Yokohama is a port city, located in Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo. It was one of the first ports, opened to foreigners and later it became a large commercial hub. Its population is the second largest in Japan after Tokyo. Yokohama is popular with its Chinatown, port area and variety of shopping areas attracting visitors.
From the Tokyo area, Yokohama can be accessed on JR and Minatomirai/Toyoko lines. If you are travelling from Tokyo, purchasing a one-day free ride ticket from Shibuya to Yokohama area (all the way to Motomachi-Chukagai station) would be cost-efficient (840 yen for adults). Another option is to purchase Yokohama-Minatomirai Pass (500 yen) – one-day Yokohama area only free-ride ticket.
For transportation, there are also alternative options, which can be found here: http://www.welcome.city.yokohama.jp/eng/travel/transportation/discount-tickets-passes.html.
There are tourist information centers in Yokohama station and Minatomirai station, as well as Shin-Yokohama station and Yokohama Doll Museum.
Most of the sightseeing areas are concentrated around Sakuragicho, Minatomirai and Motomachi-Chukagai stations, so starting your trip from one of these stations is recommended.
Yokohama Landmark Tower Sky Garden is 273 m high and offers a magnificent 360-degree panoramic view of Yokohama from the 69th floor. Visiting this place will give you a chance to ride on the fastest elevator in Japan (the speed reaches up to 750 meters per minute). Along with the promenade, you can enjoy the Sky Café and Tower Shop (souvenir shop), located on the same floor as the observation deck.
Access: Minatomirai station on Minatomirai line or Sakuragicho station on JR line. Open: 10:00-21:00 every day (Saturday 22:00). Admission fee: varies from 200 yen (4 years old) to 1000 yen (adults)
Dock Yard Projection Mapping is a newly opened projection show pioneering in Japan. Every evening the story is projected near Yokohama landmark free of charge. Tickets can be obtained in advance on the 3rd floor near the entrance to Landmark Tower Sky Garden.
Yokohama Cruising offers a great opportunity to enjoy Yokohama’s sightseeing spots from a cruise boat. Finishing off your busy sightseeing day with a delicious dinner whilst enjoying a great view is the perfect way to end a day trip in Yokohama, before heading back to Tokyo.
There are 4 alighting points: East exit of Yokohama station, MM21 Pukari Sanbashi (Minatomirai or Sakuragicho stations), Pier aka-Renga (Bashamichi station) and Yamashita Park cruising terminal (Motomachi-Chukagai station). Checking a time-table in advance is recommended (earliest ones depart from Yamashita park at 10:20 and the latest ones at 19:00). Prices vary from 340 yen-1000 yen for a single ride to up to 6,000 yen-11,000 yen for a full-dinner course on the cruise ship depending on the time, ship and number of people. More information can be found here: http://www.yokohama-cruising.jp/
Cosmo-World is an amusement park, which can be easily accessed from Sakuragicho and Minatomirai stations. A must-see place, if you are traveling with children and enjoy rides! A giant Ferris Wheel, roller-coaster and rapid rafting will be a source of joy not only for children, but adults too!
Yamashita park is a beautiful sea-side park with a nice water-walk. There is an observation tower and NYK Hikawa-Maru ship museum located in the park, so it’s a great place to enjoy a day out. The closest station is Motomachi-Chukagai station on Minatomirai line.
Museums in Yokohama
NYK Hikawa-Maru ship museum is officially designated a cultural asset of Yokohama city. NYK stands for Nippon-Yusen-Kaisha, Japan’s largest shipping and logistics company. Visiting this museum is a great opportunity to learn more about the ships from the inside of the retired passenger ship! Tour and display areas include first and third class cabin and rooms, a lounge, an engine room, the captain’s office and a wheelhouse. Onboard life is represented by original materials from the ship’s voyage to Seattle.
Nearest station: Motomachi-Chukagai station(Minatomirai line), exit 4 or 1. Open: 10:00-17:00 everyday except Mondays. Admission fee: 200 yen for adults, 100 yen for school students and seniors (Discount rates for combination ticket with NYK Maritime Museum, located a 20 minute walk from the ship museum).
NYK Maritime Museum is the place to learn the history of Japanese ship-making. Short demonstrations have English subtitles, which are easy to understand and the museum has many exhibitions.
Exhibition from January 9th to April 20th: Evolution and technology of a ship.
