Totsuka-juku is the fifth lodging station of Old Tokaido Road. It used to be the thriving station because it has divides to the roads to Kamakura and Mt. Oyama. And most of the Tokaido travellers during Edo Period(1603-1868) chose this station for their first lodging after starting the long trip from Nihonbashi to Kyoto. Near the start of Oyama Road, the pilgrimmage road leading to sacred mountain Mt. Oyama in Atsugi and Isehara, their is a Jizodo that collects the roadsigns of Oyama Road from 18th to late 19th century. Near the JR Totsuka station there are some nice shrines and temples and a former site of Honjin, a special lodging place for warlords and high dignitaries.
There is a very reasonable sort of tour bus bringing you close to most of the tourist sites, sometimes a bit crowded. The Akai Kutsu bus is a tourist spot round trip bus to the Minato Mirai 21 Area, Akarenga Soko, Yamashita-Chinatown Area, Motomachi and Minatono-Mieruoka Koen. You pay 100 Yen every time you enter the bus. There is a stop near the Shin-takashima metro station (1 stop from Yokohama railway station, walkable distance), also next to Motomachi-Chukagai station.
The promenade called “Sky Walk” was constructed to be a facility to command a view from Yokohama Bay Bridge. It was opened in September of 1989 together with the bridge. I was lucky to see it in November of 1993.
Sky Walk consists of “Sky Tower”, “Sky Promenade” and “Sky Lounge”.
“Sky Tower”: Height approximately 60m, 2 elevators.
“Sky Promenade”: A walkway with the view of the seascape through telescopes and there are 12 resting spots on the way. Length 320m.
“Sky Lounge”: Round observation deck situated in the centre Tower of Daikoku Pier side with the clearance above the water 50m.
It cost me 600 Yen. A stamp on my booklet proves that I have been there.
Sankeien Garden in Yokohama is a landscape garden and an open air museum(probably the first of its kind in Japan) opened in 1906 by Tomitarou Hara, a wealthy silk merchant and a supporter of young artists. It has ten buildings designated as Juyo Bunkazai or National Cultural Property. It consists of Outer Garden and Inner Garden.
Outer Garden is composed of Oike Pond, Lotus Gardens, and a number of National Cultural Property buildings and some tea houses. When you enter the garden, you will be impressed by the three-storied pagoda on the hill beyond the pond and an unmanned wooden boat. When talking about Sankeien this view is often picked and one of the popular landscapes in Yokohama. There are two roads around the Oike Pond. Western Road is broad and you can enjoy the bright side of the Outer Garden enjoying the view of the pond and it is quicker way to go around the garden. Eastern Footpath is narrower path in the woods but it is very interesting. Along the road you can visit some of the great buildings of historical value such as the Main Hall of Old Tomyoji Temple and Old Yanohara House both are National Cultural Properties.
Open: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Entry until 4:30 p.m.)
Entrance Fee: 500 yen for adult (Junior Highschool students and above)
200 yen for Elementary School Children
Senior Citizens 65 or above: 300 yen. (Yokohama residents: free of charge).
*Currently you can visit both outer garden and inner garden for one ticket. But usually all of the inner garden buildings are viewed only from outside. Please check the official webpage for Special Open Days info.
Inner Garden of Sankeien used to be the residential, private area not open to public. Today the garden has been open to public but the inside of the buildings are open only during the special occasions. This year(2011), inner garden buildings are open to public from November 26 to December 12, which coincides with autumn leave viewing season. Rinshunkaku and the pond garden is often used for memorial photos. I like the fancy building of Choshukaku. During autumn open days you can go into some restricted pathways behind the Choshukaku building.
For more info about the garden also see my Yokohama Videos
My wife and I recently went on a small group bicycle ride and enjoyed a "sunset ride" along the waterfront from Yokohama Station to Yamashita Park. Actually we told the guide we were hungry, so he (James) led us to nearby Chinatown where found many great restaurants.
The interesting thing is that this tour uses really small folding bicycles which the guide delivers to the meeting point on a big cargo bike. James on the big blue cargo bike followed by 4 little orange folding bikes must have been an interesting sight for people as quite a few people along the way took photos and wanted to talk to us whenever we stopped. The little bikes were actually fun and comfortable to ride but they might not be great if you are very big or if the tour had to go over hills (this one doesn't). I don't know if the company has other larger bikes available.
