NYK Hikawa Maru 日本郵船氷川丸
A powerful symbol of Japan's wartime history
The NYK Hikawa Maru served as a hospital ship during World War II. Today, it gives visitors a unique look at Japan during the war years. Wander the decks of this well-preserved passenger and cargo vessel to learn about Japan's wartime history.
The ship made her maiden voyage from Kobe to Seattle in 1930
It's now permanently docked in Yokohama as a museum ship
For over 30 years, Hikawa Maru crossed the Pacific 254 times
How to Get There
NYK Hikawa Maru is accessible by train and on foot from many of Yokohama's main tourist spots.
The Hikawa Maru is berthed next to Yamashita Park. The nearest station is Motomachi-Chukagai Station on the Minatomirai Line, which connects to Yokohama and Shibuya Stations. The closest JR stations are Ishikawacho and Kannai, about 15 minutes away. The Seabass ferry also makes stops at Yamashita Park.
A fascinating history
The Hikawa Maru ferried passengers and cargo between Yokohama, Vancouver, and Seattle beginning in 1930 on the NYK Line. It was a state-of-the-art vessel for its era.
During its many years of commercial service, the Hikawa Maru transported Jewish refugees escaping Nazi persecution to Canada and the U.S. The ship also had a stint as a hospital ship for wounded Japanese soldiers during World War II and suffered damage from mines on three occasions.
A wartime survivor
In fact, the Hikawa Maru was one of only two large Japanese passenger vessels to survive the war. It was finally decommissioned in 1960 and today is a museum permanently berthed in Yokohama Bay. The four decks and their interiors have been maintained as they were more than half a century ago.
Visit the nearby museum
The NYK Maritime Museum, located northwest of the boat near Bashamichi Station, has exhibits, artifacts and documents detailing the history of the Hikawa Maru's operator, Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), over the decades before, during, and after the war.