Yamate, the Gem of Yokohama
Yamate Yokohama is one of the gems of Yokohama, and was the area that foreigners traditionally lived in. Some still do. When Japan had recently been opened up by the threat of Perry`s Black Ship, Yokohama too was open to trade and a small influx of foreigners.
"The Last Samurai," the movie starring Tom Cruise and Ken Nakamura, depicted the old Yokohama in detail.
You can reach Yamata from JR Ishikawacho Station (Negishi Line). It is just a few stops from Yokohama Station. Walk up the hill or ask anyone where Yamate is. From the station, towards the harbor, is a very nice shopping area. There are many clothing and shoe stores here and the shopping streets. Be sure to window shop before or after going up top to Yamate.
While in Yamate you can enjoy the sights. Not only are there some fabulous old and new houses, but inside some of the old homes, there are cute cafes, where you can enjoy lunch, dinner, or just cake, pie or coffee.
Be sure to make your way to the cliff side where fantastic views of Yokohama Port are available, day or night. There is also a very nice beer gardin in the garden of one of the venerable old houses in the summer.
The famous Bluff Clinic, St. Maur International School and Ferris University are also in Yamate. If it is open, be sure to check out the foreign cemetery. Captains, soldiers, merchants and maidens lie asleep here.
From Yamate, Yokohama`s harbor is a pleasant walk down the hill. You can enjoy the sea breeze and see the Marine Tower. Be sure to check out the Silkworm museum near the tower. My parents raved about it! Or you can simply stroll the water front and watch the ships mosey by.
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Pictured: a marina in Yokohama (photo by Richard Baladad)
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