It was a pretty short ride (only about 45 minutes) with a couple stops for photos but the views were very nice - and it wasn't expensive, I think only 1000yen. The name of the business is "Yokohama Rides and Rentals".
"500 of Chinese restaurants and shops are gathered within 500 meters around, one of the famous Chinatowns in the world. You can enjoy many kinds of Chinese local dishes and buy Chinadresses, souvenirs, crafts, etc. Each major entrances of the town has dazzling gate which welcomes you. On Chinese holidays, you can see the celebrations with lion dance or dragon dance."
All the above is true but it doesn't say that there are Nine gates to Chinatown. The picture show one of them
A futuristic looking area of central Yokohama, located exactly a few walk around the Sakuragi-cho Stn. Minato Mirai or harbour of the future as what they usually call it , is one of the best place a tourist shouldn't miss, the area offers lovely sunset and alot of department stores(shops again,lol!), restaurants that varies in different kinds. The area was built during early 80's around 1983 and finished in merely, 1993. MM21(Minato Mirai Niju-ichi) is part of large scale urban development project for 21st century. The Land Mark Tower (Japan's tallest buillding), Cosmo Clock
(the World's third biggest Ferris wheel), Grand Inter Continental Hotel (half circular shaped) are the main features of the Minato Mirai 21 developmen and accentuates the beautiful Yokohama skyline.
It is recommended that you go in the evening though you can enjoy this area in the day time as well of course..
The highest light house in the world. Which also houses a Museum Beer Mug collection. I confirmed this in 'The Guinness Book World of Records".
10:00-21:00 Closed irregularly (Call ahead to check)
Charge: 700 yen
Walking along the Yamashita PArk is a refreshing one since it's situated along the beach near the biggest pier of Japan which is in Yokohama. Catching a lovely sunset is very nice. You can view the harboour of the Minato Mirai which you can see the towering Landmark Tower. You can also walk along to the Minato Mirai. From there you can go directly to the Landmark Tower and neighbooring skycrappers, the Queens buildings.
Open all day and every day of the year , 19:30-20:00 Closed irregularly (Call ahead to check) Charge: 800 yen
When you're in town around mid July in Japan or in Yokohama. You have to see the amazing fire works in the harbour of Minato Mirai though lots of people will come to see this festival. Be there early and it's worth a visit! As there will be a tendency of pushing and shoving around the Station. when we attended the firectackers last July 2001, we had to walk to another station as we cannot enter due to many people who want to watch the big event!
This skycrapper is with 70 stories above ground and height of 296 meters is a symbol of Yokohama and the Pride! In the 69th floor where it's the Observatory deck you can view the city and you will astonished with the lovely panorama. You can see the Mt. Fuji and the neighbooring place of Yokohama from there! Tallest building in Japan and the fastest elevator in the world, it will take you 45 seconds to be in the Obe deck!
The Landmark Tower Yokohama 69F
10:00-22:00(Jul.-Sept.)/10:00-21:00(Oct.-Jun.) Open until 22:00 every Saturday
Admission ends 30minutes before closing time.
Open every day of the year
Charge:1000yen for Adults, 500yen for Elem./ Jr.H.Sch.students
Dont miss the new Cruiseport-building
of Osanbashi Pier!
because it has some really interesting architecture constructed with a great combination of wood, glass and steel. You get the feeling to see a small hill from your ship, as the construction is partly covered also by (artificial?) grass.
Inside of the construction you will find a large carparking, several shops and the port authorities.
The Red Brick Warehouses are some remains of Yokohama's past and various goods had been stored there before or after they had been transported by ship. Some years ago these old buildings had been restored and partly rebuilt in order to make a shopping-centre out of them including restaurants and cafes.
It is really great to walk through these buildings and do your shopping !
The Marine tower of Yokohama is considdered to be the highest lighttower on earth, that is at least what they tell us in the Guinness Book of records. The observation-deck is 100meters above the ground. This tower is quite close to the cruiseport and it is a pity that I did not have enough time to take a closer look.They also have a museum of beer-mugs inside the tower-building and it is open daily between 10.00am and 09.00pm. Entrancefee is 700 YEN.