Yokohama Minato-mirai: Attraction

Orbi: Yokohama Minato-mirai
Yokohama Minato-mirai / Attraction
Open 9am-9pm (last entry at 8pm; one hour later Fri-Sun) daily.
Y2200 for adult passport
Average visit time: 1.5-3 hours

Operated by Sega in conjunction with the BBC Earth video production company, Orbi is a mini-theme park aimed at both children and adults. The main attractions are a series of slickly produced nature and animal videos, shown in immersive large-screen theaters. In addition, when Orbi reopened in Spring 2018 they added several "animal content" areas where you can observe (and sometimes touch) a variety of animals including parrots, hedgehogs, rabbits, a herd of cats, a giant tortoise and several other species.

The main screening room here has a massive wrap-around screen and 342 seats, and shows thirty-minute dramatic films (narrated in Japanese) featuring hungry penguins, adventurous meerkats and the like. There's also a "4D theater" (3D effects plus wind and rumbling seats) where we watched a ten-minute feature on gorillas, and "Frozen Mount Kenya," which seems to be a ten-minute wind-tunnel experience. "Mega Bugs" is a play area for younger children, and there are also temporary exhibits on animal- and science-related topics.

The three animal areas are more limited in scope than your typical animal cafe or outdoor petting zoo, but they provide a diverting interlude while you're waiting for one of the video screening times. The "Cat Paradise" area is probably the best of these - the cats seem more playful and less jaded than your typical cat-cafe residents, although this may be because we visited soon after the facility opened. Visiting time is limited to twenty minutes in each of the animal areas.

Orbi's gift shop is enormous, with thousands of different animal- and nature-themed items for sale, and there's a small cafe area in case you feel the need for ice cream. Besides the main attractions, there are numerous photo opportunities, some of them with extra fees. Note that there is almost no signage in English or other non-Japanese languages, although some staff members speak English.

Weekends and holidays can be very crowded, with hour-long waits for some of the attractions, but we found it relatively unpopulated after 6pm on a weeknight. (Note that Mega Bugs and the cafe area may be closed.) Admission is Y2200 for an all-inclusive passport for adults, and a typical visit might last around an hour and a half or two hours, or more if it's crowded.

Open Mon-Thu 9am-9pm (last entry at 8pm); Fri - Sun, holidays 9am-10pm (last entry at 9pm).

Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Minato-Mirai 3-5-1, Mark IS 5F.
1 minute from Minato-Mirai station (Minato-Mirai line)
横浜市西区みなとみらい3-5-1 MARK IS みなとみらい 5F
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