Yokohama -- Japan`s Beautiful & Exciting Harbor City

by Kevin Burns
(Machida, Japan)

Yokohama -- Japan`s Beautiful & Exciting Harbor City

Yokohama, the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture

Population: 3.5 Million

Located: 30 Minutes by Tokaido Line Train from Tokyo

Kanagawa`s capital city is Japan`s second largest city. She is truly one of Japan`s most beautiful as well. In many places one can imagine they are in Vancouver or Seattle. One of her areas Minato Mirai 21, looks very much like parts of Vancouver, one of her sister cities.

She is a great city to choose to live and teach in. It has a lot of amenities, a good climate, and easy access to Tokyo and other interesting places in Japan.


While this city on the bay, is very nice and I enjoy going there myself, if you only have two weeks in Japan it might be better to journey elsewhere. If you come to live in the Kanto area of Japan, you must visit this city famous for her Chinatown and silk worm museum. If not then read on and decide for yourself whether it is worth seeing a North American looking city in Japan.

For Asian tourists, Yokohama may be a worthwhile visit. However for North Americans, maybe less so. Yokohama will remind you of Seattle or Vancouver. It is very nice, but very similar to those cities. In fact Yokohama is Vancouver`s sister city.

The Station Area

(Access vie the Tokaido Line and others)

An area for shopping.

Minato Mirai 21

"The Minato Mirai 21 district on the waterfront is highly popular among (the) younger generation, offering a most enjoyable shopping and fantasic gourmet experience." --Your Guide to Japan, JNTO

This area reminds me so much of Vancouver I get homesick! It is very nice and the modern buildings are beautiful. There are many great restaurants as the above quote suggests, and the shopping is also interesting. Minato Mirai 21 is a very futuristic looking part of the city.

Landmark Tower is the anchor of this modern area and the tallest building in Japan. Across the street is the Yokohama Maritime Museum and the tallship Nippon Maru. Nearby is the Cosmo World Amusement Park. Near Cosmo World is Yokohama World Porters shopping complex and Queen`s Square, both boast many shops and restaurants.

Yamashita Park

(East of Kannai Station)

This is another area of harbour front that offers nice views of the sea and the ships. The retired liner Hikawa Maru is worth going on if you have children. My parents claimed the nearby Silk Museum is a must see. But I have never been so as you can imagine, I never listened to them! Apparently seeing the silk worms working their magic is an amazing sight! I intend to go myself.


Not as much of a living breathing Chinatown like you would find in San Francisco or Vancouver, but an area with many great restaurants and some Chinese living there. The food is great and it is interesting area to walk around though.

"This is one of Yokohama`s greatest tourist attractions and the tiny streets are often packed with visitors who come to ogle the over-the-top Chinese facades of the neighbourhood`s stores and restaurants. Needless to say, food is the main attraction here, but be warned that prices are high."

--Japan, Lonely Planet

Sankei-en Garden

Established: 1906

A 500 year old pagoda rests amongst a beautiful garden. Take the No. 8 bus from Yokohama or Sakuragi-chostations to Honmoku Sankei-en-Mae bus stop.

Shin-Yokohama Station Area

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum: Has a replica of the downtown area of a Japanese city around 1958 with various ramen (Chinese noodle) restaurants. Some of the best ramen cooks in Japan make their best in this museum. Go East from Shin-Yokohama station (5 minutes).


Check out the many bars on the edge of Chinatown in the evening.

Or walk the harbor front at night, the view is fabulous. This seems fun to me! (Maybe I`m old?) Don`t answer that please!

Don`t want to listen to an old guy like me? Then check out Bar Why Not? If you want to meet Japanese while you are here, it is an international bar, and many of the Japanese go there to meet people from other countries. It is the most international bar in this lovely city.

"Bar why not? is one of the oldest international bars around. Situated in the heart of the famous Motomachi shopping street in Yokohama. The interior d├ęcor is simple and natural. Tropical plants, vines, wooden floor, natural wood colored bar counter, tables and chairs. The off orange walls are adorned with posters of famous soccer players like Steven Gerrard of Liverpool football club. And yes Steven Girard and the entire Liverpool squad for the 2005 Toyota cup competition was our guest. We also had the honor of hosting the Bolton Wanderers fc. squad (also of English premier league) the summer of that same year.."

--From the Bar Why Not? Homepage

Bar Why Not?

Tel:045-663-2955 Tel/fax:045-663-4820


Yokohama-shi Naka-ku Motomachi 1-31La Spega Motomachi B1 003


You can get to or from Narita by train or bus. The Narita Express Train is a convenient and comfortable way to get to or from the airport.

Within the City Proper:

Trains are probably the most convenient, though not as convenient as in Tokyo. There is also an extensive bus network and you just pay a small flat fee. This huge city is surprisingly walkable too. Once you get the lay of the land you can walk to may places within 20 minutes or so. I enjoy walking her.

The Sea Bass (Sea Bus)Runs between Yokohama Station, Minato Mirai 21, and Yamashita Park. Yokohama Station to Yamashita Park takes 20 minutes.

Be sure to read our travel in Japan pages!

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To Yamate Yokohama

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