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bootlegga Yokohama - A travel report by James
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Yokohama,  Japan - flag Japan -  Kanagawa
5022 readers

bootlegga's travel reports

Yokohama -- Tokyo's forgotten neighbour

  18 votes
Page: 1 2
Yokohama has all the best of Tokyo (high tech city life) without the worst of Tokyo (overcrowded and smoggy streets). Yokohama has something for everyone.


Tokyo Bay
Tokyo Bay
Yokohama is Japan's 3rd largest city, after Tokyo and Osaka. As the major port on Tokyo Bay, it ships Japanese made goods worldwide. Yokohama is also where Commodore Perry and his fleet landed in the mid-19th century to end Japan's isolation. For that reason, the foreigners who followed in his footsteps based themselves in Yokohama.

Favourite spots:
CosmoWorld
CosmoWorld
Minato Mirai 21 and Chinatown are among Yokohama's busiest areas. Minato Mirai 21 is a large shopping area on Tokyo Bay. Located in Minato Mirai are dozens of shops, selling everything imaginable.

Nearby is Cosmo World, an interesting amusement park jammed into maybe 6 city blocks. There a roller coaster goes into a loop-de-loop and appears to dive into a lake. In reality, it follows the track and goes underground, while jets of water are sprayed into the air.










What's really great:
Yokohama travelogue picture
One of the best things about Yokohama is its easy access from Tokyo. Well, that and the massive fireworks festival they hold every summer. It attracts up to 100,000 people who line the shores of Tokyo Bay to watch it, and the organizers send up about 7,000 incendiary devices and it lasts for about 90 minutes! Absolutely incredible!

Sights:
Landmark Tower
Landmark Tower
In Minato Mirai, near Sakuragicho station, one will find Landmark Tower, Japan's tallest building. From here you can watch the sunset or gaze at Mt Fuji from its observation deck.

Sandwiched between Minato Mirai and Chinatown, is the Yamashita Port area. Here, there are several ferries across Tokyo Bay, as well as a docking area for cruise ships. It also houses a former cruise ship (the Hikawa-maru) turned into a maritime museum.

In the Motomachi/Yamate area, southeast of Chinatown, is where foreigners from dozens of nations lived after Japan's isolation ended. It was here that the first large settlements of foreigners were built. Because of this, located just south of Chinatown, is Foreigner Cemetery, where dozens of British, French, Germans and others are buried.
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Nightlife:
 A crazy, post-modern statue near the Hard Rock Cafe
A crazy, post-modern statue near the Hard Rock Cafe
If you are into nightclubs, the best one (IMO) in Yokohama is Gas Panic. Alternatively, you can hop aboard the Keihin-Tohoku line and run into Tokyo, where there are tons of places in Roppongi.

While it is more of a pub than a nightclub, the Hard Rock Cafe is pretty good fun too. It's in Queen's Square Mall in the Minato Mirai area. Basically, this is almost directly underneath Landmark Tower.

Restaurants:
Mt Fuji
Mt Fuji
There are many dining options in Yokohama. Some of the best are the tiny carts that line the streets selling Ramen (noodle soup) and noodle dishes.

Another fantastic, but relatively unknown option is unbelievably 7/11! Yes, the convenience store stocks almost every kind of traditional (and some not so traditional) Japanese food, and at fantastic prices. Onigiri (rice balls), Curried Rice, Soba noodles, steamed buns, and corn dogs are but a few of the many options.

My favourite place in Yokohama was located near Yokohama train station at the top of a skyscraper. El Torito was a fantastic Mexican restaurant with an amazing view of Mt Fuji. The menu is priced reasonably and the portions generous. While it may seem strange to review a Mexican restaurant in Japan, the view, the food and the prices made it stand out in my mind.


Other recommendations:
One of several friednship gates in Chinatown
One of several friednship gates in Chinatown
Yokohama Chinatown is only four stops from Yokohama station and two stops from Sakuragicho train station. It is one of the biggest in the world, covering almost 40 city blocks and definitely a must see! It is possible to spend almost an entire day wandering through Chinatown.

Another fun area to explore is the area around Yokohama station. Like most other major train stations nationwide, there is an aglomeration of huge department stores (some 10-12 stories tall!), restaurants, shopping malls, and other attractions.



Published on Friday August 13th, 2004


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Fri, Dec 02 2005 - 10:08 PM rating by jorgesanchez

I used to go to Yokohama once a week in bycicle from Tokyo, and then followed to Kamakura. Thanks for the nostalgia you brought me through your good report!

Sat, Oct 16 2004 - 10:32 PM rating by italian-link

Interesting report, and nice pictures too.
Thanks for sharing.
Larry

Thu, Aug 19 2004 - 10:55 AM rating by fieryfox

I really enjoyed reading this article about Yokohama. Its interesting to know about Chinatown in Japan. :-)

Sun, Aug 15 2004 - 01:45 PM rating by ravinderkumarsi

hii James,
i am happy to read a nice and fantastik report .

Fri, Aug 13 2004 - 02:46 PM rating by nedkelly

Nice report mate ...do like the pics good efort.

Fri, Aug 13 2004 - 01:11 PM rating by jelloo

Pretty cool! Sounds like a fun place to go, if you want the big city experience but in a smaller city with less crowds.

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