Yokohama

lighted city buildings near body of water at night

Yokohama

Yokohama is a vibrant modern city where Japanese traditions combine with Chinese and Western ones. The surroundings of this jewel of Japan have it all: delicious food, sightseeing, breathtaking views and more.

  • Go shopping and dining in Yokohama’s Chinatown
  • See the cityscape majestic during the day and dazzling at night
  • Enjoy spectacular winter illumination at Lake Sagami

It is very convenient to travel from Tokyo: there are both direct flights and shinkansen.

From a train station in central Tokyo, JR trains and several private train lines run here, with travel times of about an hour or less. Yokohama Station is in the heart of the city, and Shin-Yokohama Station is on the northern outskirts.

From the west of Japan, the fastest way to get there is by shinkansen. It stops at Shin-Yokohama Station. Travel on this line from Nagoya takes 1 hour 25 minutes, from Kyoto or Osaka – 2 hours, from Hiroshima – 3 hours 40 minutes.

Trains run from Haneda Airport to Yokohama Station on the Keikyu Line (travel time is 30 minutes). The shuttle bus takes 30 minutes.

The Narita Express Train and Shuttle Bus between Narita Airport and Yokohama Station takes about an hour and a half each way.

Shopping and food

There are so many shops and restaurants in Yokohama offering every kind of food imaginable that they cannot be bypassed in a lifetime. Chinese cuisine alone is served in three hundred restaurants!

Chinatown at night

The Motomachi area is full of restaurants and boutiques. It offers both local and international dishes, drinks, goods and services.

Motomachi street

In the northern part of the district is the Kirin Yokohama Brewery, a whole beer village where you can taste a frothy drink for free.

The Sakuragich area is also full of shops and restaurants, as well as the very center of a long, beautiful promenade.

Museums and much more

There are many historical sites and museums in the Minato Mirai 21 area and near the waterfront.

The famous large red brick warehouse is a former customs building. Like many other old buildings in the city, it dates back to the late 19th century, when Japan allowed business people, goods and capital from other countries to enter its markets.

Now there are shops, cafes, restaurants and conference rooms. There is even a jazz club. The balcony on the third floor of the former warehouse offers a magnificent view of the harbor.

Red brick warehouse

NYK Hikawa Maru is a passenger ship launched almost a century ago. During World War II, it served as a floating hospital and miraculously escaped mines three times. It is now a museum where visitors can learn more about Japan’s maritime history.

NYK Hikawa Maru

For a more complete picture of how the region has changed over the centuries, visit the Kanagawa Prefecture Cultural History Museum and Yokohama Art Museum.

For noodle connoisseurs, Yokohama has two museums dedicated to the unrivaled ramen noodles. The Instant Noodle Museum showcases a variety of “instant” dishes, while the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, near the Shinkansen Station, offers several traditional noodles.

Stunning city views

You can have fun on the Yokohama waterfront completely free of charge. Yokohama Bay and the coastal developments are worth photographing from virtually anywhere and at any time of the day or night.

The city looks especially good from the Osambashi pier: it allows you to go further into the sea without any boat. A walk along the embankment is very pleasant in itself – it is easy to feel the local atmosphere here and it is interesting to observe how the environment is changing.

Another way to admire the scenery is the Sea-Bass ferry. It goes along the promenade with several stops.

In the south of the city is the Sankei Garden. The wealthy silk merchant Tomitaro Hara has managed to bring historical buildings in traditional Japanese style here from all over the country and renovate them.

West of Yokohama is a forest resort on Lake Sagamiko. During the annual Sagamiko Illumillion festival, from November to April, it hosts a massive light show. Take a walk and admire the paintings, which are “painted” by nearly six million LEDs.

Sagamiko Illumillion Festival

Camping

The Lake Sagami Resort is ideal for outdoor pursuits. You can stay in cottages, huts and campgrounds. There are communal kitchens and separate grills for cooking.

You can go fishing or just take a boat ride on the lake. Kids will love the amusement park with its giant tower and Muscle Monster obstacle course that will challenge even the most adventurous of travelers. True, only children accompanied by adults will be allowed to try their hand.