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Yokohama Marine Tower

Where to go when you want to see night views overlooking Yokohama Bay in Japan? The obvious choice would be the 60+-storey Landmark Tower’s observation deck. But the admission fee is rather expensive there. If you’re pinching pennies like me then place to be is the Yokohama Marine Tower. It’s right at the end of Yamashita Park, offering a panoramic view of the city. (Continued after Japanese summary)

横浜マリンタワー

先日は、大型客船「レジェンド・オブ・ザ・シーズ」が横浜港に来航しました。ロシアから来て韓国へ旅立つ予定だったようです。年に何回か横浜に来航する船ですが、出港時間がほとんど夕暮れの前となり、湾にある船らと一緒に夜景撮影するチャンスが少ないのです。今回は、夜間出港とのことで横浜マリンタワーに行って夜の姿を氷川丸と一緒に撮りました^^ (レジェンドは下の写真の左上)

マリンタワーは撮影場所について、風による揺れが激しいのと、室内の光の反射が厳しいことを懸念します。ただ、三脚を折りたたんで置くことができる場所があり、そういった意味で撮りやすいかと思います。「撮影」を唯一の目的にすれば完璧な所ではありませんが、夜景を楽しみながら撮影するのなら素敵な場所だと思います^^

ちなみに、タワーは神奈川県民優待を行い、今年の9月と来年の6月は横浜市民が入場料半額となります^^ 来月からは県内の他の市の順番です。

The cruise ship Legend of the Seas (upper left) and the Hikawamaru ship (lower right) on the bay.

The cruise ship Legend of the Seas (upper left) and the Hikawamaru ship (lower right) on the bay. レジェンド・オブ・ザ・シーズ(左上)と氷川丸(右下)の共演。

Last week the cruise ship Legend of the Seas arrived at the city port (from Russia and departing for Korea), so I went there at night to photograph her. She comes regularly to Yokohama, but most of the time she leaves before nightfall, so there’s no chance to photograph her at night with the other ships and boats on the port. Last night was different and fun! :) She’s the one on the upper left hand portion in the above photo.

A view of Minatomirai with the Legend of the Seas. レジェンド・オブ・ザ・シーズとみなとみらい21。

A view of Minatomirai with the Legend of the Seas. レジェンド・オブ・ザ・シーズとみなとみらい21。

Here she is with Minatomirai’s famous Ferris wheel-cum-giant clock, Cosmo 21.

City Sunsets

It’s not just the ships at bay that people come to see at the Marine Tower. At dusk the bay looks lovely. The tall building in the horizon is the Landmark Tower.

Yokohama at dusk. 夕暮れ前の横浜。

Yokohama at dusk. 夕暮れ前の横浜。

That’s the northwest view. On the west is the sun setting over the city. It was quite cloudy that day; I’m quite sure it would look gorgeous on a clearer day.

Sunset over the city. 都会の夕焼け。

Sunset over the city. 都会の夕焼け。

The Yokohama Marine Tower was completed in 1961 and was renovated in 2009. It is 106m tall. The observation decks are on the 30th and 29th floors. There are a bar and coffee shop on the first floor, souvenir shop on the second, wedding hall on the third, and a (rather expensive) restaurant on the fourth floor.

Urban Scenes

Speaking of clear days, to the north is the Tokyo Sky Tree. I couldn’t see it that day. Instead, northeast is the Yokohama Bay Bridge.

Yokohama Bay Bridge behind the Yamashita wharf. 横浜ベイブリッジと山下埠頭。

Yokohama Bay Bridge behind the Yamashita wharf. 横浜ベイブリッジと山下埠頭。

And to the east is the Kanagawa Route 1 Yokohane Line.

Yokohane Line at night. 夜の横羽線。

Yokohane Line at night. 夜の横羽線。

Someone mentioned on my photoblog that the road looks far better here at night than it does when you actually drive on it during the day :)

When to Go

Outside the tower. タワーの外見。

Outside the tower. タワーの外見。

 Clear night skies would definitely be good for tower views, so it goes without saying that late autumn and winter are the best seasons.

But it’s the events such as fireworks displays and the arrival of international luxury cruise ships that are popular times to climb up the tower. Check out the links below for scheduled events.

The tower, while only 30 stories high, seems to be easily shaken by the wind. You might want to keep this in mind when determining your ISO settings during photography.

Also, the reflections on the glass from the lights inside the observation deck are strong and distracting. Walk around while peeking through the view finder to find out which angle is not affected. I found that unless I had a very long lens I could not get the lens hood to be close enough to the glass.

By the way, the Yokohama Marine Tower is holding an event where residents of Kanagawa Prefecture are given a 50% discount on the admission fee. September 2012 and June 2013 are the Yokohama City residents’ turn :D If you live in the city you might want to visit :) The next months are for the other cities within the prefecture.

How to Get There

Address: Kanagaga-ken, Yokohama-shi, Naka-ku, Yamashita-cho 15
住所: 神奈川県横浜市中区山下町15

The nearest JR station would be Ishikawa-cho on the Keihin Tohoku Line. It’s about a 15min walk from there. You can also take the Minatomirai Line and get off at Motomachi-Chukagai station’s Exit No. 4, which is just a minute away.

みなとみらい線「元町・中華街」駅4番出口より徒歩1分
JR「石川町」駅より徒歩15分

I Would Love to Hear from You!

So, what do you think of this article? Please share your thoughts and opinions in the Comments section below.

この記事についてのご意見・ご感想を是非、お聞かせください!コメント欄↓に書きこんで頂けると幸いです!

External Links

Yokohama Marine Tower 横浜マリンタワー – official site. Check out the Events page to see the latest happenings. Sometimes the tower’s light changes colors; this is where to find out when :). 公式サイトです。イベントページには最新のキャンペーンやライトアップの予定などが記載されています。
Yokohama Bay Port Call Schedule for Cruise Ships 横浜港客船入港情報(スケジュール) – a must-check site if your main goal is to see cruise ships at bay. They don’t always stay till nightfall; be sure to check if you’re planning for some night ship photography. 客船の入港予定は詳細に記載されています。夜景の中の客船と撮影したい場合はチェックが必須です。

Books to Consider

関連書籍

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6 comments

  1. Could you use a polarizing filter to get rid of the reflections? I’m a photography idiot but I seem to remember reading that long ago.

    • beverlyclaire /

      Nori bought a PL filter last spring specifically to get rid of glass reflections. It didn’t seem to work much, so I opted not to buy one. I think the best solution is to wear something dark and to get the lens hood as close to the glass as possible. But given that the Marine Tower has bright, red-colored signal lights all over the inside of the observation deck, the only solution would have been to have someone stand in front of the lamp in question while the photo was being taken.

  2. Pretty night photos! I like the first and second ones best. Wanna ride a ship (that will not sink)! :-)

    • beverlyclaire /

      Hey Han! Thanks, I’m glad you liked the photos. Me too, I’d like to ride a giant cruise ship one of these days :)

  3. noritan /

    夜の横浜港は光があふれていて綺麗ですね。
    何度行っても飽きないです。

    • コメントありがとうございます!毎回行くたびに違う表情を見せてくれますよね。やはり湾の近くはいいですよね^^ また、豪華客船が来航したら見に行きましょうね!

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