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A First Class View: Yokohama Landmark Tower

At 296 metres, Landmark Tower is Japan’s second tallest skyscraper.

Japan

At 296 metres, Landmark Tower is Japan’s second tallest skyscraper. It’s the tallest building in Yokohama, which is just south of Tokyo. Appropriately named, Landmark Tower is a major landmark in the city, and is the centerpiece of the Minatomirai 21 district. Constructed in 1993, it has quite a bit to see and do.

At the base of the building, you can find the very popular Landmark Plaza shopping centre, which has a large number of higher end shops and numerous restaurants. The interior of the shopping centre is quite attractive and luxurious. In the middle of the lowest floor, there’s a performance stage which has a grand piano. Accessible from the lower levels is the Dockyard Garden, which has a collection of restaurants connected to a historic dock, which has been beautifully restored to its original condition. The fact that it’s inland is a reminder of the fact that the Minatomirai district is reclaimed land.

The tower itself has a lot of restaurants and shops, but also the 5 star Royal Park Hotel and offices. But one of the biggest draws is the 69th floor Sky Garden observatory. The observatory provides a full 360 degree view of Yokohama from 263 metres up. It’s accessed via a dedicated elevator from the 3rd floor in the tower. This elevator travels at a maximum speed of 45 km/h, which was the fastest elevator in the world when completed. The view from the observatory is beautiful.

During the daytime, it’s possible to see as far away as Mt. Fuji, and even Tokyo Tower in Tokyo. But around the tower, there’s the Cosmo Clock, a large ferris wheel that is also the largest clock in the world. Next to the tower is a group of 3 towers called Queen’s Square, which also has its own shopping centre. Other attractions are the Nippon Maru training ship, which is open to the public, World Porters shopping centre, Red Brick Warehouse shopping centre, Yokohama Museum of Art, the sail-shaped Yokohama Grand Intercontinental Hotel, Pacifico Yokohama convention centre, and the brand new MarkIs shopping mall, among many others. Not only is the view during the day beautiful, the nighttime view is equally amazing. Admission to the observatory is 1,000 yen.

Access to the Landmark Tower is fairly easy. From the Japan Rail Sakuragicho Station, it’s easy to see. Just walk toward the building and take the moving walkway all the way there. From Minatomirai Station, exit into Queen’s Square and turn right. Go straight through until you pass into Landmark Plaza.

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