Nearest station: Bashamichi station (exit 6) on Minatomirai line or Kannai station JR or subway. Open from 10:00 to 17:00 everyday except Monday. Admission fee: 400 yen (seniors, junior high school students and above 250 yen, younger visitors free) Web-site: http://www.nyk.com/rekishi/e/exhibitions/index.htm
Yokohama Doll Museum is a great place to visit for those who loves dolls. There is an impressive collection of 3500 dolls from all over the world (from 141 countries). Here you can trace back the history of dolls, whilst learning more about Japanese dolls. Bunraku, the Japanese traditional puppet show, is also represented in this museum. If you’ve ever wondered how dolls are made, Puppet Craftsman’s Studio will help you to find out. The Puppet Theatre on the 4th floor holds a variety of events. You can check out their website for latest information on workshops, performances and special exhibitions.
Easy to access from exit A3 of Motomachi-Chukagai station on Minatomirai line. Open every day from 9:30 am to 5 pm except Mondays. Entrance fee 300 yen for 16 or older, 150 yen for below 16. Rental of an audio-guide with English/Chinese/Korean narration is available. More info: http://www.yokohama-doll-museum.com/english.html
Japanese Overseas Migration Museum is a place, where you can learn about the history of Japanese emigration. It gives a detailed account of the life of people of Japanese ancestry, who left Japan for different reasons. The museum features stories of emigrants who went to Central and South American countries.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Yokohama International Centre is also located in the same building, so if you’re interested, you can visit them too.
Closest station: Minatomirai or Bashamichi station on Minatomirai line. Admission free.
Cupnoodles museum is known for being an interactive museum, which triggers creativity and innovative thought. Have you ever heard of “space ramen”? This is the place where you can find out more about it. Along with exhibiting the history of chicken ramen noodles and cupnoodles in Japan and around the world, it explains the birth of idea itself and the story of its inventor, Momofuku Ando. A perfect place for children and adults, watching, reading, touching, experiencing and making your own cupnoodle in the Cupnoodles Factory. In the noodles bazaar, you can try a variety of noodles from different parts of the world.
Closest station: Minatomirai or Bashamichi station on Minatomirai line. Sakuragicho station on JR line. Admission: adults 500 yen, children free. Audioguide in English is available.
Red-brick warehouse (Akarenga) consists of two buildings made from red-brick. Depending on the season, different events are organized there, such as a flower garden, a Christmas market and an October fest. This season, there is an art ice-rink, which will be open until February 23 (13:00-22:00 and 11:00-22:00 on Saturdays).
Closest station: Minatomirai or Bashamichi station on Minatomirai line. Sakuragicho station on JR line. Admission 500 yen adults (400 yen secondary school students and 300 yen children above 3).
Food in Yokohama
Chinatown (Chukagai). As in many other places, Chinatown in Yokohama was founded by immigrants, who eventually settled here for a longer period. With a history of 150 years, Chinatown in Yokohama claims to be the largest Chinatown in Japan and even in Asia. It is popular due to its various kinds of delicious Chinese cuisine.
Access: Motomachi-Chukagai station on Minatomirai line.
Besides Chinatown, there is a great selection of food around the Yokohama area for different tastes. If you would like to try Hawaiian food, “Manoa Aloha table” might be a place you want to visit. With a Hawaiian atmosphere and delicious food at a reasonable price, you couldn’t ask for much more. This restaurant is located near Sakuragicho or Minatomirai stations. More information here: http://manoa.alohatable.com/access.html
Other places to visit:
Ramen museum is located near Shin-Yokohama station. Here you can try different kinds of ramen noodles as well. One can enjoy vegetarian and no-pork ramen whilst learning about the history of ramen at this museum. Highly recommended for ramen lovers!
Admission fee: 300 yen for a one-day pass. More information: http://www.raumen.co.jp/english/#access
Sankeien gardens are popular for flower blossoming events and exhibitions. This park has a historic value put in 17 buildings “arranged in harmony with the seasonal changes of the natural scenery”. For more detailed information about access, see: http://www.sankeien.or.jp/en-access/index.html
Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is approximately a 40 minute ride on JR Negishi line and Seaside line from Yokohama station. Opened in 2013, it has 4 different themed aquariums and a great variety of different types of water animals and plants. One-day pass: 4,900 for adults. Open throughout the year 10:00-18:00 on weekdays and 9:00-20:00 on weekends.
Shopping in Yokohama
Yokohama is one of the most convenient places for shopping with a variety of shopping centers. You might want to check out World Potters, Sakuragicho Pio city, Mark Is Minatomirai, Minatomirai 21.
More information can be found here: