Yokohama Nihon-Odori: Museum
Newspark: Yokohama Nihon-Odori
Yokohama Nihon-Odori / Museum
Open 11am-5pm (last entry 4:30pm) daily.
Admission Y500
Average visit time: 20-60 minutes

Officially known as the Japan Newspaper Museum, this beautifully designed modern facility is both entertaining and informative. Three floors of exhibits cover the history of the newspaper industry in Japan as well as the nuts and bolts of print production.

The earliest decades of newspaper history are evoked through woodblock prints, facsimile newspapers, and a full-size antique printing press. You can then follow the progress of printing technology leading to more modern presses and photo-engraving equipment.

English-language captioning of the displays is thorough enough, with plenty of information to fill in historical context. Japan's volatile political landscape - with its alternating periods of strict regulation and relative press freedom - was the main force shaping the early decades of the industry, and this is described in some depth.

We were amused to learn about the most popular topics of newspaper coverage during its early era - celebrity scandals, notorious true-crime stories, and fantastical descriptions of mythical animals and monsters. Japanese popular culture of more recent years is well represented by a gallery of famous newspaper advertisements from the past few decades.

If you have limited time we'd suggest moving quickly through the second-floor exhibit area, with its reproductions of historical front pages through the ages (e.g. the launch of the first shinkansen train; the final match of the Japan-hosted World Cup) and concentrate on the third-floor history and technology exhibits.

Japanese speakers may also enjoy participating in the the hands-on mock "production studio" activities held a few times a day, or catching up on their reading in the fourth-floor newspaper library. And the second-floor "Cafe de la Presse" is a good place to recharge after a museum visit.

Naka-ku, Yokohama, Nihon-Odori 11.
1 minute from Nihon-Odori (Minato-Mirai line)
Sister sites:
Japan bar and restaurant guide
Animal Cafes
Cat, rabbit and bird cafe guide
Craft Beer Bars Japan
Bars, festivals and breweries
Neighborhood guides and top-five lists from Tokyo experts