Updated: Apr 29, 2021
Overall review: Yokohama Winery very likely will be the smallest winery you ever visit. Winery is located right by the sea, very accessible from Tokyo. They offer a great range of variety of wine, from Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Delaware, Steuben, to Japan natives like Koshu, Yamabudou, and they even have some fruit wine like Fuji Ringo (Apple) etc. The winery tour is guided by the winery owner herself, so would recommend it if you have lots of questions to ask (she speaks English), but again, winery itself is tiny, so if you do not have many questions, the tour can easily finish in less than 10-15 minutes. Winery tour comes with tasting of 4 different kinds of wine. They also serve some food/ snacks at the shop (we tried some Japanese Oden to go with our white wine, it was delicious). Winery itself only has 3 years of history so far, the owner has been testing different things like trying to rent some land in Yokohama to grow grapes themselves (currently they are contracted with farmers in Yamagata, Nagano, Aomori etc. to source their grapes), so they can label the wine made from grapes grown there as 'Yokohama Wine'. Meanwhile, all bottles use screw caps instead of corks, as the owner herself was never a fan of, nor was she good at opening a bottle of wine with corks, also she'd like her customers to be able to 'casually' enjoy her wine!
Accessibility is fantastic, just 25 minutes from Tokyo Station!
When people think about wineries in Japan, usually prefectures like Yamanashi, Yamagata, or Hokkaido would come to mind.
It is great if you can visit wineries in these prefectures, as Japanese countryside has a completely different feel compared to the metropolitan Tokyo, but the downside is, they are NOT easy to access, nor are they CHEAP to visit.
A trip to a winery in Yamanashi for instance, will easily take a full day, let alone the further up Hokkaido.
But this lovely little winery in Yokohama is different, as it only takes 25 minutes to go from Tokyo Station to Yokohama Station by train!
Yes, Yokohama is surprisingly close to Tokyo, what's even better is the cost. It only costs 480 yen! This accessibility and affordability is as good as it gets...
Ok, enough about the accessibility and transporta, let's check out the winery. d enjoy the scenery along the way, but if you prefer not to walk that far, the closest station from the winery is Motomachi・Chukagai Station (元町・中華街駅), which is just another 9 minutes by train on the Minato Mirai Line from Yokohama Station, again, not bad at all!
Ok, enough about the accessibility and transportation, let's check out the winery.
Yokohama Winery, Japan's smallest winery closest to the sea
According to their website, Yokohama Winery is the smallest winery in Japan, and also the closest winery to the sea.
Yes, if you have not visited Yokohama before, it is located just by the sea. In fact, Yokohama is actually one of the first Japanese ports opened to foreign trade.
Definitely worth a visit! been living in Tokyo for the past 10 years, whenever I want to get out of the busy city and get a nice harbor view, my go-to has always been Yokohama.
So if you have not visited Yokohama yet, it is definitely worth a visit!
ALocated on the 1F of what looks like an ordinary Japanese apartment. okohama Winery (in blue and white). It literally is located on the side of a big road, yes, very different from a traditional 'winery'...
Another shot from the front, winery is located on the 1F of what looks like an ordinary Japanese apartment.
View upon entering the shop, a few bar counters, and a table in the middle.
To your right, you will have the main bar counter where the staff prepares for your wine and food.
Nice selection of 'Hama Wine' lined up.
Private winery tour
You can book a private winery tour with the winery by reaching out to them at +81-45-261-7698.
Tour details extracted from their website:
Upon entering, you will see hundreds of bottles of wine just bottled, still without label. conditions, etc.)
Time required: About 1 hour
Content: History of Yokohama Winery and its history, explanation of equipment & brewing, 4 types of tasting
Number of people accepted: Up to 15 people / time
Fee: 3,300 yen (tax included) / person
Application: Complete reservation system. First, please contact us by e-mail or telephone.
Meals: can be added as an option. (Need consultation)
Address: 1-3-12 Shinyamashita, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Japan
What the outside of the winery looks like.
Upon entering, you will see hundred of bottles of wine just bottled, still without a label.
This is where all the magic happens, stainless steel wine fermentation tanks.
You will see labels like 'Fuji', yes, the 'Fuji' apple that we eat!
Or 'Yamabudou', a native grape variety in Japan.
The owner of the winery is very friendly, and will answer any questions you may have during the tour.
You can literally see sea from inside the winery, definitely the closest winery to sea indeed.
After finishing the winery tour, you will then move back to the shop area for your wine tasting (4 kinds / person).
We tasted a total of 9 bottles of wine, all with distinct features & aromas & tastes.
Steuben (aged 12 months in oak barrel)
Kyoho Rose 2020
Fuji Ringo 2019
Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Japanese Wine Guide Review