Lawn bowls has been played at YC&AC (est. 1868) since around 1919, not long after the Club opened its new (present) ground in Yaguchidai, Yokohama, in 1914.

The minutes of the April 1921 YC&AC AGM state: “The green proving not only too small but being irregular in shape, has been rebuilt to a full-sized square green, and, weather permitting, should be ready for play by the end of May next.”  

Rare photographs of the splendid first pavilion, which collapsed following the earthquake of 1923 (see below), clearly show the presence of the aforementioned lawn bowls green adjacent to the pavilion on the East side.

It is safe to say that YC&AC was the location of the first full-size lawn bowls green in Japan. Another first!

Following the earthquake, a new pavilion was constructed on the same footprint as the old, with architect Jay H. Morgan integrating the bowling green into the new design. The location of the green is roughly where the dance studio and locker rooms are situated today.

What a beautiful sight! The lawn freshly mown…

The beautiful second pavilion at Yaguchidai, viewed across the lawn bowls green, circa 1925

The green moved to its current location in front of the clubhouse following the pavilion’s second major rebuild in 1951, after Morgan’s classic structure was destroyed in World War II.

Members gathered in force for Opening Day of the new green, July 8, 1951.

Guests of Honor for green Opening Day on June 29, 1952, included Prince and Princess Mikasa (Takahito), Kanagawa Governor Iwataro Uchiyama and philanthropist Keizo Shibusawa. 

Prince Mikasa, here being introduced to a young member, was among the dignitaries who watched the games on opening day, June 29, 1952

The YC&AC clubhouse has since undergone one more major rebuild and numerous extensions have been made, but the lawn bowls green still retains pride of place at the top of the grounds, just a nod and a wink away from the patio hall staff.

View from the car park (now the swimming pool) toward the first postwar pavilion, circa 1951

The friendly but competitive nature of games played on the green likewise remains unchanged.

To arrange a tour of the YC&AC clubhouse and grounds and a trial experience on the lawn bowls green, contact:

concierge@ycac.jp or tel. 045-623-8121


The green today viewed from the playing field end looking toward the main clubhouse building and patio, with the Members Bar at left and restaurant at right
The green today viewed from the swimming pool end toward the fitness center, bowling alley, squash and billiards complex