YOKOHAMA--The Minato Mirai waterfront district here will become even more bustling in spring 2019 with the opening of a new passenger ship terminal, which aims to attract additional foreign cruise ships.
Ocean liners including luxury Diamond Princess are scheduled to arrive at and depart from the terminal about 80 times annually as their home port in Asia.
Taking advantage of the popular location, various commercial facilities will be housed in the five-story terminal with a total floor area of 28,000 square meters alongside immigration and customs-related facilities.
An approximately 200-room hotel, restaurants with magnificent vistas of the port, and shops including hands-on outlets where visitors can cook their own sweets and eat them are planned.
Offering an ocean view with balcony in all its guest rooms, the low-rise hotel boasts distinctive features in contrast with the typical high-rise, high-end hotels in central Tokyo.
"Here, visitors can directly feel the ambience of Yokohama and the port," said Yuji Tsutsumi, who has been involved in the development of the Minato Mirai district from the beginning.
Tsutsumi is chairman of InterContinental Yokohama Grand, a luxury hotel in the Minato Mirai district, which will operate the new hotel.
"We are eager to offer an interesting lifestyle that can only be experienced here," he added.
The terminal is designed to be a "sea station" where both tourists from abroad and Japanese citizens can kick back and relax.
Shinko Pier, which was developed as a major distribution base in the Taisho Era (1912-1926), is where it will be sited.
Located near the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, the pier has been used as a venue for the Yokohama Triennale, a large international art festival, and other events in recent years.
The nearby Osanbashi Yokohama International Passenger Terminal had been considered insufficient to attract further foreign cruise ships.
Local companies and the city government, which have joined forces to develop the new terminal, hope to invite ships that have not called in Yokohama due to congestion at the Osanbashi terminal.