Can’t miss places on your day trip
Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
Yokohama was the maritime trade hub for the greater Tokyo region and it remains a vital seaport for the area. And as a result of its development, many brick buildings were erected as factories and warehouse for all the commodities traded. Since then, shipping containers measured in TEUs became the norm and less warehouses were needed. In 2002, the historic buildings were repurposed for businesses to open stores within, and now the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse is one of the most iconic destinations in Yokohama, not only for the food, beer, and shops, but also purely on the architectural value. It’s worth noting that the place lights up during evening hours making it extremely picturesque.
Did you know that there is not a real chinatown in Tokyo? Well, that’s because the one in Yokohama is “the Chinatown” of Japan. There are over 620 stores in the official district that is considered Yokohama Chinatown, and over 220 Chinese restaurants, over 80 non-Chinese restaurants, and some 300 merchandise and other food stalls (like tapioca drinks). Alongside the other major Chinatowns of Japan (the others are in Kobe and Nagasaki), the Yokohama Chinatown is food galore. Here, you can have true authentic Chinese food from different origins like Shanghainese Sichuan, Fujian, Taiwanese, and Cantonese. Walk along the main streets, and you will find municipal tour guides who can help you find the right store or restaurant in Yokohama Chinatown.
Yokohama Stadium (Baseball)
Japanese baseball league is one of the most popular sports in Japan. With two leagues, the Central and Pacific Leagues, each consisting of 6 teams, Yokohama is one of the cities that hosts a professional baseball team. The Yokohama DeNA BayStars has been around since 2011 under the corporate sponsorship from DeNa software company. However, the team has been around since 1950 under different names. If you are visiting Japan during the baseball season, then it would be a fun activity to attend a baseball game at the Yokohama Stadium. Situated right by the water, you will feel the “hamakaze” or sea breeze as you watch your game and have a beer or other concessions. Tickets to a normal season game costs about 4000 yen to 8000 yen depending on your seat.
Yokohama Landmark Tower
The Yokohama Landmark Tower is a shopping center, hotel, restaurant, clinic, and business offices combined into one. Until the Abeno Harukas in Osaka opened in 2012, it was the tallest building in Japan measuring at 296.3 meters (972 feet). There is an observatory on the 69th floor of the building giving you a full 360 degree view of Yokohama, the harbor, and Tokyo Bay. With such a large structure, you need a fast and efficient way to get from floor to floor. As a result, this building has the fastest elevator in Japan in terms of speed clocking at 750 meters per minute (or 28 miles per hour). Remember that normal elevators in commercial buildings move at a speed of 30-60 meters per minute (1-2 miles per hour), you can see just how fast this elevator takes people up and down the floors.
Yokohama’s historic affiliation with foreign nationals and dignitaries means that there are many European and Western architectures that was used as consular offices or diplomat’s residences. Seiyoukan literally translates to western buildings, and many were established in the early to mid 1900s and have been preserved as historic and cultural buildings of Japan. Many of them are extremely well preserved and is free to enter. Each building has its own character and is extremely picturesque. A walking map guide is available with details about open hours and access for each of the homes.
Yokohama-Motomachi Shopping Street
Historically, the Motomachi Shopping Street served as a commuter corridor for those foreign dignitaries, missionaries, and merchants living in the Yamate area to commute to downtown Yokohama. As a result, the Yokohama-Motomachi Shopping Street started to cater to foreigners and their shopping habits, making it a unique area for both Japanese and non-Japanese to shop. Unfortunately, the shopping district was completely destroyed in the fire bombings of Tokyo and Yokohama during WWII. But in the post-war reconstruction phase, the US military setup the Yokosuka base as a central naval command for Japan. Motomachi regained its prominence during the reconstruction as the local merchants had the know-how of selling to international customers (primarily American GIs) and since have reestablished itself as the crossroads of international commerce in the Yokohama region.
Yokohama Bay Osanbashi
While Tokyo does have freight docks along the bay, Yokohama has always been the dominant sea port of Tokyo Bay ever since international trade was reestablished in 1854. The Osanbashi is the largest pier in Yokohama, originally constructed in 1894, but rebuilt in 2002 to be a public space with lots of greenery and space to enjoy the waterfront. In addition to serving as the largest passenger terminal for cruise ships entering Yokohama, it has become an open broadwalk extending to the harbor, which is open to the public. Located between the Minato Mirai shopping areas (Red Brick Warehouse area) and Yamashita Park as well as the Yokohama Chinatown, it’s a great place to enjoy the view of the bay and to take a quick break between your day trip to Yokohama.
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