The beautiful city of Yokohama is located only half an hour by train from Japan’s capital, Tokyo. Here is one of Japan’s largest ports, unique sightseeing experiences, world-class shopping, an extraordinary gourmet cuisine and one of the world’s largest Chinatowns.
If you don’t suffer from a fear of heights, you should definitely take a trip up the Yokohama Landmark Tower. The tower stretches as far as 296 meters into the air and offers a fantastic panoramic view of the city. As if that wasn’t enough, the building has the country’s fastest elevator, which takes you 69 floors up in just 40 seconds. Make the most of visiting this awesome building in the evening when the city is lit up in all possible colors and surrounded by the shape of the sea. The tower is located in the renovated Minato Mirai district, where everything from trendy shopping malls, historical museums, offices and attractions can be found.
The Sankei or Sankei-en is a stunning Japanese-style garden located in the southern part of Yokohama. Here there is a pond, small rippling rivers, flowers, walking paths and several historical buildings that were transported here from various Japanese places. Stroll around among Japanese cherry trees, teahouses and temples or visit one of the garden’s artist exhibitions.
Sometimes traditional tea ceremonies are also organized. Take a seat on the tatami mat, follow the instructor’s gestures and preparation and enjoy a moment of silence, restraint and refinement around the art of tea making. The garden is open every day between 9am and 5pm. Admission costs about 6 euros for adults and only 1 euro for children under 15.
Even if you are in Japan, and not in China, it is almost a must to visit Yokohama Chinatown, which is also Japan’s largest. Here you will find a wide range of restaurants, street stalls, festivals and colorful alleyways. At the beginning of February, they also go big and celebrate the Chinese New Year with good food, rockets, paper lanterns and dancing!
The fact that Yokohama has a Chinatown at all is due to the large port, which opened to foreign trade in 1859, and contributed to many Chinese merchants settling in the area. Peking duck, dumplings and tangyuan stand as obvious menu choices. Botanize among hundreds of restaurants and let the aromas tickle your taste buds.
If you are a gourmand or rather a noodle fan, a visit to the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum is a must. This museum is only for one thing, noodles. The museum presents Japan’s history of ramen noodles, as well as the unlikely success story of the rise of instant noodles. Shown here are different variations of noodles, soups, toppings and bowls used to build Japan’s noodle empire. In addition, it shows how noodles are made.
In addition to a gallery, there is also a shop, a cafe and a so-called: Dagashi-ya, an old-fashioned sweet shop that used to be a gathering place for school-weary Japanese children. The museum is open every day between 11am and 10pm.
The Japanese can’t seem to get enough of their world-famous noodles. Yokohama has not just one, but two great noodle museums! The Cupnoodles Museum Yokohama is called in Japanese: And ō Momofuku Hatsumei Kinenkan and is known for being both a historical as well as an interactive noodle museum. The museum is owned by the Nissin Food Company – inventors of canned instant noodles.
Here, the history of instant noodles is shown in combination with quirky exhibitions and interactive workshops. For example, you can play in the noodle park, go to a noodle theater, or design your own noodle jar. In addition to showing the history of noodles, new innovative products are also shown, such as space noodles for astronauts.
This is a first class and modern museum that is open every day between 10am and 6pm. Should Tuesday be a red day, the museum will be closed on Wednesdays.
Yamashita is a fantastic green area that stretches about 750 meters along Yokohama’s coastline. Here you can walk in the beautiful rose park and admire both statues and fountains. Perhaps the most famous statue is “The Little Girl in the red shoes”, which represents one of Yokohama’s most famous songs “Akai Kutsu”.
Yamashita was rebuilt by the race masses after a massive earthquake and now stands calmly and safely overlooking the massive ship Hikawa Maru. The ship, which is now a museum, was once a luxury ship that none other than Charlie Chaplin sailed on. Stroll among the statues and fountains overlooking the water and let yourself enjoy a moment of silence.
