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8 Must-See Spots in Yokohama

Katie lived in Yokohama for a year during her BA Japanese degree course. She loves Yokohama and thinks that it deserves more appreciation!

The vibrant port city of Yokohama is only a short train ride from Tokyo, and with plenty to explore—from stunning parks to stylish shopping centers—a visit to this charming city is sure to leave you wanting more.

If you're taking a trip to Tokyo, plan to spend a few days in Yokohama to get the most of what this underrated city has to offer. Here are my top picks for must-see Yokohama spots.

Yokohama With Mt. Fuji in the Background (Taken From the Yokohama Skywalk)

Yokohama With Mt. Fuji in the Background (Taken From the Yokohama Skywalk)

1. Pokémon Center

I rushed here as soon as I arrived in Yokohama, and take my word for it—this place is not to be missed if you're a Pokémon fan! Nestled within the Landmark Tower in the breathtaking Minato Mirai area, Yokohama's Pokémon Center is usually slightly less crowded than its big brother in Ikebukuro.

It's packed to the brim with everything from plushies and stationary to clothing and cutlery. Sometimes special events are held here, like seasonal promotions, gaming contests and performances.

How to Get There

You can reach this spot by taking the Blue Line subway train to Sakuragicho station and taking a 10-minute stroll along a beautiful dockside pathway.

2. Yokohama Vivre

Don't miss Vivre if you're a shopping fan. With outlets from major Japanese subculture fashion brands (such as Angelic Pretty, Liz Lisa and Baby the Stars Shine Bright), it's Yokohama's own pocket of Harajuku.

There's also a huge Tower Records music store, a Starbucks, Book-Off (a second-hand shop that sells and buys books, CDs, video games and manga) and multiple cafes, so it's easy to pass a whole afternoon in Vivre.

How to Get There

You can get to Vivre by getting off any train at Yokohama station, taking exit 5 out of the building and following the road for a few minutes.

Every city has its own cute mascots for everything, and Yokohama is no exception!

Every city has its own cute mascots for everything, and Yokohama is no exception!

3. Cup Noodles Museum

Do you like instant ramen? Well, Yokohama has a museum for you! The Cup Noodle Museum documents the invention of instant ramen and even allows you to make your own—a perfect afternoon out for kids and kids-at-heart!

Here, you can learn about Momofuku Ando—who invented the first instant ramen—see some interesting exhibits and art, and taste noodles from all around the world.

How to Get There

It's about a 15-minute walk from Sakuragicho station, right by the docks in the Minato Mirai area.

4. Gumyoji

Gumyoji is a charming, friendly town in Yokohama. It's where Yokohama National University's foreign exchange students live, so expect a welcoming atmosphere. With a beautiful riverside walk and a small-town feel, Gumyoji is a great place for a slower, more relaxing evening.

Explore the side-streets off the main shopping road, Kannon Dori, to find hidden gems, including family-run eateries of all varieties. You can also visit the Gumyoji shrine, and, if you're lucky, experience a festival along the main street.

If you feel like exploring Kanagawa more thoroughly, you can also get trains to Yokosuka and other nearby coastal towns from Gumyoji.

How to Get There

Gumyoji station is on the Blue Line, about 15 minutes from Yokohama station.

Gumyoji Kannon Dori, full of small shops and yummy restaurants.

Gumyoji Kannon Dori, full of small shops and yummy restaurants.

5. World Porters

World Porters is a shopping mall with a lot to offer. Located near the Red Brick Warehouse (a.k.a. Aka Renga), it's surrounded by beautiful views, but the inside is just as stunning.

With a floor dedicated solely to gourmet food, you'll eat well during your visit. Head upstairs and you'll find an array of shops selling everything from bespoke fashion to cute stationery. Keep going and you'll reach homeware, then the cinema and arcade on the floor called Yokohama Broadway. And right at the top is a roof garden.

How to Get There

For the sophisticated shopper, World Porters is a must-see. You can get to it easily from Minato Mirai station on the Minato Mirai line, or from Sakuragicho station if you walk up past Landmark Tower.

6. Aka Renga (a.k.a. Red Brick Warehouse)

Aka Renga is another fantastic shopping spot, with sweet little cafes and small fashion outlets. Most of the shops are pretty upscale, so it can be an expensive trip, but it's well worth looking around regardless of whether you plan to make any purchases.

The building itself is stunning and warrants a visit even if you don't go inside. Built from vibrant red bricks, Aka Renga used to be a warehouse back when Japan first opened its doors to trade from the rest of the world (and Yokohama started to become a bustling port town).

Sometimes it hosts seasonal events, including the Christmas Market, so be sure to check it out if you're visiting during the holiday season.

How to Get There

It's right beside World Porters and the Cup Noodle Museum, so stop by if you're in the area. Aka Renga is a 20-minute walk from both Minato Mirai station and Sakuragicho station, so pick whichever one works best for you!

A view of Yokohama from a boat. You can take excursions around the bay!

A view of Yokohama from a boat. You can take excursions around the bay!

7. Sankeien Garden

Sankeien Garden is a lovely traditional garden filled with ponds, plants and pagodas. It was created by silk trader Tomitaro Hara in the early 1900s. He thought that the young town of Yokohama needed some traditional Japanese buildings, so he had some imported and built the sprawling gardens around them.

A few hours in this tranquil garden will allow you to experience the Kyoto feel without the need for long-distance trains. There's even a traditional teahouse where you can witness a tea ceremony and taste traditional matcha and sweets prepared lovingly by a kimono-clad expert.

How to Get There

You'll have to take a bus to get to Sankeien Garden. Buses leave from Yokohama station and take about half an hour to arrive, giving you time to watch Yokohama roll by.

It's worth taking a good camera if you're visiting Sankeien Garden.

It's worth taking a good camera if you're visiting Sankeien Garden.

8. Chinatown

Yokohama's Chinatown is famous for being Japan's largest. Full of some of the best eateries in the city (at least in my opinion!), you can easily pass a whole day looking around and sampling the various edible offerings all around you. It's a great spot for souvenir shopping, with cute China-themed gifts available throughout town.

Try panda-shaped nikuman (meat buns) on the street or sit down to an all-you-can-eat Chinese dining experience. Hunt through the gift shops to find Yokohama-exclusive KitKat flavours, or cosy up in a coffee shop to watch the hustle and bustle of the town.

Tip: Visit at the Lunar New Year to gaze at the picturesque temples and gates and experience dragons blessing the shops.

How to Get There

A quick walk from Kannai station on the Blue Line, a trip to Chinatown will include a stroll through a pretty park and the chance to check out huge posters of baseball stars in the subway.

Japan's largest Chinatown is lively and a great place to eat.

Japan's largest Chinatown is lively and a great place to eat.

© 2018 Katie Blackbourne

Comments

Liz Westwood from UK on October 09, 2018:

This is a very useful guide for anyone planning a visit to Yokohama.

Katie Blackbourne (author) from Norwich on October 03, 2018:

Thank you :) I hope he gets to visit some day, it's a Pokemon fan's paradise!

kirtidv2006 on October 03, 2018:

Beautiful pictures Katie. My son would love the pokemon center :).