Yokohama is a city located south of the capital of Japan, Tokyo. It was one of the first Japanese ports that were opened to foreign trade in 1859. Here are many impressive sites to see and many amazing landmarks.
Yamashita-koen is a wonderful seaside, landscaped park that is just right for strolling and watching ships pass by. It was the first seaside park in Japan and is located right in front of Yokohama Port.
The park has a green field, a rose garden, the “Little Girl With Red Shoes On” statue, the “Guardian of Water” statue, which was a gift from San Diego, a sister city of Yokohama and the “Kamome no Sulihei-san or Seagull Sailor” song monument, water stairs and a stage.
Here you’ll also find the retired luxury 1930 passenger liner NYK Hikawa Maru.
NYK Hikawa Maru is moored at the eastern end of the park. The ship is quite impressive with art-deco fixtures and many stories to tell. Inside visitors can walk through the first class cabins among which one of the staterooms was once used by Charlie Chaplin. You can also see the engine room.
Sankei-en was opened to the public in 1906. It is a lovely landscaped garden that features walking paths among ponds, 17th century buildings, several fine tea-ceremony houses and a 500-year-old three story pagoda. The inner garden represents a wonderful example of a traditional Japanese garden.
This garden was once the private home of Tomitaro “Sankei” Hara an extremely wealthy silk merchant. The house that Hara and his family lived in Kakushokaku is large and sprawling with many spacious, inter-connected tatami rooms that overlook a private green lawn.
It is particularly lovely in late March and early April when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. In July and August there is a pond bursting with Japanese pink lotus blossoms, In autumn the changing leaves are so colorful and in winter come the plum blossoms in mid to late February letting people know that winter is coming to an end.
Yokohama Port Museum visitors enjoy taking a look at the docked Nippon Maru, a four-masted barque that was built in 1930 which retains many original fittings. The museum takes visitors through the city’s port history and children especially enjoy the simulated ship ride.
The impressive Landmark Tower rises 296 m high and has one of the world’s fastest lifts at 45 km/h. On a clear day you can get great views to Tokyo and Mt. Fuji from the 69th floor Sky Garden observatory.
The Sky Garden is Japan’s highest observation deck and visitors can reach the observatory in just under 40 seconds. Once there you can get a 360-degree panoramic view of Yokohama, the Yokohama Bay Bridge and Mount Fuji.
Yokohama Museum of Art is the focus of the Yokohama Triennale (the next to be held in 2017). The museum hosts exhibitions from European artwork to artwork from contemporary Japanese artists. Here you’ll find permanent artworks from artists such as Picasso, Miro and Dali.
Osanbashi International Passenger Terminal this is an award-winning pier that has an attractive roof deck where you can sit on the lawn or benches and enjoy the harbor view.
BankART Studio NYK is located in a former warehouse. This is a multi-floor gallery that focuses on the local art scene. It hosts changing exhibitions from local and international artists. You can relax and have drinks at the 1st floor cafe. There is a shop with great art and design books.
Yokohama Chinatown is known as the world’s best Chinese food spot. Here you can find over 600 shops and plenty of restaurants to choose from. The buildings all glitter in many colors and it seems you’ve entered a completely different world.
Right in the heart of Chinatown you’ll find Kantei-byo an elaborately decorated temple that is dedicated to Kanwu, the god of business.
Sojiji Temple has a Daisodo or Founder’s Hall with a ceiling that is 36 meters high and a floor that is covered with one thousand mats.
Here you’ll also find Hyakken rouka or Long Corridor, 152 meters long. There is also a cemetery with graves of prominent figures. Visitors can get a tour of the Treasure House and the halls guided by a Buddhist monk. You can book a place at the Sanzen (Zen meditation practice) that takes place once a month on a Saturday.
Yokohama Minatomirai Manyo Club is a hot spring facility with hot spring baths, relaxation areas and overnight accommodations. Here the water is carried from hot springs in Atami and Yugawara six times a day on a 20,000 liter tank lorry. There are a variety of baths that overlook the Minatomirai area and the Yokohama Bay Bridge, outdoor baths and cypress bathtubs. There is also traditional Thai massage available and British-style reflexology services and restaurants providing Japanese course meals and many other facilities.
Zo-no-hana Park is a waterfront park with a series of promenades which connect it to Minato Mirai’s 21 main attractions.
Right in the heart of Minato Mirai you’ll find Yokohama Cosmoworld, an amusement park that is famous for its prominent image on the Yokohama skyline. It is reasonably priced, easily accessed and family friendly. It is divided into three zones according to age. The waterfront views are incredible and when lit up at night it is a romantic place to take a walk. Visitors pay for the individual rides or attractions.