Aka Renga Soko, also known as Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse is a house with history. From the beginning it was an office for maritime operations, nowadays it is home to a type of entertainment area. Here there is shopping, theater, cinema, restaurants, art exhibitions, crafts and even an ice rink. Aka-Renga doesn’t seem to disappoint.
During the month of October, a German Oktoberfest is held where the beer flows, and one of the restaurants is said to serve “the world’s best breakfast”. In addition to the building’s lively interior, the house’s facade is something of an architectural masterpiece. The building looks like an abandoned industrial building due to its enormous size and with its stately red brick walls. This place is simply not to be missed!
Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is a large amusement park located on a small island about 30 minutes south of central Yokohama. Here you can find everything from beautiful park areas and shops to restaurants and rides. The main attractions, however, are the large aquarium Aqua Resort and the amusement park Pleasure Land. At the aquarium, you can see everything from walruses and giant tortoises to dolphins and polar bears.
When you’re tired of looking at marine animals, you head on to Pleasure Island, where you can free fall over the water at a height of 107 meters, or ride around on the spinning traditional carousel. Entrance to the island itself is free, but there is a charge if you want to ride the carousel or go to the aquarium.
The Yokohama Art Museum is a must-visit, both for art lovers and architecture fans. The museum is one of the largest art institutions in Japan, with its iconic architecture, a whopping seven gallery spaces, a library full of books on art, studios and a wide range of workshops.
Above all, the museum focuses on collecting and displaying modern and contemporary art since the end of the 19th century. Here, above all, there are works by Japanese artists, but also great figures such as Dali, Magritte and Picasso. The museum is closed for renovations in 2022, but expects to reopen in 2023. This artistic masterpiece is simply not to be missed!
In addition to its noodles, Japan is also known for its fantastic Buddhist temples. About 25 minutes by train from Yokohama station, a whole new world of temples and parks opens up in the city of Kamakura. Here there are as many as 65 Buddhist temples and 19 shrines from the Shinto religion. Among dramatic amphitheatres, along dark forests and with the sea as a view, it is a unique place to visit.
Some of the most famous buildings are Hokokuji, Meigetsuin, Zuisenji and Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine. Entrance to the various shrines and temples costs between 200 and 300 yen. Go here and let yourself be seduced by Japan’s Buddhist tradition.
Hokukuji is a Zen Buddhist temple belonging to the Rinza sect. Here, tranquility itself resides and is a nice break from Yokohama’s bustling city center. The temple is seen as a real cultural treasure with its traditional architecture and peaceful surroundings. In connection with your visit to the temple, you should also visit the nearby Kamakura Museum. Many important cultural treasures are preserved there. Among them- a manuscript of Chinese poems written by the temple’s founder Tengan Eko and also his associated wooden seal.
End your visit to the temple by wandering around the temple’s attached bamboo garden and enjoy the tranquility that ensues.
When you’re in Kamakura, make sure to visit Engakuji Temple. The temple was built in order to show respect for the Japanese and Mongolian soldiers who lost their lives after the Mongols tried to take over Japan in the 13th century. Beautifully situated on Kamakura’s forested hills, the temple introduces a stunning view and a perfect photo opportunity to remember for a long time to come.
In addition to the temple’s fairytale appearance, there are a lot of other attractions here. A large temple bell, or a tooth of Buddhism’s founder Buddha are just a few of them. End your visit at the temple’s teahouse where you can enjoy a cup of amazake (sweet sake tea) and a piece of Japanese candy. This place should definitely be visited during autumn when the temple’s beautiful maple trees change color to rust red.
The temple is also called Zuirokusan Engaku Kōshō Zenji.
Enoshima shrine is a large shito shrine that consists of three smaller shrines; He-tsu-miya , Nakatsu-miya and Oku-tsu-miya. Enoshima Shrine is perhaps best known for its giant bronze gate, which is designated as a significant national cultural treasure. In addition to the religious calm that seems to settle over the area, there is also a lively temple town where traditional Japanese inns, souvenir shops and restaurants line up alongside the beautiful buildings.
