Innovative Culture

Quick Facts

Ranking of cities with the most international patents (2016 & 2017)


(Tokyo & Yokohama)


Researchers and Engineers (2015)


 researchers & engineers


Ranking of international conferences held per year (2018)


(Pacifico Yokohama)

Pacifico Yokohama

Economic Potential Ranking (2019/20)


(Mid-sized cities)


  • Yokohama enjoys a flourishing hub of companies, universities and research institutes.
  • Yokohama has platforms for industry-government-academia collaboration; it has an environment that nurtures innovation.
  • Yokohama is a great MICE destination, offering a variety of unique venues and spaces suitable for collaboration and innovation.

Major Industries in Yokohama

R&D Centers

Since the opening of its port in 1859, Yokohama has developed its identity as a diverse and vibrant city open to new peoples, cultures and ideas. Now, Yokohama is a flourishing hub of companies, universities and research institutes specialized in life science, IT, mobility and manufacturing technologies. Recently, Apple, LG and other major companies have chosen to open their R&D centers in Yokohama.



Innovation District

The Yokohama bay area is in the midst of transforming itself into a next generation innovation district. The bay area, which stretches roughly from Yokohama station to Kannai station, includes the master-planned business district Minato Mirai 21 and features a beautiful waterfront with futuristic skyscrapers juxtaposed with 100-year old picturesque brick warehouses that create the unique atmosphere of “old meets new.” The reimagined urban center surrounding Minato Mirai 21 has become home to some of the world’s most influential industries, attracting many large and small businesses in IT, mobility and manufacturing from around the globe. The Kannai area, an up-and coming community made up of artists, creators, and innovators, is forging a culture of its very own brimming with youthful and creative energy, and is emerging as a hotspot for startup companies in the city. On top of all of this, Yokohama station boasts 30-minute access to Tokyo, the center of Japan’s $5 trillion economy. The bay area, with all its soft and hard assets, has limitless potential to emerge as the next booming innovation district in Asia.


Startup Ecosystem and Open Innovation

Yokohama provides a welcoming and nurturing environment for startup companies. In fact, in 2020 Yokohama was
named one of Japan’s Global Startup Cities by the Japanese national government, recognizing the city’s efforts in creating a
fully-formed startup ecosystem. Yokohama has open innovation platforms for industry-government-academia collaboration such as the LIP. Yokohama (life science) and the ITOP Yokohama (IT). These open innovation platforms offer collaborative opportunities to promote the development of ground-breaking technologies and products. Match-up events, seminars and exchange meetings are just a few of the ways the platforms facilitate networking and support startups’ R&D and commercialization efforts. LIP Yokohama is an international partner of BIOCOM, an advocacy organization for California’s life science sector.

Yokohama offers a great variety of venues for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) and co-working spaces. There is no shortage of networking events, exhibits, workshops and seminars held in Yokohama. Most notably, Pacifico Yokohama, a large-scale convention center in the Minato Mirai district, hosts the largest number of international conferences and MICE participants in the nation. WeWork has opened a location in Ocean Gate Minato Mirai and many newly developed office buildings have incorporated open-concept floor plans.

The municipal government of Yokohama has shown steadfast commitment towards creating a supportive climate for innovation. The city has a track record of utilizing creativity and collaboration to solve social issues. Since 2008, it has conducted over 310 public-private pilot projects. In light of this success, Yokohama hopes to become a leading city in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a similar fashion.


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Innovative Culture