For children there is the area Kids Carnival Zone, featuring rides for the youngest ages. Rides include a two-level merry-go-round, several car and train rides and the Cycle Monorail, offering a bird’s eye view of the area. There is also a children’s game arcade called Cosmo Fantasia Kids.
Nearby you’ll find many restaurants, bars, shops and parks which are just a short walking distance from Chinatown.
A most romantic spot is the Yokohama Bayside area with the Yokohama Marine Tower. The tower was built in 1961 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening of Yokohama Port. It is most lovely if you get to the tower at sunset as from the top you’ll discover a breathtaking view over Yokohama Bay. The 30th floor is 100 meters above the ground. Walking around the deck you’ll see a clear silhouette of Mount Fuji against the sunset. On the 29th floor you’ll be able to get wonderful night views since there is plenty of seating.
Yokohama Customs is also known as Queen’s Tower. The building dates from 1934 and is characteristic for its mosque-like appearance. Lit up at night the building design seems to be quite lady-like.
Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall is also known as Jack’s Tower. It was built in the neo-Renaissance style and opened in 1918. It was affectionately nicknamed Jack and is designated as a historical heritage building, presently serving as the Nakaku Ward Hall. The tip of the clock tower is lit up with lights that over-pass the intersection. The lightshow on the red bricks takes one back in time to a different age – Yokohama’s golden era. The orange reflection from the lighting is pure delight.
Kanagawa Prefectural Government’s Office is also known as King’s Tower. It stands tall and proud in the historical area dating back to 1928. The building was influenced by the Art Deco architectural style. The building is particularly impressive lit up at night. It is often used for location shoots in Japanese TV drama and movies.
Yokohama Bay Bridge is the greatest suspension bridge in Japan. It is 860 meters in length and opened to traffic in 1989. It was built as part of an important transportation route that connects Yokohama to Tokyo.
It is a two-layer bridge with the upper levels serving for high-speed transport while the lower levels have a promenade called Yokohama Skywalk. Walking along you get fantastic panoramic views. On the lower level there is also a parking space. The bridge is also used for many movies and for TV series.
Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is a large theme park that includes Aqua Resorts. Here visitors will find Pleasure Land, shops, restaurants and a hotel. The three distinct major attractions are Aqua Museum, Dolphin Fantasy and the Fureai Lagoon. There is also the Aqua Theater, offering a short movie about marine life around the world.
The Aqua Museum aquarium as several floors and is home to lots of marine life including penguins, sea otters, polar bears and sharks. During feeding time you can see the staff interacting with the marine life. Walruses might do tricks and swim with the sharks. There are two gigantic tanks across several floors. Even though the show is in Japanese it is easy to understand and it is fun seeing sea lions catching rings, walruses blowing kisses and much more.
Dolphin Fantasy is an aquarium full of dolphins that can be seen swimming through a glass tunnel. It almost seems you are underwater with them.
The Fureai Lagoon is more of an interactive experience. It begins with a short introductory video in Japanese but you can get an English cop. It is important for visitors not to touch the heads of dolphin or beluga whales, they must hold onto their hats and other items so they won’t fall into the marine life enclosures and not to feed the marine life. However you can get to pet a dolphin, beluga whale and walrus. There are outdoor enclosures for walruses, sea lions and penguins.
Visitors will find various places to rest, eat and shop. You can head for the arcade, try the rides or roller coaster and stay overnight at the hotel.
Yokohama Zoological Garden ZOORASIA is an unique zoo which consists of as few fences as possible and visitors can see animals living in an environment similar to their natural habitat. The zoo is divided into zones of different climates like Asian Tropical Forest, Subarctic Forest, Amazon Jungle, Japanese Countryside and African Tropical Rain Forest. There is also a grass park and the Wanpaku Forest with play equipment.
The zoo has a closed facility, Yokohama City Breeding Center, which was founded for researching wildlife and contributing to the preservation of rare species.
Kanazawa Zoological Gardens is located in Kanazawa Natural Park situated next to the Greenery Preservation Area and the Civic Forest on the outskirts of Kita-Kamakura.
This zoo offers a zoological-geographical display divided into the four continents of North America, Eurasia, Oceania and Africa. Rare herbivorous animals are kept in a natural un-fenced environment for the purpose of preservation of species.
There are many plants covering an area of 13.6 hectares, is divided into six zone, namely “Uki-uki-Bayasi”(lighthearted Forest), “Mizu-no-Tani (Valley of Water), “Nandaro-Zaka (What-is-it Hill),”Nonbiri-Nohara”(Relaxed Fields),”Niko-niko Puraza”(Smiling Plaza), “Sida-no-Tani”(Valley of Ferns), “Nonohana-Kan”(Wild Flower Pavilion),
Visitors enjoy taking hiking courses in the outer garden of Kanazawa Natural Park. The Parking Palace is also in the outer garden and is a place for relaxation among many trees and plants.