Posted by: Darrell | December 27, 2008

Yokohama

Granmall park with the sail shaped InterContinental hotel

Granmall park with the sail shaped InterContinental hotel

While Yokohama is another major city in Japan, it is often forgotten amid the popularity of Tokyo. However, Yokohama has an great reputation, much better than Nagoya and this was a place we were really looking forward to come to on our Farewell Japan Tour. While steeped in history, Yokohama is surprisingly modern with the nicest trains stations in Japan. The Minato Mirai line really is something else. However, being overly expensive your best bet would be to buy a day pass and just travel around Yokohama and also see all the different Minato Mirai stations, because they are a point of interest in and of themselves. For a taste of the historic, just walking along the many streets of Yokohama will bring to one of the many historic and European inspired architecture building.

One of the Minato Mirai train station platforms

One of the Minato Mirai train station platforms

With the largest Chinatown in Japan, Yokohama also has a great international flare. From the World Porter shopping mall to the cheap and delicious street vendors lining Chinatown, Yokohama is surprisingly international being so close to Tokyo, the heart of Japan. Liz and I also spent the evening walking around Motomachi and it was nicely decorated and chic for those who are looking the hip and fashionable.

Yokohama skyline with Mt. Fuji in the background

Yokohama skyline with Mt. Fuji in the background

Yokohama is also famed for it’s beautiful harbour. The promenade that connects the Minato Mirai district to Yamashita park is the best place to take it all in. The promenade will also pass the famous Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse or Aka Renga Souko. While historic on the outside, the warehouse is actually a ultra modern open-concept shopping mall. Besides being a great place to walk around, the Red Brick Warehouse and the gardens around it are also very photographic and provide great views of the Bay Bridge and the harbour. However, the best part of the Yokohama is where you least expect it; on a public lookout point on top of the New Yokohama International Port Terminal. This Port terminal is like no other with it’s green garden concept and wavy-rounded design. This is by far, the best place to enjoy the harbour. And best of all it is completely free unlike the exorbitant Landmark tower. Even though it is very popular among professionals photographers and the casual tourists, you are guaranteed to get great shots of city mirrored in the harbour with Mt. Fuji as the backdrop. Combine that with a setting sun and the infinite shades of yellow and orange, the harbour becomes truly unforgettable.

All of the photographers trying to capture...

All of the photographers trying to capture...

...the perfect shot!

...the perfect shot!

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