The idea with the sanctuaries is that the visitor should “refresh their senses” during the prayer time and come away as a new person. Regardless of your religious or non-religious background, this is an extraordinary attraction.
Do you want to see red pandas, lions, lovebirds and bears in the middle of town? Then head to Nogeyama Zoological Gardens. Nogeyama is a free zoo located in Yokohama’s inner city and home to about 1400 animals and 100 different species. Despite the proximity to the city, there is a quiet calm here that allows the visitor to enjoy a moment of relaxation with closeness to nature.
For the smallest visitors, there is also an area for children where you can pet and feed animals such as chickens, guinea pigs, snakes and mice. The park is closed on Mondays but is open the rest of the day.
Cosmo World or Yokohama Cosmoworld may not be a place for those afraid of heights. Here is the world’s largest Ferris wheel. By day Cosmo World is a place for the family, at night a place for romance and dreams.
The park is divided into three areas: Brano Street, a colorful area with haunted houses, ice rink and caricature painting, Wonder Amuse with 3D theater, arcade and virtual reality games and Cosmo World with its magnificent Ferris wheel. In the evening, the park lights up in the colors of the rainbow, becoming a real feast for the eyes. Entrance to the park is free and you only pay for the attractions.
If you go up the Ferris wheel on a clear day, there’s a good chance they’ll see the great mountain Mount Fuji.
Don’t worry, we got you covered with the most important information below.
The closest airport to Yokohama is Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) and is only 2 miles outside the city. It is fine to go to Narita (NRT) as well, but keep in mind that this airport is on the other side of Tokyo and involves 6 extra miles. However, no long distances by train.
You don’t have to worry about holding tight to your valuables or walking around with larger sums of cash. Japanese are a very loyal and well-behaved people with very few thieves and the like. Watching younger children ride the subway by themselves home from school alone is not an uncommon sight to see in Japan. Of course, there are everywhere, but Japan has very few of them.
Order a JR pass if you plan to move to other cities. If you are only going to be in Osaka, you can do well to pay for your transport at a time. But most visitors take a week in Tokyo and then move on to Kyoto, Osaka and other popular cities. These train distances are quite expensive without JR passes, we therefeore recommend getting one before your departure to Japan. Getjrpass.com is an official ravel agent and seller of these Japan Rail Passes with no middle man.
The metro is well-functioning and cheap – a recommended means of transport. Tickets are very easily purchased by machine on site before entering or via pre-loaded Suica card. Most distances are combined with JR lines and Metro lines to reach your destination in the city.
Suica card – a fantastic IC card that can be preloaded with money to easily blip beverage machines, subway and other machines for a cashless and fast payment. Alternative to the card is Icoca Card & Pasmo Card.
Taxis are everywhere, but are quite expensive. The metro is so functional that Taxi is not needed.
The city has lots of beautiful parks. Enjoy good food and take it easy, enjoy your visit to Japan.
Japan uses Japanese Yen – JPY.
We recommend a smaller exchange before the trip at Forex or another currency exchanger to be able to pay for transport from the airport if you have decided to activate your Japan Rail Pass at a later date, for food and drink on site upon arrival and so on.
Safe ATMs for cash withdrawals can be found around the city. You don’t have to worry about walking around with larger amounts of cash as the country is very safe. Of course there are jerks in the country, but Japan has extremely few of them.
7-eleven usually has a very good exchange rate at their machines. When withdrawing larger sums such as thousands of euros, it can differ up to hundreds of euros against what you get at Forex if you exchange before the trip. We therefore recommend only bringing a smaller amount and withdrawing more cash on site.
Do not exchange at the airport. Visit a bank or 7-eleven in town.
Tips are not appreciated by the staff and can sometimes be considered disparaging.
If you want to tip, ask the staff beforehand if it is okay. Most likely, you will get a no, as tips are not part of their everyday life.
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