Attraction 1-6 Honcho Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 231-0005 Japan Published on: 27-02-2016
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Why Yokohama Port Opening Hall is special ?
Yokohama Port Opening Hall is a building in the neo-renaissance style that opened in 1918. Its famous 36 meter tall clock tower is popularly called "Jack's Tower." It is called one of Yokohama's 3 towers, along with Kanagawa Prefectural Government Building (King) and Yokoyama Customs Building (Queen). When there were still few tall buildings, seamen of foreign ships gave it this nickname from their playing cards. There is a legend that if you go to spots where you can see all these 3 buildings on the same day, your wish will come true.
What to explore at Yokohama Port Opening Hall?
The hall has a large auditriam and it was used as a concert hall and invited famous musicians. There are many rooms inside. Hotel New Grand used to manage a kitchen one of them was used as a restaurant. The hall was once occupied by the U.S. military and they used the large hall as a movie theater named "Memorial Hall" for 14 years from 1945 until 1958.
On the second floor, there are stained glass windows. One of them portrayed is on the stairs with a portrait of Powhatan, Commodore Perry's flagship with the flag of the Stars and Stripes.
It was very rare that the stained glass was not destroyed and survived during the war.
There is a narrow spiral staircase to the tower. It has 113 steps toward the top. I am an acrophobia and I climbed those steps fearfully. But it was rewarded by being able to see the dorms close and bay view from the top.
How to get to Yokohama Port Opening Hall?
JR Keihin Tohoku Line, Kannai Station (40 minutes from Tokyo Station), then 7 minutes walk
- Know more about yokohama
- Looking back to the Port’s glorious history
- The most beautiful building in Yokohama
- Special clock tower
- Beautiful reflection from the lighting on the bricks
1-6 Honcho Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 231-0005 Japan
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The Yokohama Port Opening Hall is considered the most beautiful building in Yokohama. It was completed in 1917 with a Neo-renaissance style architectural. In the great 1923 earthquake the exterior remained standing, but the interior suffered severe damage. It’s famous 36 meter tall clock tower is popularly called "Jack's Tower”, by generations of sailors. It is named one of Yokohama's 3 towers; along with Kanagawa Prefectural Government Building (King) and Yokoyama Customs Building (Queen). The Yokohama Port Opening Hall's clock tower has become a symbol of Yokohama, with clocks on each of its four sides. "Jack" has been designated as a historical heritage building and also currently serves as the Naka-ku Ward Hall. When we were there on a Friday morning we were very lucky to have a friendly Japanese museum volunteer who helped bring us about and explained all the historical details which we would not be able to appreciate greater in-depth otherwise. On the second floor, there are stained coloured-glass windows. One of them portrayed is on the stairs with a portrait of Powhatan, Commodore Perry's flagship with the distinguishable flag of the Stars and Stripes. He mentioned that it was very rare that the stained glass was not destroyed and survived during the war. There were also very valuable historical photos and paintings plus original documents on display, all testaments to the Port’s glorious past! At night the tip of the clock tower is lit with lights that over-pass the intersection. The lightshow on the red bricks seemed to take one back in time to a different age - Yokohama in its golden era. The orange reflection from the lighting on the bricks is superbly beautiful. It is close to a Minatomirai Line station, making the building a good starting point for visiting Yokohama night views. One can proceed to MM21 or the nostaglic Bashamichi from here easily..
This is an awesome building, one of the oldest remaining "modern" buildings in Yokohama. Its distinctive tower, nicknamed "Jack," can be seen from various parts of the area. (Look on the pavement for marks that show were you can see Jack, "King" [the prefectural capitol building"], and "Queen" [the customs office] from the same viewpoint.) The fact that so few buildings of this vintage and style makes it cool to look at. The inside (free) is not all that special if you grew up in a western city with century-old (or centuries-old) public buildings, but go in anyway to see the cool stained glass on the second floor. Look for the windows that have a European gentleman on palankeen carried by men in fundoshi (loincloths) and the large window that shows an American ship (Perry's "black ship," as I recall) being met by Japanese. On special occasions you can climb the spiral stairs to the top of the tower.