Haltermann Carless – New subsidiary in Yokohama

Last autumn Haltermann Carless, a leading international supplier of high-value hydrocarbon specialties and solvents and a company of HCS Group, opened their first subsidiary in Asia in the city of Yokohama and thereby fosters the already strong tie with the Yokohama automotive market. The company is worldwide renowned for their performance fuels and their customer-defined solutions to local automotive industries. “Yokohama is an excellent location for us to expand our business. It gives us the opportunity to be close to our automobile and other industries customers while at the same time it offers reasonable business operational costs”, says Hisakazu Akiyama, Managing Director of Haltermann Carless Japan.

Cleaner Technologies

To introduce solutions to reduce carbon emissions and enhance efficiency, the company puts a lot of effort in research and development projects together with the major automotive manufacturers and suppliers. Hisakazu Akiyama explains: “I am delighted to support our highly developed automotive market with well-tested and progressive technologies from Europe to foster cleaner fuel or hybrid technologies and other technical solutions.”

Yokohama convinces with flair

When talking to Mr. Stubbe, the Chief Financial Officer of the HCS Group, he opened up about the decision to establish a subsidiary in Yokohama. As a businessman, you must consider the economic facts first and Yokohama offers a lot of economic advantages, compared to other cities in Japan. But on top of that, there were some personal reasons that helped the decision: When Yokohama opened its port to the West in 1859 for the first time, it was also the very beginning of Haltermann Carless – a beautiful coincidence that, with a twinkle in the eye, might speak of fate. Another reason is Yokohama’s international flair that keeps a healthy balance between business environment and providing for individual needs like recreation.

Mr. Stubbe expects the tie between his company and the Japanese market to grow even stronger because with the new subsidiary they can now keep the personal contact and foster the mutual understanding, whenever the customer needs it. He also expects to be able to add a lot of value to the Japanese automotive market and hopes for more companies to enter the healthy economic cycle in Yokohama.

If you are interested in following the example and would like to talk about your business opportunities, feel free to contact us anytime.


HCS Group                                                    
Gateway Gardens
Edmund-Rumpler-Str. 3                                               
D-60549 Frankfurt                                                        

E-mail:   info@h-c-s-group.com

Phone:   +49 (0) 69 695 386 0



Luminale 2018 – Biennial for light art and urban development

ing technology, in Frankfurt am Main every two years. With 200,000 visitors, the Light Festival is one of the most important events in the city of Frankfurt and the RhiSince 2002, Luminale has been accompanying Light + Building, the world's leading trade fair for lighting and buildne-Main region. From 18 to 23 March 2018, the ninth Luminale will start with an extended orientation: the new concept combines light art and technology with a debate on urban design that includes structural, economic, ecological, social and technological aspects and not to forget artistic positions.edia experience.

Key Focus Sections

For the first time, the extensive programme of the Biennale will be presented in five sections, each with its own key focus: selected positions of theme-related light art in ART, lectures and talks with renowned experts in SOLUTIONS, projects of universities and other educational institutions in STUDY as well as self-organized and initiated contributions from various fields in COMMUNITY. In addition, the BETTER CITY section is dedicated to all those projects that are permanently preserved in the city and thus contribute to the sustainability of the entire festival.

The ART category unites outstanding light art and artistic works in the interaction between light and city. The focus is on light and media art, which makes use of different formats and processes such as video mapping, photography, installation or multimedia and deals with a specific place in terms of content - for example, with its architecture, history, reception, and use.

Experiencing the city in a different light

Even long-term residents of Frankfurt get a completely new view of their city. Frankfurt's guests from Germany and abroad can discover the city off the usual travel guide tips. The light walk, the optical heart of the Luminale, which connects the venues in the city center for the first time, is the best way to do this. It leads to important landmarks and cultural monuments, but also to mysterious, undiscovered places. More than 20 projects were selected for the 3.5-kilometre-long inner-city walk, which can be explored on special guided tours.

Frankfurt's Alte Oper celebrates its 2018 Luminale premiere. Here, the Italian design studio Karmachina is illuminating the façade of the renowned concert hall in a new light. A video mapping show tells the story of the Alte Oper in five chapters. An innovative 3D sound system supports the multimedia experience.

Find more information on the Luminale homepage and see who will also be part of the event.



Photo Yokohama 2018 – The photo festival’s next round

From January till March 2018 the photo and image festival “PHOTO YOKOHAMA” will take place again in many places all over the city. The number of events and visitors is growing every year, last year 440.000 people attended the over 80 related events. Like every time new beautiful photo subjects are found and this time the focus is on those objects and places that can only be found in Yokohama.

In memory of the history of photography and when commercial photography first came to Japan, starting in Yokohama, the citizens can experience the art and find their very own way into it under the motto “shoot, look, enjoy”.

