Yokohama Museum of Art, the Former Daiichi Bank Yokohama Branch, and BankART Kaiko, as well as a wide variety of venues around the city, welcoming an international lineup of 93 artists – 20 of whom will be exhibiting all-new works.

Tickets are available here or via our affiliate partner Klook.

  • Art
  • Minato Mirai

Until June 9

Enjoying a symbiotic existence with the Yokohama Triennale, the BankArt Life programme of exhibitions has been held in conjunction with every iteration of the Triennale since its inception in 2004. Organised by BankArt 1929, this seventh edition centres on the non-profit arts organisation’s new subterranean headquarters, BankArt Station, and seeks to bring art into ‘everyday spaces and situations’.

BankArt Station’s underground space above Shin-Takashima Station is hosting large-scale works by Yukinori Yanagi, Kenjiro Okazaki and Tadashi Kawamata, who are joining several regular BankArt artists in presenting a ‘newfound world’ within the city. Other notable participants in the 42-artist lineup include Yusuke Asai, Kenjiro Okazaki, Junya Kataoka + Rie Iwatake, Muku Kobayashi, Ryudai Takano, Michiko Nakatani, Midori Mitamura, Taichi Yoshimura, and blanClass + Megumi Kamimura.

Besides BankArt Station, the exhibition will stretch across Minato Mirai, Kannai and Yokohama Portside. Be sure to keep an eye out for Ishiuchi Miyako’s large-scale photo installation ‘Silk Threaded Memories’ at the concourse of Bashamichi Station, beneath the former centre of Yokohama’s famous silk trade.

  • Art
  • Koganecho

Until June 9

First held in 2008, Koganecho Bazaar is an eclectic art festival that symbolises the transformation of its home neighbourhood from an illicit red light district into a thriving artistic hub. Combining art and community perspectives with a focus on cross-Asian interaction, the event will be back in 2024 with an interdisciplinary programme of exhibitions, performances and artist-in-residence initiatives, presented across eight ‘chapters’. These include an in-depth look at Koganecho’s renaissance over the past two decades as well as an attempt to build new networks with artists who haven’t been involved with the area previously.

Dozens of little studios and galleries along the two narrow streets running either side of the elevated railway line between Koganecho and Hinodecho stations are gearing up to host events during the Bazaar. The programme will feature contributions from a total of 33 artists, including Marico Aoki, Taisuke Abe, Shuji Inoue, Pu-Wei Wu and Ma Yanhong.

  • Art
  • Yokohama

Until June 9

Looking to score a tangible memory of your Yokohama Triennale visit? Don’t miss this pop-up shop at BankArt Kaiko, where you can pick up official Triennale merch as well as a plethora of quirky items designed by artists and other creatives with a connection to Yokohama.

The same space will also host an information centre specialising in art-related travel tips and recommendations, along with artist talks and other Triennale-related events every Saturday evening.

  • Art
  • Yokohama

April 13-April 29

Hiroko Kubo draws inspiration from prehistoric and folk art as well as cultural anthropology in creating sculptures with everyday materials. Zou-no-hana Park will serve as the venue for her ‘Statue of Hainuwele’, a likeness of the goddess who in Indonesian folklore becomes the origin of food by way of her slain body.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Kubo started focusing on fundamental, primal subjects, seeking inspiration in the ancient myths of Japan and prehistoric art such as Jomon pottery. This interest shines through in ‘Hainuwele’, a fragmented statue made of mud, whose surface will change during the exhibition period as it gets exposed to the elements. You can watch Kubo put the finishing touches on her piece on April 13 and 14. The former day also features a workshop, during which anyone’s welcome to help sculpt the artwork.

A conversation between the artist and mythology scholar Kikuko Hirafuji will be held on April 29, the last day of the exhibition.

 

  • Art
  • Yokohama

May 10-June 9

Seven Seeds’ is a collaborative project by Port Journeys, an international cultural exchange initiative by artists based in port cities around the world and promoted by Zou-no-hana Terrace, the venue of this exhibition. Hoping to make sense of today’s ‘tumultuous’ world, the show will seek to convey seven messages to future generations through artistic means.

In addition to Hamburg-based conceptual artist Michael Kress’s video and sound installation ‘I Was’, a work centring on ‘messages from the future’ by 21 women active in the Yokohama art scene, the exhibition will feature artworks in a wide range of media touching on subjects including sustainability and ecological concerns, democracy, cultural participation and artificial intelligence.

