Yokohama First-Timer: 20 Things to Do in Tokyo's Port City Neighbor



Yokohama First-Timer: 20 Things to Do in Tokyo's Port City Neighbor


Just about a 40 minutes train ride from Tokyo, Yokohama is a beautiful port city with a rich history. Here is where Japan signed the first treaty to open the country to U.S. ships. This is the place where Western culture was first introduced to Japan.

Yokohama offers many kinds of entertainment and it's easy to visit in just a one-day trip from Tokyo. From its many landmarks to its beautiful parks, here's a list of things to do and places to see on your trip to Yokohama.

Enjoy the Many Entertainments of Minato Mirai

Yokohama Minato Mirai View
Yokohama, Minato Mirai at night skyline
No better place to start than Yokohama's iconic skyline. Minato Mirai means 'future port' and as the name suggests, it's an area by the water packed with attractions, entertainment and shopping.


Get High up on the Landmark Tower

Yokohama Landmark Tower with Sakura

Visit the Sky Garden observation deck on the 69th floor to get a 360° panoramic view of Yokohama while sipping on a drink. The elevator that goes up there is the fastest in Japan!

Ride over the sea at Yokohama Cosmoworld

Yokohama Cosmoworld Amusement Park

One of the symbols of Yokohama is that giant Ferris wheel that you see in so many pictures. In this amusement park you can enjoy some fun rides for both kids and adults.

Go on a Street Food Adventure in the Colorful Chukagai

Yokohama Chinatown (Chukagai)

With over 600 shops lining its colorful streets, Yokohama's Chinatown (Chukagai in Japanese) is said to be the largest Chinatown in the world. While the unique gates that mark the various entrances are well worth the visit, the highlight of Yokohama's Chinatown is the delicious food. Fill your stomach at one of the many restaurants or have fun trying the excellent street food. Below are some of Chukagai's staples.

Ageufo - Steet Food in Yokohama Chinatown (Chukagai)

Age-ufo (300 yen). A crunchy dough on the outside filled with cabbage, chive, shrimp and pork.

Nikuman - Steet Food in Yokohama Chinatown (Chukagai)

Nikuman (steamed meat buns) can be found in many shops here. Edosei is a long-established restaurant famous for their pork-filled giant butaman (500 yen).

Pandaman - Steet Food in Yokohama Chinatown (Chukagai)

Pandaman (320 yen). These sweet buns are filled with an amazing chocolate paste that has the texture of brownie dough. They feature Chinatown's mascot.

Harinezumi-man - Steet Food in Yokohama Chinatown (Chukagai)

Harinezumi-man (100 yen). These hedgehog buns are as cute as they are delicious. They're crunchy on the outside and filled with custard.

Egg Tart - Steet Food in Yokohama Chinatown (Chukagai)

Egg tart (160 yen). Freshly baked tarts filled with custard pudding. Not too sweet, not too heavy, they're another trademark sweet of Yokohama's Chinatown.

Yaki-shoronpo - Steet Food in Yokohama Chinatown (Chukagai)

Two-color Shoronpo (480 yen). These come in two flavors, beef and pork. The meat is wrapped in a thin dough so all the juices that it releases stay inside. A must-try!
Yokohama Chinatown Entrance Gate


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Feel Classy in Motomachi Shopping Street

Motomachi Shopping Street in Yokohama

Right next to the colorful Chinatown is this high-class shopping street with a European feel. It's lined with famous brand stores and stylish cafes. Here you'll also find Uchiki Pan, Japan's first bakery.

Gaze at Yokohama From the Marine Tower

Yokohama Marine Tower

Built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening of Yokohama port, the Marine Tower is 106 meters tall. From the two-floor observation deck you can get a great view of Minato Mirai and the whole Yokohama area.
View from the Marine Tower in Yokohama

Check out What's Going on at the Red Brick Warehouse

Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse with flowers
Known in Japanese as Akarenga Soko, these two historic buildings used to be Yokohama's custom house back in the 1920s. Now they host a number of restaurants, shops and event spaces. The red brick buildings are one of the local's favorite picture and hangout spots. The area hosts many events like the Christmas Market and the Yokohama Oktoberfest.

Revel in Nature and Ancient Japan at Sankeien Garden

Sankeien Garden in Yokohama

If you go to Yokohama you shouldn't miss this traditional Japanese garden. Its massive grounds feature ponds, streams, beautiful nature and seventeen historic buildings. Perfect for having a peaceful time away from the city.

