Saturday, November 25, 2006
Photos of Sakuragicho, Yokohama, by Norikazu Yamaguchi
Population: 3.5 Million 30 Minutes by Tokaido Line Train from Tokyo
Yokohama is Japan`s second largest city. She is one of Japan`s most beautiful. In many places one can imagine they are in Vancouver or Seattle. One of the Yokohama sights Minato Mirai 21 looks very much like parts of Vancouver, one of Yokohama`s sister cities.
While Yokohama is very nice and I enjoy going there myself, if you only have two weeks in Japan it might be better to journey elsewhere. If you come to live in the Kanto area of Japan, you must visit Yokohama. If not then read on and decide for yourself whether it is worth seeing a North American looking city in Japan.
Yokohama Station Area (Tokaido Line and others)
An area for shopping.
Minato Mirai 21 -- Sakuragicho
"The Minato Mirai 21 district on the waterfront is highly popular among (the) younger generation, offering a most enjoyable shopping and fantasic gourmet experience."--Your Guide to Japan, JNTO
This area reminds me so much of Vancouver I get homesick! It is very nice and the modern buildings are beautiful.There are many great restaurants as the above quote suggests, and the shopping is also interesting. Minato Mirai21 is a very futuristic looking part of the city.
Landmark Tower is the anchor of this modern area and the tallest building in Japan. Across the street is the Yokohama Maritime Museum and the tallship Nippon Maru. Nearby is the Cosmo World Amusement Park.Near Cosmo World is Yokohama World Porters shopping complex and Queen`s Square Yokohama, both boastmany shops and restaurants.
Yamashita Park (East of Kannai Station)
This is another area of harbour front that offers nice views of the sea and the ships. The retired liner Hikawa Maru is worth going on if you have children. My parents claim the nearby Silk Museum is a must see. But Ihave never been so as you can imagine, I never listen to them! Apparently seeing thesilk worms working their magic is an amazing sight!
Not a living breathing Chinatown like you would find in San Francisco or Vancouver, but an area with many great restaurants and a few Chinese employees working there. You rarely hear Chinese spoken on the street here as you would in Chinatowns in the above mentioned cities. The food is great and it is interesting area to walk around though.
Photo of Chinatown gate by Ikumi Kishiya
"This is one of Yokohama`s greatest tourist attractions and the tiny streets are often packed with visitors who come to ogle the over-the-top Chinese facades of the neighbourhood`s stores and restaurants. Needless to say, food is the main attraction here, but be warned that prices are high."--Japan, Lonely Planet
Established: 1906A 500 year old pagoda rests amongst a beautiful garden. Take the No. 8 bus from Yokohama or Sakuragi-chostations to Honmoku Sankei-en-Mae bus stop.
Shin-Yokohama Station Area
Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum: Has a replica of the downtown area of a Japanese city around 1958 with various ramen (Chinese noodle) restaurants. Some of the best ramen cooks in Japan make their best in this museum. Go East from Shin-Yokohama station (5 minutes).
Check out the many bars on the edge of Chinatown in the evening.
You can get to or from Narita by train or bus. The Narita Express Train is a convenient and comfortable way to get to or from the airport.
Within Yokohama:Trains are probably the most convenient, though not as convenient as in Tokyo. There is also an extensive bus network and you just pay a small flat fee.
The Sea Bass (Sea Bus)Runs between Yokohama Station, Minato Mirai 21, and Yamashita Park. Yokohama Station toYamashita Park takes 20 minutes.
Old Yokohama, what it must have looked like in the 19th
Photo of Yokohama clock tower by Kevin Burns
For more information about living and working in Yokohama, join the Living in Yokohama Forum.