Yokohama - Day Trip, Tokyo
Yokohama offers many special sights and is worth a day trip from Tokyo. As Japan's second most populous city after Tokyo it contributes to the Greater Tokyo area. Being one of Japan's most important harbors from the start of overseas trading and as the entrance point for visitors to Tokyo in the past Yokohama welcomes many foreign people and not surprisingly it hosts a large foreign community consisting of both Europeans and Chinese.
The most famous sight is the Landmark Tower which is 296 m high and therefore the highest skyscraper in Japan. From its observatory on the 69 floor Mt. Fuji can be seen on clearer days mostly during winter. The Tower is located in the Minato Mirai 21 area which is an urban development area with convention centre, theme park, hotels and shopping malls.
Taking the Minato Mirai Subway Line you can easily access Chûkagai, Japan's largest Chinatown, with lots of Chinese delicatessen shops and good restaurants. Other points of interests are the Yamashita Koen Park and the Yamate area. The Yamate area is home to one of Japan's largest cemetery for foreigners. This is also a good viewpoint of Yokohama's skyline as it is located on a hill.
Quite interesting is also the Yokohama Citizen's Disaster Prevention Center, an earthquake simulation centre, where one can "feel" the Great Kantô earthquake that completely destroyed Toyko and Yokohama. The entry is free.
Yokohama can be accessed easily from Tokyo's Asakusa Station with direct services several times a day costing only 560 yen. Changed at Yokohama station to take the Subway train to Sakuragi-cho where I alighted in front of the Landmark Tower building. Visited the Nippon maru training ship and the Maritime Museum for 600yen. It is a value for money tour, very informative. Rode the elevator up to the 69th floor for the landmark Tower building for a panoramic view of the city and in one is lucky, the beautiful Mt. Fuji. i was not lucky though as it was foggy most of the day. Visited the Customs House, World Porters, Yamashita Park, Yokohama Archives Museum, Chinatown, etc. it is a much needed breather from very crowded Tokyo. Yokohama's Chinatown is one of the cleanest and picturesque Chinatowns I have seen from my travels. Be sure to sample its great food. It is beautifully lit in the evening. If you get lost at Yokohama station on your way back to Tokyo due to its myriads of exits, try asking any Japanese and surely you will not be disappointed as they are one of the friendlest and helpful people I have met.
Yokohama's Chinatown is about 1.5 hours from Tokyo via the JR rail system. Now, unlike most Chinatowns throughout the
world, Yokohama's is expensive...they were
selling roast pork buns for a bit under $2 each!
Yokohama's Chinatown is the largest in Japan and very touristy with the typical shops selling souvenirs, herbal medicines, and trinkets.
I'm not sure how long these cubes will be around but they're very big and colorful. If you miss them in Yokomama, go to Russia and see them there. Russia is not a large place. I'm sure you can just show up and ask for the big colorful cubes.
Note- this is not a satisfying photo. they are big and square- unlike this photo.
There's a very big ferris wheel in Yokohama. Too big for words. There is also a somewhat large clock on this wheel, also too big to speak of. The walk around this area of Yokohama is like walking around a city that was well-planned - kind of like the opposite of Tokyo.
Yokohama, that is. There is something about the breeze here, about the water, about China Town, about the futuristic pier and the 4 shopping towers that says to me, "Yokomama" is so much nicer than most Japanese cities. There are even trees there.
A museum on the history of Ramen. In the basement is made to look like olden day streets of Japan, with shops and ramen restaurants.