Also see this site for more information.




Luminale Frankfurt 2018 – Zero Reiko Ishihara’s ‚Guardians‘ from the series ‚Aquarium‘

The Luminale is Frankfurt‘s biennial for light art and urban design. 2002 the Messe Frankfurt founded the light festival as a framework program of the Light + Building trade fair for lighting and building technology and since takes place every two years in Frankfurt and Offenbach. More than 200.000 visitors cherish this festival as a major part of the cultural life in the Rhine-Main area.

This year the City of Yokohama Office Frankfurt supports the Japanese artist Zero Reiko Ishihara, who lives in Frankfurt since 2005 and graduated from the art master college Städelschule in Frankfurt. She is also a very active member of the Frankfurt Yokohama Citizens Network and strongly committed to fostering the German-Japanese friendship.

The essence of her artwork often speaks of transformation, depicted in the possible metamorphosis of a wormlike form that might morph into a butterfly one day. With her new installation, called ‘Guardians’ from the series ‚Aquarium ‘, she expresses transformation with changing lights and shadows at the Festhalle, directly in front of the Messe entry.

The famous wormlike organic forms will be applied on the window panes with translucent colored foil. During the daytime, when the sun casts light onto the forms, the colored shadows will be seen inside the Festhalle station. In the evening a light installation will project the colored shadows outside of the station. Like the colors and the forms of the shadows change with different lighting conditions, maybe also the people walking through these shadows undergo changes.

Further information about the Luminale you can find here.

©Zero Reiko Ishihara, VG Bild & Kunst

2,3, Foto: (Foto Claudia Masur)


Ambiente – texi yokohama is back on the stage again

Once again this year, the texi yokohama brand is presenting products of original Japanese manufacturing art that are also timeless and unique in design. At Ambiente Messe Frankfurt, an established figure for trends in the consumer goods sector with a focus on dining, giving and living, this brand must not be missing. Whether practical storage boxes, cutlery, and crockery in a special design, unusual decorative items or funny gifts, here you will find everything that makes life and living easier, more exciting and cozier.

But what makes texi yokohama's products unique is not only their usefulness and aesthetics in everyday life but also the manufacturing process. Through the collaboration of various small and medium-sized companies based in Yokohama, new ideas and solutions are constantly being developed in the form of consumer goods of high quality and value.

Visit texi yokohama from 08 to 12 February at booth B73 in hall 8.0.

Further information about the fair.

Also visit the texi yokohama homepage  (Japanese only) or contact us.


For the first time in Yokohama

From October 28th until November 6th, I traveled to Yokohama for the first time. I was excited if I would like the big cities after I’ve lived in the much smaller Hiroshima. The goal of my trip was, first, to support the artist exchange and to visit business locations where European companies are supported with moving to Yokohama. But secondly, I should also find out how easy it is to get along in the city as a non-Japanese.

The first day I stayed in Tokyo to see the most famous places, like the Asakusa Kaminarimon, Shibuya, the Meiji Jingu, Harajuku and the Tokyo Tower. The next day I went to Yokohama in the morning. After I had searched for my Ryokan in Tokyo for what felt like an eternity, I was happy, that I found my hotel in Yokohama right away, because it wasn’t far away and very easy to spot. I had them keep my luggage and headed to Kamakura.

Neither from Tokyo to Yokohama nor from Yokohama to Kamakura it took more than half an hour, which kind of surprised me since both cities are so huge. Unfortunately, a Taifun made it impossible to see the huge Buddha statue, so I had to return to Yokohama. However, I could well use the time and explore the inside of the city – the beautiful shopping centers.

Sankeien Garden

On the following day, together with Ms. Ishida of the International Affairs Bureau Yokohama, I visited the Sankeien Garden. We had a guided through the historic buildings and got to know about the history of the founder Tomitaro "Sankei" Hara. We also had the opportunity to take part in a tea ceremony and I was even allowed to try and prepare a bowl of tea all by myself. That was a special experience since I had seen some ceremonies so far, but I had never tried it myself.

The garden is of such a lively green, now that it’s autumn, speckled with some red and gold, I could have spent all day or even longer. In summer you can even see lightning bugs and I can only imagine how magical this garden must look on such nights.

Triennale 2017

After visiting this beautiful garden, we went to the Landmarktower. There you can see the famous ferry wheel, the surrounding amusement park and the sailing ship Nippon Maru. We headed to the Museum of Art to see the Triennale exhibition, held once every three years. On the way, I found some beautifully designed shopping centers, skyscrapers of elegant architecture and even planted façades.  

The Triennale influenced many parts of the cityscape: A big turtle in a shopping center, further events in the Redbrick Warehouse and a huge installation at the façade of the Museum. Lifeboats and life vests were draped against the wall, an artwork of Ai Weiwei. There were manga style paintings, an Arabic puppet theatre play and many more pieces from diverse cultures. We couldn’t even manage to see everything in the brief time. A short review of the Triennale 2017 you can find here.

