A little more laid back than its neighbor Tokyo, Yokohama is an excellent city to visit with the kids either for a fun-filled, jam-packed day trip or a more extended adventure. From old-fashioned amusement parks and waterfront views to unique museums a Pokemon paradise, there’s something for families of all sizes, budgets, and interests in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai (city center) district, here’s a guide.
Yokohama Cosmo World
Located just a short stroll from Yamashita Park, it’s near impossible to miss the giant glittering Ferris Wheel that towers over the Yokohama waterfront. An iconic symbol of the city, it’s just one of the many attractions you’ll find at Yokohama’s Cosmo World, an amusement park that fits a lot into its compact grounds. An eclectic mix of both old-world charm and modern design, Cosmo World is a fail-safe family-friendly destination with rides, games and other attractions to suit all ages. It features a roller coaster, arcade games, and virtual reality experiences. Ideal for an afternoon adventure, the amusement park is easily accessible by foot from many of the city’s other tourist hubs and is a two-minute walk from Minatomirai Station. It’s open from 11am- until 9pm Monday to Friday (shut Thursday), and 11am - 10pm on weekends. Entry is free.
Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama
One of the more unusual museums in Japan, the Nissin Cup Noodle Museum is one of Yokohama’s most popular attractions and surprisingly, rightly so. Much more than just a museum dedicated to the history of the cup noodle, it’s an interactive educational playground, art gallery and dining experience all rolled into one. Here you can create your own unique blend of cup noodles in the My Cupnoodles Factory, admire the modern art designed displays of cup noodle packaging over the years, and wander inside a replica of cup noodle creator Momofuku Ando’s work shed, the original home of the cup noodle. On the fourth floor, you’ll find Noodles Bazaar, a food court dedicated to different noodles from across the globe. The museum is open from 10am – 6pm daily and admission is 500 yen for adults, free for kids. Positioned just a few minutes from Yokohama Cosmo World by foot, you could easily combine the two for an excellent day adventure.
Pokemon Centre Yokohama
Opening in November 2018, Yokohama’s Pokemon Centre was one of Marine City’s most highly anticipated attractions. Originally located Landmark Plaza, the newly designed center is bigger and features an aquatic theme inspired by its surroundings. Although it’s a slightly smaller incarnation of its Tokyo contemporary, the Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo, Yokohama’s Pokemon hub offers plenty to keep the kids occupied for a good hour. The main attractions include the games center and a seemingly endless selection of merchandise, so be prepared to part with your yen.
If you’re on the hunt for a little respite in the heart of one of the most urban cities in the world, then don’t miss Orbi Yokohama, a digital museum dedicated to the natural world. Fusing real-world wonders with the advances of Sega's digital technology, and with the help of BBC Earth, this museum is a hands-on learning experience that offers endless discovery for all ages. Built to activate all five senses, the displays allow you to crawl the bottoms of the ocean and feel what it’s like to stand atop the highest mountain peaks, all while being inside the MARK IS commercial complex. There are also Indoor Wildlife Encounters where you can interact with real animals. It’s open from 9am - 9pm Monday to Thursday and 9am - 10pm Friday to Sunday and holidays. Admission is 800 yen for adults, 500 yen for high school students, 300 yen for elementary students and preschool age guests are free.
Mitsubishi Minatomirai Industrial Museum
If your kids have a big appetite for learning, then there’s always the Mitsubishi Minatomirai Industrial Museum. Predominantly aimed at children, many of the scientific displays are interactive and showcase Mitsubishi's latest technological innovations, focussing heavily on space exploration and environmental developments. It’s a little less well known than some of Yokohama’s other attractions, making it the ideal place to visit if you’re looking to avoid the crowds or kill some time on a rainy day. Located an eight-minute walk from Sakuragicho Station, it’s open from 10am - 5pm every day (but shut on Tuesdays). Admission is 500 yen for adults, 300 yen for junior high/High school students, and 200 yen for elementary school students.