In 1859, Yokohama became the first port in Japan to open to foreign trade. Studded with European-style architecture, fusion cuisine and home to the largest Chinatown in Japan, it’s easy to see how this unique history has added a dash of multicultural flavor to the city. A glittering modern waterfront district and close proximity to Tokyo make Yokohama a popular destination, for a side trip or for your entire vacation.
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What To Do
Get a birds-eye view from the Sky Garden – Located on the 69th floor of Landmark Tower, Yokohama’s tallest building, this observation deck offers a full view of the city below. Evening visitors can enjoy a drink as the twinkling lights of Yokohama paint the night sky.
Fill up at the Shinyokohama Raumen Museum – This unique museum brings together nine restaurants serving ramen varieties from across Japan and around the world. It’s not just your ordinary food court, though – the ramen shops are tucked into a detailed recreation of a mid-century Japanese shopping street at dusk.
Take a walk through history in Sankeien Garden – The sprawling grounds beautiful Japanese garden are filled with restored wooden buildings imported from all over Japan.
Make friends with a fish – Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is a large aquarium and theme park complex featuring roller coasters, dolphins and interactive children’s programs. Schools of fish flash past you as you travel through the aquarium’s underwater tunnels and viewing area.
Explore Japan’s largest Chinatown – Yokohama’s open port led to an influx of Chinese merchants and traders, who created a home that’s now one of the city’s most fascinating districts. Stop here for authentic Chinese food and to visit Kanteibyo, a small temple known for its elaborate red and gold architecture.
Grab a drink at the Kirin Brewery – The Kirin Brewery in Yokohama was the first domestic beer producer in Japan. Take the tour here to learn about how this popular brand got its start, and how it’s produced today.
When to Go
Spring in Yokohama brings with it blossoming cherry trees and pleasant weather. This season is very popular with locals and visitors alike, so be aware that early April means festivals – and crowds. Likewise, the changing of the leaves takes place in late November to early December. Winter is mild, but often sees a dusting of snow. The Lunar New Year is celebrated with festivals and parades in Chinatown.