Beautiful cityscape

Together with the artist Justus Becker, who came from Frankfurt for the new artist exchange, we saw some of the main places in Yokohama: The Yamashita Park, directly next to the water; Osanbashi, a creatively designed Pier for cruises where you can go for a stroll; the Marine Tower, once the light house of the harbor; the three harbor-towers „The Queen“, „The King“ and „The Jack“, the customs building, the Kanagawa Prefectural Office and the Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall – the first three towers you saw immediately when entering the port back then.

We had a look at the whole city from the top of the Landmarktower and despite slight fog, we could even see the Mt. Fuji. Some days I could see the Mt. Fuji from my hotel’s window and it was always a moving sight – an odd fact that one might only understand when seeing this mountain for the first time.  We ate some delicious sushi and looked around the artistic district Koganecho, before the graffiti artist started his wall painting at the College of Art and Design.

Hakkeijima Seaparadise

The Hakkeijima Seaparadise has its name for a good reason. Even just a walk along the sea is amazing. Of course, my main interest was the aquarium. I couldn’t resist the possibility of getting in touch with some of the ocean’s creatures and I was lucky to get in contact with a dolphin. Not only the aquarium offers a lot to see, the surrounding amusement park is also worth the travel. For me personally, Hakkeijima and the Sankeien Garden are the most beautiful places in Yokohama.

Yokohama's advantages

After one week I can tell, that the one thing which clearly divides Tokyo and Yokohama is the huge crowd of people. I was lucky not to end up in one of the trains where the staff need to push the passengers inside, but nevertheless, it was clearly visible how much more people are living on much smaller space in Tokyo. Yokohama is still blessed with broad squares where you can stroll at ease, without squeezing through crowds. However, I consider the closeness to Tokyo as very beneficial, not only for business meetings but also for nightlife activity. You always have the choice between a lot of action and calmer walks around the city and you can even have both if you like.

What I really liked about Yokohama was, that there are many possibilities to go out for a walk, for example during lunch time. The former tram bridge, connecting the Landmarktower with the Redbrick Warehouse, makes for a romantic scenery, especially in that time of the year with all the illuminations. There are also many smaller park-like spaces with beautiful flowers, slowing down the city, like the space between the Landmarktower and the World Porters Shopping Center.

A lot of the signs in the city are also written in English so that those who can’t read Japanese don’t need to worry. If any questions arise, the staff of stores and train stations can help in English as well, but the train schedules are quite easy to comprehend. Yokohama is a very beautiful city, shaped by fresh colors and the sea breeze, many artistic elements and a mix of architectural styles making the city a vivid place.

In case you are planning on traveling to Yokohama or visiting the city for a business trip and you’ve still got some questions, I would be very happy to answer your call.


The gateway to the world: The Osanbashi Pier Yokohama!

The opening of the port 1859 made Yokohama become an international metropolis. Its central location in the Tokyo Bay and in the heart of Yokohama offers a lot of benefits, not only for trade but especially for visitors. Sightseeing spots, as well as shopping malls, are a short walk away from the Osanbashi Pier, and Tokyo, Mt. Fuji or Kamakura can be reached very quickly for an exciting day trip.


The two huge Japanese Cruise Ships Asuka II and Pacific Venus will land on the Pier several times from January till March and the luxurious Ms. Nautica and the 90.000 ton big Norwegian Jewel can be seen for the first time. Of course, these won’t be the only cruise ships you can watch this year, but certainly four of the most impressive ones. You can find some dates below.


At the Osanbashi Pier, you can not only start your cruise trip but mainly just take a walk and enjoy the astonishing view -every day at any time. The Yokohama Baybridge in the light of a sunrise or the skyline of Minato Mirai are just two examples of the beauty you can experience. Directly next to the Pier there is the Yamashita Parc and the wooden deck of the Pier offers restaurants, cafés, and benches on approximately 44.000m².

The architects Alejandro Zaera-Polo and Farshid Moussavi designed the Pier in a unique shape that not only grants the needed height for entering up to 7 ships but also offers a lot of space for recreation.

Have a look at what else you can see around the Osanbashi Pier.

More information on the Pier you can find here.


Sustainable Urban Development made in Yokohama and Frankfurt

 In July Yokohama and Frankfurt applied for the EU-funded project ‚International Urban Cooperation‘ (IUC). This project links European cities with non-EU cities in a city-pairing for the duration of 18 months, in order to develop and implement concepts for sustainable city development.

The target countries are, among others, Japan, China, India, Canada, Mexico, USA, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and many more. Together with the newly chosen city-pairings, there are currently 5 IUC partnerships in Japan.

