Yokohama plays a beautiful trick on the eyes of visitors to its harbor area.
You might not know it if you’ve never been to a theme park here, but Japan loves Ferris wheels. While you won’t find one at Tokyo Disneyland or Disney Sea, any other respectable amusement park in Japan will have one.
One of the biggest of all is the Cosmo Clock in the bayside Minato Mirai district of Yokohama.
▼ Officially it’s the “Cosmo Clock 21,” but no one who lives in Yokohama bothers with the “21” part.
At a towering height of 112.5 meters (369 feet), for a number of years the Cosmo Clock was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. It’s since lost that distinction, but it remains an iconic symbol of Yokohama. As such, its operators make sure to keep it spruced up and in the public eye. For example, recently some of its cabins got special anime art interiors as part of a tie-up with the new Yu-Gi-Oh! movie.
Since Minato Mirai’s dazzling skyline makes it a popular dinner date spot, the Cosmo Clock’s nighttime light pattern gets periodic additions to keep things fresh. Often these take the form of seasonal motifs, such as red and green at Christmas, but Yokohama native and Twitter user @na_y_6 recently spotted a new pattern that isn’t just colorful, but also an awesome optical illusion.
最近みなとみらいの観覧車光らないな〜って思ってたら なんかすごい進化してた🌟笑 https://t.co/4IjylEywNr—
なゆこ (@na_y_6) March 22, 2016
Instead of illuminating the entire wheel, the new pattern only lights up portions of select spokes. Since the pattern uses three different colors, if you’re standing far enough away that the unlit spokes are lost in shadow it looks like there’s a giant, rotating cube floating in the night sky.
As per its name, the Cosmo Clock is also a clock, and while the video is a little blurry, it looks like this particular pattern is shown at around 10:10 p.m. So if you’ve got a thing for clever lighting, or just want to see if the local rumor that riding the Cosmo Clock’s one and only purple cabin on a date means that you and your partner will be together forever, head on down to Yokohama.
Ferris wheel information
Cosmo Clock / コスモクロック
(part of the Cosmo World / コズモワールド amusement park)
Address: Kanagawa-ken, Yokohama-shi, naka-ku, Shinko 2-8-1