Yokkaichi Night View 四日市の工場夜景
Illuminated nightscapes of an entirely unexpected sort
Industrial tourism is a phenomenon in Japan, and Yokkaichi's waterfront on the northern reaches of Ise Bay is one of its showcase venues. Take in the night view of a city that helped fuel Japan's rise as a postwar economic power.
- Up-close views of the city's nightscape from a cruise boat
- The panoramic perspective from the Umi-Terasu 14 observation deck
How to Get There
Kintetsu and JR both serve Yokkaichi by rail.
You can reach Kintetsu Yokkaichi Station in under two hours from Osaka-Namba Station and in 30 to 40 minutes from Kintetsu Nagoya Station. JR gets you to Yokkaichi in 30 to 40 minutes from Nagoya Station on the Kansai Main Line.
Yokkaichi by day
Japan's first petrochemical complex was built in Yokkaichi, helping to drive the country's period of rapid economic growth following World War II.
If you're in the area with kids during the day, take them to the playground at Kasumigaura Ryokuchi Park near the Yokkaichi Dome. This will give you an idea of how families and heavy industry co-exist in modern Japan.
Yokkaichi by night
Kojo-yakei, or factory night views, have become extremely popular in Japan in recent years. When the sun goes down, you'll want to grab your camera and snap some photos of Yokkaichi's beaming steel behemoths crowding the reclaimed land along the bay.
A bicycle is perhaps the most efficient and scenic way to visit the best spots. You can rent one from the local tourism association outside Kintetsu Yokkaichi Station for 100 or 200 yen, depending on the day of the week. A free walking map is included.
A rental car will also open many avenues for exploration.
Cruise into evening
The best up-close views are to be had on the Yokkaichi Kombinat Night View Cruise, which offers various itineraries. A reservation will guarantee you a seat; ask at the tourism association for more information.
Best views from land
Kasumigaura Ryokuchi Park around the Yokkaichi Dome is a spacious area with good views across the water and plenty of parking.
The walking paths along the shoreline also make the park a popular date spot. Tomidahama Station on the JR Kansai Main Line is at the north end of the park.
For a birds-eye perspective, cross the bridge from the park to an island where you'll find the Yokkaichi Port Building. From its 90-meter Umi-Terasu 14 observation deck, you'll get a sweeping view from Suzuka to Chubu International Airport.
Note that you can only see the nightscape from here on Saturday and Sunday evenings, when the observation deck is open until 9 p.m.
Taisho Bridge is south of the park along National Road 23, the main road running along the shore. The highlight here is the impressive Cosmo Oil refinery.
Taisho Bridge is one of the more accessible spots if you're traveling by public transport since it's within reasonable walking distance of Yokkaichi Station. Aioi Bridge is even closer, but the views are not as majestic.
Farther south in the Shiohama area there are several good locations for close-ups, as well as wide angle shots. You'll find parking along the main road. The opposite bank has great photo opportunities too, including of the factory lights reflecting off the bay.
Tarusaka Park in northern Yokkaichi offers a relatively high vantage point from where you can take in a wider swath of scenery. At night, a car or taxi are your best options for getting there.
If you're feeling adventurous, explore Yokkaichi further to find your own favorite photo spots.