Region
Kanto
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Yokohama
Population
8,489,932

Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse

Find some of the coolest bars, restaurants and seasonal events and relive over 100 years of Yokohama history.

Five minutes away from World Porters Shopping Mall, in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai 21 district is a bit of history that changed Japan forever. It’s called Aka Renga Soko, or Red Brick Warehouse, and it’s worth a walk around its open grounds to relive a bit of the past. Plus, in modern day it has a ton of neat shops, high-end restaurants and seasonal events.

In the early 1850’s, Yokohama was a simple fishing village. Then, in July of 1853, Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s Susquehanna sailed into Tokyo Bay, delivering a letter of kindness from American President Millard Fillmore, and a far stronger letter from Perry himself. Eventually, the Treaty of Kanagawa was signed in March 1854, and if you walk around the Red Brick Warehouse grounds, you’ll be setting foot on the beginning of an American presence in Japan.

Photo by: Kakidai The Red Brick Warehouse is on Yokohama Bay.

By the end of the 19th century, Yokohama was considered an international city, attracting sailors like American author Jack London, who drank in various Yokohama bars as a 17-year old and even went for a drunken swim in the bay. Due to rising trade demands, government officials built warehouses as they extended the Shinko Pier dock to improve its ship reception.

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Pikachu Outbreak Yokohama
In 1911 and 1913, two warehouses were constructed using around six million made-in-Japan red bricks. Ten years later, the Kanto earthquake devastated the region, collapsing the middle section of Warehouse No. 1.

Twenty years after the earthquake, Japan adapted the warehouses into a military storage unit. Upon Japan’s surrender in 1945, the Red Brick Warehouse was occupied by the United States, and for the next ten years used by American military for various business matters. Through the second half of the 20th century, the warehouses survived a fluctuating period of usage, and even a large dose of graffiti before finally being taken control of by Yokohama City.

Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse Holiday Market during Christmas

Photo by: かがみ~ Loads of holiday events like the Christmas Holiday Market, featuring hot mulled wine, are held at the warehouse.

The local government hoped to restore the site and make it a part of Minato Mirai 21’s futuristic plans. Between the years 1994 and 2002, the warehouses went through a massive structural upgrade–graffiti removed, a new steel frame added along with major roof repairs. As they transformed these historic warehouses, the construction crews attempted to preserve as many links to history as it could, such as retaining the old look found along the staircases. On April 12, 2002, the warehouses were reopened and became an immediate sensation. In fifteen years, over 65 million visitors have discovered Aka Renga Soko.

A hipster’s paradise, one could say.

Predominantly in Warehouse No. 2., there are now unique shops and cafes—even restaurants with live music (try Motion Blue Yokohama). A hipster’s paradise, one could say. On the seaside end of the first floor of Warehouse No. 2, there is Bill’s restaurant. If you happen to see that your wallet is overflowing with yen, go ahead and head into Bill’s and grab a seat where you can look out at the water. Order the Wagyu and Swiss Burger and Kamikatz Pale Ale. Yes, you’ll be ¥3,500 lighter, but it just might be worth a trip into present-day history.

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Trivia

Pikachu Outbreak Yokohama

Yokohama Pikachu Outbreak

Gotta catch Japan's cutest summer festival.

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Things To Know

Warehouse No. 2 has two floors of shops, and each floor has a theme. The 1st floor connects you to Yokohama Harbor, and the 2nd floor tries to go ‘Beyond Your Imagination.’ If it’s the holiday season, you must check out the Christmas Market!

How To Get There

Address

231-0001, Japan

By train

 

From Tokyo station, it’s a one-hour train ride along the Keihintohoku line. Get off at the Sakuragicho station and walk 15 minutes toward the water and the Shinko District/Pier.

By car

From Tokyo station, it would be around 45 minutes, with tolls.

Where To Stay

Navios Yokohama
  • Naka-ku Shinkou 2-1-1 Yokohama-Shi, Kanagawa 231-0001
  • 8.4/10
  • 0.2 km
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InterContinental Yokohama Grand
  • Nishi-ku Minatomirai 1-1-1 220-8522
  • 8.8/10
  • 0.6 km
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The Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu
  • Nishi-ku Minatomirai 2-3-7 220-8543
  • 9.1/10
  • 0.6 km
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Sotetsu Fresa Inn Yokohama Sakuragi-cho
  • Naka-ku Honcho 5-49 Yokohama-Shi, Kanagawa 231-0005
  • 8.5/10
  • 0.6 km
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