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Yokohama: Revitalised Through Art

Updated: Mar 12

Yokohama offers responsible travellers the perfect opportunity to immerse in the local culture and leave a positive footprint. In a day trip that can be done on foot or bike, visitors can do their bit to contribute to the city’s downtown revitalisation through art, which after 20 years, is realizing its goals of making Yokohama a “city of art”.

Community Arts meets Community Tourism

Current artist, Azuki Kon, based in one of the many boutique studios at Koganecho,

This insider guided tour led by a Yokohama resident, enables visitors to get deep access and insights into the burgeoning Yokohama arts scene through interactions with the key people and artists driving the areas’ revival.

Contemporary Arts and Urban Culture Tour

Meet your Yokohama resident guide Danelle to take a deep dive into the community arts scene, learn about its role in revitalising the city as well as take in the best of Yokohama’s characterful downtown area situated along the cherry-tree lined Ookagawa river. Key features of the tour include:

  • BankART Project Leader Tour– Take a private tour of the exhibitions with the bi-lingual project manager of BankART, a non-profit arts organisation which repurposes historical buildings and warehouses for cultural and artistic activities.

Meeting the artists and BankART team at the Polaris exhibition at BankART Kaiko

  • Meet the Artists of Koganecho – Explore the characterful downtown area and learn about its remarkable transformation from a notorious red-light district to a contemporary arts hub.

Meeting the artists in residence at Koganecho

  • Noge evening tour – Get a truly authentic “yokocho” experience without foreign hoards through a walking and ”izakaya” hopping tour of this photogenic and historical night-life district

Images of Noge: Alexander O.Smith (left and centre)

When to visit

This tour works pretty much all year with the usual caveats. However, it is worth considering that the area makes for about the best alt-cherry blossom spot in late March and April, when the Ookagawa river turns pink with petals and its banks are lined with ”Hanami” revellers. Autumn is usually host to the annual Koganecho Bazaar, an arts festival featuring additional exhibitions and utilising the everyday spaces of the area as stages for a variety of arts and culture related activities. In 2024 though, it will be held during the Yokohama arts Triennale starting in Spring.

This tour is a travel trade exclusive, super immersive and as good karma as it gets, with a large portion of tour fees going to supporting the local artists. It's also on Tokyo's doorstep, just 30-60 minutes by train. For more info, get in touch with us via our contacts page.

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