City of Yokohama / 横浜市
On the western coast of Tokyo Bay directly south of Tokyo, Yokohama (横浜, map) is the second largest city in Japan and one of the cities most used to seeing foreigners.
Yokohama was one of the cities to open for trade with the West following the 1859 end of the policy of seclusion and has since been known as a cosmopolitan port city, after Kobe opened in 1853.
Yokohama is half an hour away from Tokyo, and effectively forms a part of the giant conurbation.
+ More information > Wikipedia • Wikivoyage • UNESCO
To protect British commercial and diplomatic interests in Yokohama a military garrison was established in 1862. With the growth in trade increasing numbers of Chinese also came to settle in the city.
Yokohama was the scene of many notable firsts for Japan including the growing acceptance of western fashion, photography by pioneers such as Felice Beato, Japan’s first English language newspaper, the Japan Herald published in 1861 and in 1865 the first ice cream confectionery and beer to be produced in Japan.
Shōmyō Temple (称名寺, map). It is a temple built by Hojo Sanetoki in 1258. It has developed into Kamakura Period. It is specified for the historic site in Japan. There is a beautiful garden. A lot of cherry blossoms bloom in spring. Moreover, precincts are illuminated at fireworks of summer and the New Year and it is very beautiful.
Yokohama Cosmo World (map) is a small amusement park which boasts the Cosmo Clock 21, a 112.5-m Ferris wheel which doubles as “the world’s largest clock” (the 60 arms double as second hands). The park also has two roller coasters, a log flume ride and several other attractions.
Minato Mirai 21 (みなとみらい２１, map). A futuristic city district built entirely on reclaimed land.
Ōsanbashi Pier (大さん橋, map). Ōsanbashi Pier is the main international pier at the Port of Yokohama where cruise ships dock. Architecturally renovated with an abstract modern style in 2002, it provides a view of the Minato Mirai skyline. The rooftop garden is open to public.
Chinatown (中華街, map). Located next to Motomachi-Chinatown (romanized as Motomachi-Chūkagai) station, and a short walk from Ishikawachō <Motomachi-Chinatown> station on the Negishi Line, Yokohama’s Chinatown is the largest in Japan and dates back to the Opening of Japan in 1859.
Yamate (山手, map). This is the neighbo’rhood where foreigners settled and still settle. You can make a pleasant walk from the Italian garden (map) near Ishikawachō station. The walk will take you along some nice houses that were previously owned by rich foreigners.
Sankei-en Park (三渓園, map). 35 min by bus from Yokohama Stn. SE of Naka Ward, this is a traditional style of park. Opened in 1906, this large park (17,5000 ft²) has many Japanese traditional buildings, 13 of which have been designated as national heritages.
Kikuna Sakurayama Park (map). If you go to there in spring, you can see beautiful deep pink double-flowered cherry trees called “yae-zakura” in Japanese. Yae-zakura is powerful rather than fine. The park is a popular place for cherry blossom flower viewing.
GETTING AROUND YOKOHAMA (yokohamajapan.com)
The Minato Mirai 21 subway line from Yokohama station down the harborfront to Chinatown is the best method of accessing the main tourist haunts.
For sorting through transport schedules and fares, HyperDia is an invaluable companion; it computes to-the-minute directions including connecting trains, as well as buses and planes.
+ Transportation in Japan (japan.travel)
BUS > Buses are plentiful in Japan, and over the last few decades they have evolved into a major mode of intercity transportation, especially for overnight travel. Major operators of intercity include JapanBuslines.com • WILLER • JR Bus (kakuyasubus.jp) • kate.co.jp. >> (*Bus travel in Japan)
RAIL > 1 Tokyu Toyoko Line (東急東横線) from Shibuya to Yokohama Station. A trip from Shibuya to Yokohama takes as little as 26 minutes on the fastest service. 2 JR Ueno-Tokyo Line (上野東京ライン) and Tokaido Main Line (東海道線) from Ueno, Tokyo and Shinagawa stations (all on the Yamanote Line). Departs every 10 minutes. About 25 minutes. 3 JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line (湘南新宿ライン) from Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ebisu and Ōsaki. Roughly four trains per hour, reaching Yokohama from Shinjuku in as little as 30 minutes.
Central Japan Railway Company • West Japan Railway Company • East Japan Railway Company. >> (*Rail travel in Japan)
AIRPORTS > Yokohama does not have its own airport. You can reach Yokohama from Tokyo‘s two main airports. Most international flights arrive at either Narita Airport near Tokyo or Kansai Airport near Osaka; a smaller number use Chubu International Airport near Nagoya.
Japan has many great opportunities for bikers. Bike rentals can be found throughout the country, especially near popular routes. Some routes (like the Shimanami Kaido Bikeway, which takes you from Onomichi on the main island to *Imabari in Shikoku) have been set up specifically for bikers.