Yamashita Park (山下公園, Yamashita Kōen) is a public park that stretches about 750 meters along Yokohama's waterfront. The park is about a hundred meters wide, and consists mostly of open green space. It was constructed after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.
Strolling through Yamashita Park, it is hard to miss the massive ocean liner in the water beside the promenade. The ship is called the Hikawa Maru, and was first put into service in 1930 along the Yokohama-Vancouver/Seattle line. The ship had first-class cabins that attracted the likes of the imperial family and Charlie Chaplin for the transpacific journey. In 1960, after 30 years at sea, the ship was retired. It now serves as a museum, with informative displays and interiors in the style of the 1930s.
Near the Hikawa Maru, and also hard to miss, stands the Yokohama Marine Tower. It is located just beside the park and extends 106 meters into the air. Although not as high as the Landmark Tower Sky Garden, the Marine Tower's observatory also has a 360 degree view, located 100 meters above ground.
One of the park's main features is a wide path that runs along the water. It is usually quite busy, with many people enjoying the view of the bay and the ships passing by. At the park's southern end, the path leads into the Rinkosen promenade, which passes by the Osanbashi Pier and leads to Minato Mirai. The walk is a pleasant way to travel between the areas.
A few fountains and an eclectic group of monuments are distributed throughout the park: an Indian memorial, a monument to a Filipino general, a girl scout statue, two monuments to particular Japanese children songs, and a statue of a large head commemorating the introduction of the western-style haircut to Japan.
Yamashita Park is a five minute walk from Motomachi-Chukagai Station (8 minutes, 210 yen from Yokohama Station) on the Minato Mirai Line. The park can also be reached by foot from Chinatown in five minutes or from Minato Mirai in about 30 minutes.
The Akaikutsu Loop Bus stops in front of the Marine Tower (Marine Tower-mae bus stop) and in front of the middle of the park (Yamashita Koen-mae Bus stop). The loop bus connects many of Yokohama's sightseeing attractions and costs 220 yen per ride or 500 yen for a day pass.
Yamashita Park can also be accessed by "Sea Bass" boats, which depart from Yokohama Bay Quarter (500 meters from Yokohama Station's east exit. The journey costs 700 yen one way, and half the boats travel directly (15 minutes) while the other half stop at Minato Mirai (35 minutes) along the way.
A small number of irregular closing days