Get on a Boat a Yamashita Park

Hikawa Maru Boat in Yamashita Park, Yokohama

Yamashita Park stretches for almost 700 meters along the bank and is dotted with European style garden areas and fountains. Here you'll find the majestic Hikawa Maru cargo ship, now converted to a floating museum.

Hang out With the Elephants at Zou No Hana Park

Yokohama Zou no Hana Park
Yokohama Zou no Hana Park elephant
Literally meaning 'elephant's nose' in Japanese, this park takes its name from the curved shape of the seawall that extends in front of it. Here you can catch one of the art exhibitions next to the café, enjoy the harbor view or just take a stroll.

Have a Picnic With a View at Rinko Park

Rinko Park in Yokohama

This is the biggest park of the Minato Mirai area. Come here at night for a beautiful view of Minato Mirai or enjoy a picnic during the day.

Take a Walk Through Yokohama's Western History in Yamate

Yamate area, Yokohama

Yokohama was the first city in Japan to have a foreign population and this reflects in the streets of Yamate. Here you'll find many western style houses and a general western feel. With its hills, parks and views, the Yamate area is ideal for a quiet and refreshing walk. 

Foreign General Cemetery in Yamate, Yokohama

The Foreign General Cemetery
This piece of land was requested by Commodore Perry himself to bury American men that had died in Japan.

Minato no Mieru Oka Park - Harbor View Park Yokohama

Harbor View Park
Stop here to enjoy the breeze and get a fantastic view of Yokohama and the Yokohama bay bridge. The terrace structure of the park is really neat.

Grill Some Meat and Take a Bath at Marine Park

Marine Park and Beach, Yokohama

This is the only beach in Yokohama where you can swim! The park features playfields as well as a barbecue area. People also come here for shellfish gathering in early summer.

Chill out in the Unique Architecture of Osanbashi Pier

Osanbashi Pier, Yokohama3

This pier is a ferry terminal, but its structure is an attraction by itself. Made largely of wood and featuring irregular shapes, this modern style boardwalk offers a great view and a great picture spot. Take a walk around it or stop at the café.


Make Your Own Cup Noodles at the Cup Noodles Museum

Cupnoodles Museum in Yokohama

Want to learn the history of instant noodles and try to make your own unique flavor? This interactive museum takes you through the invention of Cup Noodles by Momofuku Ando.
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Taste Beer for Free at the Kirin Brewery

Kirin Brewery Yokohama

Yokohama played a fundamental role in the adoption of beer in Japan. Kirin was founded in 1907 and has kept brewing delicious beer ever since. The brewery tours include displays about the history of Kirin and free tastings.
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Try Ramen From All Over Japan at the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum

This museum offers noodles from all parts of Japan, in a space that's built to look like a Tokyo alley from the 1950s. Get the mini-sized ramen at each shop to try as many different flavors as your stomach can fit.

See the Place Where Commodore Perry First Landed in Japan

Yokohama Archives of Hirstory

The Yokohama Archives of History document the opening of Yokohama and Japan to the West. The tree outside marks the spot where Commodore Perry landed to sign the Convention of Kanagawa, that would open Japanese ports to the U.S. Inside are a lot of interesting information and documents, including some rather funny portraits of Commodore Perry made by Japanese people when they first met him.

Dine and Drink Showa Era Style in Noge

Nogecho Street in Yokohama
Bars under the railway in Noge, Yokohama
To the south of Sakuragicho Station, this area has retained the look and feel of the Showa Era (1925-1989). The streets of Noge are the perfect place to end your day with street side restaurants, bars and jazz clubs. The charm of the Japanese youth is also present with hip sake bars and craft beer joints.
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Enjoy the Jazz and Craft Beer Culture

Yokohama Beer and Jazz - The Windjammer Jazz Bar

Because of its Western influence, Yokohama boasts a thriving Jazz and craft beer culture. You'll find Jazz venues and craft beer bars scattered all over the city so don't miss the chance to explore some of them. Also, check out the local stores for Yokohama craft beer bottles to take as a souvenir.
*Part of the pictures in this article are courtesy of the Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau.
*This article is based on information from a coverage made in March 2018.
*The prices may vary depending on the time of your visit.
Yokohama First-Timer: 20 Things to Do in Tokyo's Port City Neighbor

About the author
Laura is an Italian living and working in Tokyo. She loves exploring hidden and unknown places, taking pictures and listening to Punk Rock music. When she’s not busy doing the above, she might enjoy a craft beer or play the sanshin (an Okinawan instrument similar to a shamisen).


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