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Opened in 1981, and housed in the former British Consulate, the archives building was rebuilt in 1931, after having been destroyed in the Kanto earthquake in 1923. The first floor of the Archives gives one an overview of the opening of Japan, with the coming of Commodore Perry. The second floor is used for periodic exhibits, often highlighting early foreign residents and their business. The extensive reading room has not only English language newspapers (published in Shanghai, London, Yokohama and Kobe during the treaty port years until 1923), but also rare first-edition books, mainly from the two major collections of Don Brown and Paul Blum.
Ocean travelers will appreciate this small, but beautifully appointed museum on the waterfront in Yokohama. In 1896 Nippon Yusen Kaisha inaugurated the European route when their first passenger ship, the Tosa-maru, left Yokohama headed for London. Service to Melbourne, Australia, and Seattle, USA, also began later that year. The displays include officers' uniforms, crockery, cutlery, furnishings, biographies of the many foreign ship captains, ship models, photographs of famous passengers, and the first dining room menu from 1896, which featured Western food. Mention must be made of the fine library collection, which has several shelves of books in English on shipping and ocean liners. The tea lounge is a remodeled cabin.
Nippon Maru is one of the oldest ships, built in 1930, anchored in front of Sakurgicho Station. The ship was built as a training ship, and has been a prop in coaching over 12,000 cadets in a span of 54 years. The ship has sailed an equivalent of almost almost 45.5 trips around the globe. Nippon Maru stopped sailing and training in the year 1984, and was docked at Yokohama City. Nippon Maru is now open to public, who can go about the ship, through every deck, read about its history and know what being on a ship feels like. Nippon Maru is a great way to learn and experience something unusual, historical and impressive. There are volunteers on board to guide visitors with information related to Nippon Maru. Various events are held around Nippon Maru, the Full-Sail Exhibition, where Nippon Maru’s beauty is unrolled to all the viewers, the Brass Band Concerts where local schools and various bands perform. A must visit and a great getaway with families and friends.
NYK Hikawamaru was a liner built in 1930, to transport passengers and goods to and fro from Japan and Seattle, and an epitome of naval architecture of its time. Now converted to a museum, visitors get to see the liner as it was back then, with fantastic interiors, large decks, the plush first-class accommodations, the commoners' cabins, the wheelhouse and the engine rooms, all telling you of the historic voyages of the liner, with the departed era still, somehow, lingering around.
Besides real artifacts that chronicle Yokohama's 20,000-year history, there are numerous, models, exhibits and displays for further learning. Of particular interest is the model of a teahouse from the Tokaido highway. The seven-floor building includes the following facilities: a library, reading room, auditorium, seminar room and a gallery for special exhibitions.