The Kannai area has many renovated historical buildings under a project to promote creativity in arts and culture. The “Yokohama Creativecity Center” is one of them. The building, formally the Yokohama branch of the Dai-ichi Bank, was built in 1929. When I go there, even though a subway station (Bashamichi Station of the Minatomirai line) is directly connected to the building, I prefer the seven-minute walk from JR Kannai station for two reasons. First, I can enjoy strolling along the historical Basha-michi street, which includes quite a few historical spots. For example, this area was where the first ice-cream was sold in Japan, and there is also a memorial statue designating the location of the first ever photo studio in Japan. Secondly, walking here, I can meet the building head-on with my eyes. That is, I am able to greet the magnificent facade of the building, which is nestled into the delta of some big roads and tall buildings—strange and beautiful in its own way. The building has now become a kind of information center with an art gallery and a cafe.
The building consists of three rooms. The facade side is a triangle-shaped event space where you can enjoy both paid or free art events and exhibitions. When I visited last time, I enjoyed a free art exhibition by an American artist, Peter Coffin. The opposite side of the building is open information space where you can get a lot of flyers on art events around Yokohama. At a counter between these two spaces, staff answer your questions as well as selling art books, goods and some drinks. Here, I picked up some information about a Japanese comic drama, Japanese traditional theater, Kyogen. Nogaku-do theater in Yokohama offers low-priced Kyogen tickets once a month. In these ways, this is a place where people can explore and enjoy Japanese modern and traditional arts events in Yokohama.
By the way, beautiful Art Deco lights hang from the high ceiling and a few huge windows shower the room in sunlight. You may feel like you are in a time slip. Surprisingly, it is relatively quite here even though the building sits in the middle of a highway.
I recommend visiting Yokohama Creativecity Center for tourists who want to enjoy historical buildings in this area. You can also enjoy a nice walk, enjoy some beautiful art, get advice from the staff, and take a break in a delightful atmosphere that existed in Yokohama one hundred years ago.