Autumn hike to Nojima Park Observatory

With cooler temperatures and beautiful fall foliage in Japan, autumn is one of the best times to go outside and have a walk. I decided to go to Yokohama’s Kanazawa ward to have a nice walk and go up a hill where there is an observatory overlooking the southern part of Yokohama.

Nojima Observatory

Kanazawa is like a “secret” spot in Yokohama (not to be confused with the famous Kanazawa city in Ishikawa prefecture). There are very few travelers who visit this place (e.g. most travelers go to Minato Mirai or Chinatown/Motomachi area), yet it is a beautiful place that has everything – the wonderful autumn trees, the view of Hirakata bay, the observatory on top of a hill in Nojima Park and the toylike monorail train “Seaside” line passing over the bay.

Hirakata Bay

I started my walk from Kanazawa-Hakkei Station. Kanazawa-Hakkei Station is accessible via Keikyu Lines from Tokyo’s Shinagawa Station (36 mins via express line) and from Yokohama Station (18 mins).

Kanazawa Hakkei Station

From Kanazawa-Hakkei Station, you can reach Nojima Park Observatory 40 minutes on foot which is perfect for a walking tour. For a shorter walk, you could also change to the monorail Seaside line at Kanazawa-Hakkei Station and stop at Nojimakouen station. From Nojimakouen, you can reach the observatory in roughly 15 minutes.

Kanazawa Seaside Line (Monorail)

In my case, I went to a long walk to see the monorail train passing above the beautiful Hirakata bay.

Monorail Train Passing above Hirakata Bay

Along the way, I stopped as Suzaki Park where you can sit down and watch the bay. The sound of the boats and the cool wind is just perfect for taking the time to relax or reading a book.

Suzaki Park
Suzaki Park overlooking the bay

I then walked over the Kihan bridge where you can see the monorail train (Seaside line) passing over the sea. Seaside line is an advanced (automated) train and it’s such a unique view to see nature and technology mixed together!

Kihan Bridge
View from Kihan Bridge

When entering Nojima Park, a convenient sloped path guides you toward the Nojima Observatory.

Sloped path going to Nojima Observatory
Going up towards the Observatory

And in a few minutes, you will see Nojima observatory. It looks like a satellite dish at first.

Nojima Observatory

Going closer, I can see the stairs going up to the observatory. (The observatory is free to everyone and you do not need a ticket to enter).

Stairs going to the Observation Deck

Just when I reached the observation deck, I was surprised to see the wide 360º view. The blue skies, blue sea and calm cityscape. The view was very spectacular.

Also, Mt. Fuji is visible from the observation deck! One might not see it immediately, but on a clear day, Mt. Fuji can be seen from here. Nojima Observatory is a must-see destination in Yokohama and I recommend this place to travelers.

Mt Fuji is visible from Nojima Observatory

It’s noon and on my way back to the station, I decided to have a lunch at Bakery Aoki’s Cafe, and it is located beside Kanazawa Hakkei-Station.

They serve bread, coffee, and western-inspired foods.

Now I’m full and ready to go to my next destination!

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