  • Art
  • Fairs
  • Minato Mirai

Pacifico Yokohama’s vast C and D halls will serve as the venue for the second edition of this international art fair. Around 75 galleries from around the world are set to exhibit amidst a packed programme of talks and other events.

This art fair runs from July 5 to 7, with a VIP preview on July 4. More details to come.

Things to do in Yokohama

  • Museums
  • Minato Mirai

One of Greater Tokyo's major fine art museums, the YMA occupies a beautiful Kenzo Tange-designed building and reopened in March 2024 after a comprehensive renovation. A key venue of the Yokohama Triennale, it holds an eclectic collection ranging from impressionism to photography and contemporary art. Yokohama Museum of Art

Stroll streets transformed by art

Illicit red light district turned thriving artistic hub, Koganecho is packed with little studios and galleries along two narrow streets running either side of the elevated railway line between Koganecho and Hinodecho stations. Koganecho Bazaar, the event symbolising this rebirth, was first held in 2008 and will be back in 2024 with a cross-border, interdisciplinary programme of exhibitions, performances and artist-in-residence initiatives. If you’re looking for artsy tomes, don’t miss the Art Book Bazaar. Hatsuko-Hinodecho Area

Munch on border-crossing grub

The Japan International Cooperation Agency Yokohama Centre displays an interesting selection of installations by noted contemporary artists and houses a cosmopolitan restaurant with a diverse menu, including plentiful halal and vegetarian options. Its terrace offers views of the Red Brick Warehouse and the Yokohama Bay Bridge. JICA Yokohama

  • Hotels
  • Yokohama

Opened in 1927, Hotel New Grand boasts some seriously eclectic architecture and has seen many a famous figure pass through its doors. Its restaurants offer a variety of original dishes and drinks: at the ground-floor coffee shop you can enjoy Japanese-style Western food like doria rice gratin and ‘napolitan’ spaghetti, both of which supposedly originated here. Hotel New Grand

  • Art
  • Yokohama

Set on the site of the city’s old port, Zou-no-hana (‘elephant’s trunk’) is an open space that represents a link between the history and future of Yokohama. Home to a 6m-long elephant sculpture by artist Noboru Tsubaki, created for the 2001 Yokohama Triennale, it hosts a wide variety of events from dance and music to film screenings, and includes a nice café serving soft-serve ice cream shaped like an elephant’s head. Zou-no-hana Terrace

  • Attractions
  • Yokohama

Yokohama’s iconic lighthouse was built in 1961 and refurbished in 2022, when facilities including a restaurant, a bar and a media arts gallery were added. Historic equipment from the original beacon is displayed in the atrium, while the observation deck offers spectacular views of the port and transforms into a kind of festival of lights at night. If the weather is clear, you might see Mt Fuji, too. Yokohama Marine Tower

Wash down dumplings with wine

No relation to the boisterous French footballer, but the sense of spectacle in this colourful eatery’s Cantonese- inspired dishes matches the fireworks its more famous namesake displayed on the field in his glory days. Try the mustard-topped ‘Tasmanian’ shumai dumplings and browse the well-curated list of natural wines. Cantona

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Yokohama

A beautiful, traditional Japanese garden with more than a century of history, Sankeien houses several priceless structures relocated from places including Kyoto and Kamakura. Seasonal events such as cherry blossom viewing and autumn leaves make great reasons to visit. Sankei Memorial Hall in the garden displays art by early 20th-century masters such as Taikan Yokoyama. Sankeien Garden

Noh and Kyogen are both forms of classical drama and considered two of the world's oldest performing arts. Opened in April 2024, OTABISHO Yokohama Nohgakudo champions for these traditions while the Yokohama Noh Theatre undergoes renovations, inviting visitors to learn about the musical instruments, masks, costumes and props, and shop for unique merchandise. Look out for the facility's programme of educational events. OTABISHO Yokohama Noh Theatre

  • Restaurants
  • Yokohama

Recreating the Western-influenced aesthetics of the Meiji era (1868–1912), this six-storey edifice houses a kissaten (old-school coffee shop), bar and restaurant, and has been catering especially to the nostalgia-hungry since 1970, making it something of a local institution. The coffee is excellent and the seasonal desserts usually worth a punt. Bashamichi Jyuban-kan

Catch a quality flick

A fixture of the Yokohama film scene since 1991, the two-screen Jack & Betty highlights an international selection of art and indie flicks you won’t find on show at the big multiplexes. Keep an eye out for the many special programmes and mini-festivals, too. Jack & Betty Cinemas

