With a population of more than 3.67 million, Japan's second largest city was transformed when the port was opened to the world in 1859 with the arrival of Perry's "Black Ships." The resultant flood of foreign culture and influence spurred Yokohama's growth into a refined international metropolis with a worldly flair all its own. Visitors to this gateway to Japan will feel the distinct flavor of its long and storied history throughout the city.
The beautiful seaside Yamashita Park and European-style Yamate neighborhood are perfect destinations for a romantic outdoor stroll. Yokohama's spectacular nighttime cityscape viewed from Japan's tallest building, the Landmark Tower at the Minato Mirai 21 district, will leave you breathless. A mere thirty minute jaunt from Tokyo, Yokohama has it all and is sure to leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
To really get in touch with Yokohama's history, Yamate is the place to be. Following the opening of Japan to the West, many European traders settled in this area. The homes and architecture retain a unique European feel, also present in the nearby restaurants and cafés.
Step back into traditional Japan and appreciate nature's splendor at the Sankeien Japanese garden. Designated as a national cultural treasure, this park lies ten minutes by bus from Negishi station. With beauty like the vibrant display of cherry blossoms in the spring and the clear and tranquil leaves of autumn, you can admire seasonal flowering all year round.
(20 minutes on foot to Yamate from Ishikawacho Station. 10 minutes on foot to Sankeien from the Honmoku stop, accessible from Negishi Station.)
The modern development of Minato Mirai 21 offers a wealth of attractions catering to just about any taste. Get your pulse pounding at Yokohama Cosmo World, a waterfront amusement park that features Japan's largest clock-display Ferris wheel, Cosmo Clock 21. From Queen's Square Yokohama to the historic architecture of the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse this area offers several charming shopping locales. After scratching that shopping itch at Yokohama's one-of-a-kind facilities, try heading to the tallest building in Japan, the Landmark Tower. The 69th floor Sky Garden offers breathtaking views of the sparkling nighttime metropolis.
(Sakuragicho Station immediate area.)
Perfect for a leisurely stroll, you'll find many locals enjoying the sea air at this beautiful waterfront park. Constructed in the 1930's and now resting before the park, the Nippon Yusen Hikawa Maru ocean liner has been converted into a maritime museum. Along with the Yokohama Marine Tower and the lush park itself you'll have plenty of photo opportunities. The Sea Bus, departing from the Yokohama Station east exit, is available for those wishing to travel to the park in style. Kick back and take in the best of the bay area sights on this short cruise.
(15 minutes on foot from Ishikawacho Station.)
Coming into existence with the opening of port Yokohama, this Chinatown is brimming with the energy you'd expect from one of the world's largest. Pass under one of the intricate and magnificent surrounding gates and find world-class Chinese restaurants a stone's throw in any direction.
Gain a deeper understanding of ramen culture at the Raumen Museum, a five minute walk from Shin-Yokohama station. The first floor provides a fascinating look into the history and ingredients of this Japanese mainstay. Then wander the back streets of a full-scale 1950s Tokyo neighborhood brought to life and get a taste of authentic ramen dished out at its many noodle shops.
(5 minutes on foot to Chinatown from Ichikawacho Station. 5 minutes on foot to the Raumen Museum from Shin-Yokohama Station.)
Main sales location: Yokohama Station
The Shumai Bento, a symbol of Yokohama, got its start in 1954. In addition to the popular shumai (pork dumpling), the bento has eight different sorts of wonderful foods, including tuna teriyaki and fried chicken. Packed with great things to eat, the Shumai Bento has been a favorite of many since it first went on sale.