With a population of over three million, Yokohama is the second-largest city in Japan. This capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo. Yokohama developed rapidly as Japan’s prominent port city following the end of Japan’s relative isolation in the mid-19th century and is today one of its major ports along with Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Tokyo and Chiba. Until today, Yokohama remains popular among expats, has one of the world’s largest Chinatowns and preserves some former Western residences in the Yamate district.
Minato Mirai (literally translates to “harbour of the future”) is Yokohama’s new city centre. It has many large high-rises, shopping centres, hotels, a convention centre, an amusement park, a relaxation centre with hot spring baths, museums and park space. Along the shores, visitors will find Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse that offers several shops with interesting products, as well as restaurants, events, and exhibitions. Shopping around this area creates a unique atmosphere.
Activities: Shopping Fee: None Time required: Minimum 1 hour
Take a few minutes walks from Minato Mirai, and visitors will find Yamashita Park—the most famous park in Yokohama, and perfect for sightseeing. Mostly consisting of open green space, Yamashita Park also has many interesting monuments in the park, some of which were donated from abroad. This shows the international side of Yamashita Park. One of the park's main features is a wide path that runs along the water where visitors can enjoy the view of the bay and the ships passing by.
Activities: Stroll around Fee: None Time required: 30-40 minutes
Cup Noodles Museum
The country’s second cup noodles museum after Momofuku Ando in Osaka, Yokohama’s Cup Noodles Museum shows the history of instant ramen noodles using a combination of whimsical exhibits and hands-on workshops. This fun and the interactive museum also features innovative cup noodles for astronauts and Noodles Bazaar—a food court designed to look like an Asian night market complete with the sounds of hawkers and traffic. There is a popular workshop where you can create your own original cup noodle by mixing and matching a variety of soup flavours and toppings. (Image via Official Website) Activities: Cup noodle making, Museum visit Fee: JPY 500 (workshop fee varies) Time required: Minimum 1 hour
Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum
Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum was founded on March 6th, 1994 as the world's first food-themed amusement park. It is a unique museum focusing on ramen—a Japanese noodle dish that was originally introduced from China. It presents the history of ramen noodles in Japan, including the big success of instant ramen. On the two basement floors, visitors can explore a 1:1 replica of some streets and houses of Shitamachi, the old town of Tokyo, around the year 1958, when the popularity of ramen was rapidly increasing. Nine ramen restaurants can be found there, each featuring a ramen dish from a different region of Japan. (Image via Official Website)
Activities: Ramen shopping, tasting Fee: JPY 380 Time required: Minimum 1 hour
With an area of 0.2 km-square and more than 600 shops, this is truly the biggest Chinatown in Japan and South Asia. Towards the final years of the Edo period, this Chinatown was used as a settlement place for foreigners. Therefore, it is also seen as an old place with a deep history. Four colourful gates stand at the entrances to Chinatown, and five more gates can be found within. They are dedicated to the Chinese god of good business and prosperity. The main attraction of the Yokohama Chinatown is the Chinese cuisine such as steamed buns (manju) and ramen.
Activities: Eating, Shopping Fee: None Time required: Minimum 1 hour
Sankeien Garden is the vast classical Japan garden covering over 175,000 square meters and renowned for its seasonal beauty. The entire garden was once the private home of Tomitaro “Sankei” Hara (1869-1939) an extremely wealthy silk merchant. It was opened to the public in 1906. As you stroll through the park you will find bridges, streams, small waterfalls, bamboo groves, ponds, as well as historic houses and buildings brought from all over Japan.
Activities: Garden visit Fee: JPY 700 Time required: 45 minutes-1 hour
Motomachi served the needs of the first foreign residents of Yokohama and introduced many products to Japan. Nowadays the street does not differ drastically from other shopping streets, but it still has a certain European feel. There is a large number of higher-end fashion shops, as well as delicious restaurants and fashionable cafes. Benches for resting and watering holes for pets are placed, offering a friendly environment for both humans and pets. Perfect place for a casual stroll. The street runs 500 meters and is pedestrian-only on weekends and national holidays from 12:00 to 18:00.
Activities: Shopping, Stroll around Fee: None Time required: 45 min
Located on the north side of Yokohama Bay, Kirin Beer Village is a must-visit for those who love a Japanese brew, and interested to learn the history and making of one of Japan’s most iconic and delicious beers. The brewery offers three different tours: there’s a factory tour, a nature-themed tour and a more family-friendly tour. Each offers free beer tasting at the end. The tours are free, but it’s best to book in advance. The tour runs for about 80 minutes. (Image via Japan Travel by NAVITIME)
Located just outside central Yokohama is ZOORASIA—one of Japan’s newest, largest and best-kept zoos. It employs as few fences as possible so that visitors can see the animals living in an environment similar to their natural habitat. The zoo is divided into zones of different climates such as Asian Tropical Forest, Subarctic Forest, Amazon Jungle, Japanese Countryside and African Tropical Rain Forest. The zoo also includes a closed facility, Yokohama City Breeding Center, which was founded to research wildlife and contribute to the preservation of rare species. (Image via FUN Japan)