Debate art with a barkeeper

Tucked away amidst cliffsides (gake) and steep staircases (kaidan), this quirky bar occupies a corner of a small art space and is staffed by different artists and curators – many of them English-speaking – every evening. It’s the ideal spot for high-flying conversation over a craft cocktail. Bar Gake to Kaidan

Feel the beat of the city

Its streets littered with music bars, restaurants and gig spots, Yokohama is the home of jazz in Japan. At Bar Bar Bar, you can just drop in casually for dinner, drinks and a live performance – there’s someone playing on stage practically every night. Bar Bar Bar

  • Theatre
  • Performing arts space
  • Yokohama

Theatre, dance, musicals – the variety of performing arts on display here should satisfy even the most ravenous aficionado. The building encompasses a grand hall with up to 1,200 seats as well as an atrium and several studios. It’s fully accessible, with facilities including a nursing room and seats with wheelchair spaces. Kanagawa Arts Theatre

Relish an artisanal nibble

Occupying the beautifully renovated, airy ground floor of the former Silk Conditioning House, a heritage-listed brick building in historic Bashamichi, the Nagano-based Anglo-Japanese Brewing Company’s brewpub, distillery and cocktail lab conjures up an impressive range of artisanal booze. Don’t sleep on the food either: the spicy ‘JFC’ buttermilk fried chicken is a standout. Libushi Bashamichi

Admire an artsy bank

Built in 1929, this gorgeous heritage- listed building near historic Bashamichi was transformed into a hub for art, design and all sorts of creative endeavours at the start of the Creative City Yokohama project in 2004. It was closed since 2021, but has reopened to host events during the 2024 Yokohama Triennale. Former Daiichi Bank Yokohama Branch

  • Things to do
  • Minato Mirai

A former dockyard site turned creative community space for residents, visitors and people working in Minato Mirai, BUKATSUDO encompasses a gallery, coffee stand and business lounge, as well as a studio, kitchen and spaces for rent. The gallery hosts regular exhibitions with a focus on photography and fine art. BUKATSUDO

Bringing sports and creativity together in a nearly century-old former office building, this multi-use facility is run by the Yokohama DeNA BayStars, the city’s beloved pro baseball team. Here you’ll find the exclusive +B brand, which offers trendy, quality clothing and accessories inspired by baseball culture. After a bout of shopping, recover by enjoying an official BayStars beer at the adjacent pub, Craft Beer Dining &9. THE BAYS

Find a local souvenir

You’ll be able to browse a remarkable array of food, clothing, cosmetics, homeware and all manner of miscellanea from throughout Kanagawa prefecture (the area around Yokohama) at the seven shops here. The in-house restaurant’s pasta dishes feature super-fresh local ingredients. 2416Market

Savour next-level skewers

Replete with quirkly little bars and eateries, the streets of Noge are perfect for finding your new local. Heirloom chicken, fresh seafood and a colourful array of seasonal produce are grilled to smoky perfection over smouldering charcoal at Kagura, which styles itself a yakitori joint but offers so much more. Pair your meal with some sake or shochu, and don’t forget to finish off with a bowl of their signature torisoba (chicken ramen). Kagura

Say cheers over pork ears

A remnant of a simpler and smokier era, the Tanuki Koji alleyway west of Yokohama Station is riddled with old-school bars and eateries like Maichin, which has been serving up pork ears, tongue, feet, tail and so on – all slowly simmered in a soy sauce-based broth – alongside cups of stomach-warming shochu since 1956. Maichin

  • Shopping
  • Minato Mirai

One of the smarter moves in the redevelopment of the Minato Mirai area was the decision to preserve these former customs houses, which date back to the early 20th century. The No 1 building gets used for a wide range of art events, while No 2 houses a trendy selection of shops, bars and restaurants. Various festivals and other happenings take place on the open-air plaza between the structures. Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse

Transport yourself to the Mediterranean

Set in an understated, overgrown-looking brick building a stone’s throw from the bustle of Yokohama Station, this unpretentious but refined joint counts among the best Italian restaurants in the city. Naples-trained chef Taro Takada’s pizzas and multi-course meals draw expertly on local, seasonal ingredients. Cambusa

  • Art
  • Minato Mirai

Directly connected to Shin-Takashima Station, the subterranean BankART Station is the home of BankART1929, a nonprofit that has spent two decades working to reinvent the city’s waterfront as a hub for creativity and the arts. Home to a café, pub and shop, the bunker-like gallery hosts a wide variety of events together with the group’s other space, BankART KAIKO on Kitanaka-dori, which also serves as a venue for the Yokohama Triennale. BankART1929

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