Mutual learning

Yokohama and Frankfurt were chosen for this pairing and will deepen the city partnership agreement of 2011 even further in the fields of environmental policy and urban development and work out solutions to common problems together. In more detail, Yokohama and Frankfurt wish to learn from each other in the fields of Energy Management, Smart City, hydrogen technology, as well as improving the public awareness and engagement.

On November 10th the representatives of both cities joined a meeting in Brussels to talk about the cooperation and the common goals. As the representative of Yokohama, the deputy general manager of the Climate Change Policy Headquarters Yokohama, Mr. Kuromizu held a presentation on Yokohamas environment policy.

More information on the IUC project you can find here.

photos & logo © IUC


New Artist Exchange – Opening with big Motto

For Justus Becker, the famous graffiti artist from Frankfurt, the artist exchange between Yokohama and Frankfurt began with the first meal after landing in Japan: Ramen noodles in the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum. On November 2nd, Mr. Isamu Ishikawa, executive director of the International Affairs Bureau Yokohama, welcomed Mr. Becker and both sides promised to help make this newly established artist exchange between the partner cities a successful one. Everyone was already excited for the workshop to take place at the Yokohama College of Arts and Design and the big artwork, Mr. Becker traveled to Japan for. After that meeting, Mr. Becker had the chance to have a panoramic view of the whole city and even Mt. Fuji from the top of the Landmarktower.

On Saturday the 4th, the big wall painting project started. The entire day Justus Becker painted a woman’s face with a world map displayed on it with Japan as the center. This day he prepared about 80% of the painting so that he could finish it on Sunday in front of the public.

Graffity Art Workshop

Sunday, November 5th, marked the big final of the trip of Mr. Becker, and at the same time the beginning of the artist exchange between the two partner cities. In the morning he taught a group of 20 students the technique of spraying and had them work out a concept as a group to spray on big wooden boards later.  When the simultaneous workshop of Sony Digital Arts, under the lead of VR artist Ms. Kasumi Yoshida, was over, the participants joined the graffiti-group and got in touch with spray paint as well.  

Despite the brief time, the students mastered the technique of spraying and in the end, both groups proudly presented beautiful and interesting artworks.

The first hurdle was cleared to everyone’s contentment and the real final followed on the campus of the University. Many came to see Mr. Becker finish the wall painting and admired his talent. The motto of the painting and under which the students developed their concepts, signaled the peak of perfection: “Don’t bury your dreams, put them to reality“.

Future Hopes & Inspiration

Apart from the wish, that the painting should be nice to look at, Justus Becker had a message to convey to the students. His sincere hope is, that the students may follow the motto and always believe in themselves and their talents. They shall become open-minded persons who, in the future, will foster the international relationships and treat every person with respect, regardless the origin. This hope does not only apply to the students but for every beholder. And should there be someone among them who was inspired by the artwork to try spray colors themselves, Mr. Becker would be very delighted.

The beginning of this new artist exchange between Yokohama and Frankfurt was very successful and it was an immense pleasure to see the artwork develop until its completion. Thanks to the candor of Mr. Becker and the leaders of the University, there even might be more joint projects to come. Whatever the case, in 2018 Frankfurt will welcome an artist from Yokohama, to continue this fruitful exchange.


New school exchange will deepen the city partnership!

On Tuesday, November 14, the school partnership agreement between the Yokohama Sakuragaoka highschool and the Schule am Ried in Frankfurt was signed. In the frame of the city partnership between the City of Yokohama and the City of Frankfurt, groups of students will visit their partner school, join the lessons and live in host families. Such an exchange will cause many new friendships among the students, but also a deep connection between the schools


Common Goals

Both schools have an education in common that fosters independence, self-determination, as well as respect, individuality, and talents. And both sides sincerely hope that this agreement will further strengthen the ties between Japan and Germany and help to learn from the different culture. The students will be able to tell their experiences and thereby motivate others to also visit the partner city. More importantly, the students will receive a treasure trove of experiences that will accompany them and shape them for a lifetime.


The principal of the Sakuragaoka highschool, Hisao Nakajima uttered, it was a huge joy for him to have the agreement be signed at the same time as the 90th anniversary taking place at his school. He wishes for his students, they could learn from the other culture and become international and open-minded people.

Christof Gans, head of the Schule am Ried was very glad about the agreement, as well. He sees big chances in this exchange, not only for his students but also for his colleagues who will profit from the program in the form of extraordinary experiences.  He always experienced the Japanese culture and the Japanese people as very warm-hearted and wishes the participants to develop a deep connection with each other.
The precise plans for the upcoming program are in the making so that the first visit of a school group can already start in 2018. The city partnership and the friendship between Yokohama and Frankfurt will be deepened even further by this new school partnership and is a big reason to rejoice.