Yokohama is the perfect destination for a day trip from Tokyo. It is very well connected with Tokyo and it takes less than half an hour to go from Tokyo Station to Yokohama using the JR Tokaido Line for the price of 500 yen. Last but not least, there are many things to do and places to see in Yokohama especially nice parks and walks by the sea.
As I said there are many attractions in Yokohama and the city deserves more than one day to see everything. Here is my personal top 10 things to do during your next trip to Yokohama.
1 Admire the classic Japanese garden Sankeien (三溪園)
Sankeien is a traditional Japanese-style garden built in the 19th century as the private garden of Hara Sankei, a rich silk merchant. The garden is vast and you will find bridges, streams, waterfalls, small bamboo groves and ponds. It is a beautiful place in every season as the colors of nature change with the temperature.
Here the link to the Official Website.
2 Take a walk on Yamate hills
It a peaceful area and you can see the area of the the port from above. If you are a Ghibli fan it is also the area where the movie From up on Poppy Hill is set. The movie is set in 1963 so the area has obviously changed but some of the views would make you feel inside the movie.
If you are interested in Ghibli movie locations you can read my article on the topic here.
3 Visit Osanbashi Pier
Osanbashi Pier is the International Cruise Terminal of Yokohama and it is the oldest pier of the city. Inside the terminal there are shops and cafes and the place can be visited even if you are not boarding a ship. On the roof top there is a beautiful deck covered in wood from where you can enjoy the view the Minato Mirai area. Osanbashi Pier is also considered the best place from where you can see all the Yokohama Three Towers, named The King, The Queen and The Jack. They are the Kanagawa Prefectural Office, the Yokohama Customs building and the Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall. A legend says that your wish will be granted if you can see all three buildings at the same time.
4 Sip a creamy art cappuccino
On the way back from the Osanbashi Pier, or before getting there, stop by the Hama Cafè and have a cappuccino. You can read more about the Hama Café in my article here.
5 Have lunch (or dinner) in Chinatown
Yokohama Chinatown is the biggest Chinatown in Japan, the first Chinese shops and restaurants have been established in Yokohama after 1859 when the Japanese ports opened to foreign trade and many Chinese merchants settled down in the area.
Today the area is bustling with shops and food stalls and I highly suggest you to have one of the delicious steamed buns filled with meat for lunch or try one of the menus in one of the Chinese Restaurants. I am a big fan of Dim Sum.
6 Try to resist buying a panda souvenir in China Town
To try to resist the urge of buying something in the shape of a panda when in Chinatown is actually an activity by itself. Trust me, it is almost impossible. During my last trip I suddenly found myself in need of a pair of panda socks, a pair of panda chopsticks and a panda coin purse. Don’t judge me please, I am weak o(╥﹏╥)o
7 Walk around Minato Mirai 21
The name Minato Mirai means harbor of the future and it refers to an area in central Yokohama where there are many attractions, an amusement park, museums and of course shops and restaurants. It is a perfect place to have a walk by the sea and relax when there is a nice weather.
The area was a large shipyard until the 80s and it has undergone a renewal that is still partly ongoing and that has made it the center of Yokohama.
8 Ride the Ferris wheel
The Ferris wheel is another landmark of the Minato Mirai area and when it was built, in 1989, it was the tallest in the world. It is called Cosmo Clock 21 because there is also a clock on it. It takes 15 minutes for one rotation and there is a great view of the city and the sea from above.
9 Shop at the Red Brick Warehouses
The akarenga soko, Red Brick Warehouses, used to serve the port when it was active for trade but nowadays they are instead filled with interesting shops I absolutely suggest to visit. Especially the interior design shops are my favorite. Everything is neatly arranged and there are lots of items for sale to give a touch of Japanese Design to your house.
10 Look at the sparkling city lights from the Landmark Tower
The Landmark Tower is the symbol of the city, it is almost 300m tall (296m to be precise) and from above, where there is the Sky Garden, there is a 360° view if the city. To arrive to the top you will take the fastest elevator of Japan which will take you up to the 69th floor in 40 seconds.
You made it at the end of the list! Let me know if you agree with list or if you think I missed something!