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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Iwasaki Museum

岩崎博物館

The building that houses the Iwasaki Museum in the Bluff/Yamate district of Yokohama was once the Gaiety Theater that was first constructed in brick on this site in 1885.

Iwasaki Museum, Yamate, Yokohama.


The Gaiety Theater was opened for the amusement of the area's foreign residents and was designed by the French architect, Paul Sarda. The Gaiety Theater was one of the first western theaters built in Japan and staged performances of Shakespeare and other western dramatists as well providing a venue for concerts of western music.

The Gaiety Theater was completely destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and was then rebuilt, according to original plans, photographs and documents that had been preserved, in 1980.

The present building is part of Iwasaki Gakuen, a local Yokohama college of fashion and dressmaking.

Nowadays historic clothing from ancient Egypt on, cosmetics, arts and crafts and period furnishings are on display in the main gallery rooms. A modern concert hall, the Yamate Gaiety Theater, takes up part of the building and presents frequent recitals and concerts (see the website below for details). The Iwasaki Museum also has a cafe decorated in Rococo style which is very popular with tourists visiting the museum.

Visitors to the Iwasaki Museum can also dress up in period costumes for photo shoots from 10am-5pm.

Iwasaki Museum
254, Yamate-cho, Naka-ku
Yokohama, 231-0862
Hours: 9.40am-16pm(Last admission: 5.30pm; Photo service: 10am-5pm; tea room: 11am-5pm; Closed on Mondays or the next day if Monday is a public holiday and New Year's holidays.
Admission: Adults 300 yen.
Access: The museum is an 10-minute walk from Motomachi-Chukagai Station on the Minatomirai Line or about the same from Ishikawacho Station on JR Keihin Tohoku Negishi Line.

Iwasaki Museum, Yokohama.


Other attractions in the Yamate/Bluff area of Yokohama include Christ Church, the Yokohama Foreigners' Cemetery, the British House Yokohama and the Yamate Museum of Tennis.

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