25 Things to Do in Yokohama

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On February 1, 2018
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25 Things to Do in Yokohama

Yokohama: A 30-minute train ride from central Tokyo, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this harbor town was simply another ’burb caught up in the capital’s urban sprawl. That is, until you cross the prefectural border and are greeted by wide waterfront views, gleaming cruise ships and expansive green spaces. A step back from the water lies an array of quirky museums, Japan’s biggest Chinatown and top-notch shopping to boot. All across the city you’ll feel the kind of relaxed, seaside vibes of somewhere like L.A. or Vancouver, but with a distinctly Japanese spirit.

Keen to make the trip? We’ve teamed up with Marine & Walk Yokohama, an innovative mall and event space, to bring you 25 ideas for making the most of it.

1. Find instant fun at the Cup Noodles Museum

Yokohama Cup Noodles Museum Photo by kevinofsydney

Recall how you survived on only Cup Noodles throughout your college years at this quirky attraction. You’ll get to create your own ramen in the Chicken Ramen Factory, while fun exhibitions take you along the life journey of late cup ramen inventor Momofuku Ando, including his parting gift of genius: Space Ramen.

Closest station: Minato Mirai

2. Seek some retail therapy at Marine & Walk Yokohama

The Marine & Walk Yokohama mall matches the relaxed ambiance of Yokohama Bay, bringing a refreshing dose of international culture with it. Browse unique products from a bespoke collection of boutiques, including design shops, bag makers and apparel from both domestic and international brands. An array of quirky gourmet stops make it easy to spend the whole day here; including a pie speciality shop (see further down this list), champion paella and a newly opened Peanuts Diner dedicated to all things Snoopy.

Closest station: Bashamichi or Minato Mirai 

3. Get psychedelic at Cosmo World

Yokohama Cosmo WorldIt’s hard to miss the giant Ferris wheel (one of the world’s tallest) that stands at the center of the Cosmo World amusement park. With a light scheme that at night brings to mind the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey, you’ll have a borderline hallucinogenic experience — if you can pluck up the courage to ride it.

Closest station: Minato Mirai

4. Explore Japan’s biggest Chinatown

Yokohama Chinatown

Enter Yokohama’s vibrant Chinatown and prepare to be mesmerized by the sights and smells of nikuman (meat buns), geppei (mooncakes) and other varieties of steamed deliciousness lining the streets. Come with an empty stomach and see how long you can last before stepping in line to try it all yourself.

Closest station: Motomachi-Chukagai

5. Elevate your view at the Landmark Tower Sky Garden

Yokohama Landmark Tower

Climb into the elevator in the second-floor lobby of Landmark Tower and 40 speedy seconds later you’ll able to see the beautiful bay area from nearly 300 meters up and with a 360-degree view.

Closest station: Minato Mirai

6. Travel back to 1958 at Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum

Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum

Shin-Yokohama’s Raumen (yes that’s spelled right) Museum is a collection of rare ramen shops in which visitors can partake in as many bowls of regional ramen as their stomach can handle. The “museum” part comes in the form of the blast-from-the-past recreation of the 1958 Japanese neighborhood where the shops are staged.

Closest station: Shin-Yokohama

7. Stuff your face at Pie Holic

Pie Holic Marine & Walk Yokohama

Seeking that post-Thanksgiving meal-stuffed sensation? Pie Holic is your cure. This delightful restaurant inside Marine & Walk Yokohama serves its lunch menu with three choices: One: salad or soup. Two: main dish. Three: a savory pie. Go for the chicken pot pie, then, ask for a wheelbarrow to be taken home in.

Closest station: Bashamichi or Minato Mirai 

8. Reflect on eating habits in Yamashita Park

Yamashita Park Yokohama

Instant noodles, nikuman, pie, ramen — you’ll need a sit down after all that food. Yamashita Park has a waterfront walkway that stretches for near half a mile. With the ocean’s wide expanse on one side and a scattering of monuments and statues on the other, it’s a great place to unwind — and digest.

Closest station: Motomachi-Chukagai

9. Land on history at Red Brick Warehouse

Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse

Get a feel for Yokohama’s old-new atmosphere at Akarenga Soko or the Red Brick Warehouse. The two brick-clad buildings were constructed in 1911 and 1913 and are located very near the spot where Commodore Perry’s Black Ships arrived in 1859. Step inside, though, and you’ll discover a whole new world of designer stores and stylish restaurants to keep you busy all day.

Closest station: Bashamichi or Nihon-odori

10. Combine lunch with ping pong at NTL Yokohama Bay Cafe

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NTL Yokohama Bay Cafe has scored a winning combination with their ping pong cafe and bar. Several table tennis tables are on hand for customers to show off their skills, while the menu supplies with enough college-style snackery to keep energy levels high. You’ll find it on the second level of Marine & Walk Yokohama, facing the seafront.

Closest station: Bashamichi or Minato Mirai 

11. Chug some liquid courage at Kirin Beer Factory

Kirin Beer factory YokohamaPhoto by Ken

Kirin Yokohama Beer Village allows you to take a guided tour through the brewery for zero yen. If you don’t speak Japanese, your best bet is to rely on the English handout. Ride it out because free beer awaits in the form of three plentiful Kirin glasses and a snack. Keep it healthy and check out the organic veggie store inside too.

Closest station: Keikyu Namamugi or JR Shin-Koyasu

12. Immerse yourself in nature at Sankeien Garden

Sankeien garden Yokohama

Designed by silk trade businessman Tomitaro Hara, sankei means to pray, and the harmonic beauty you’ll see may just cause you to drop to your knees, too. Opened in 1906, the garden boasts sites such as the oldest wooden pagoda in the Kanto area, dating all the way back to 1457.

Closest station: Negishi, plus a 10-minute bus ride on the 58, 99 or 101 to Honmoku

13. Discover how it all began at the Yokohama Archives of History

Yokohama Archives of History exterior

This building is the exact location of the 1854 signing of the Treaty of Kanagawa between the U.S. and Japan. With exhibitions ranging from authentic news sheets of Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s opening of the Yokohama Port to its early development, it’s well worth the ¥200 admission.

Closest station: Nihon-odori

14. Free your inner child at the Yokohama Doll Museum

Photo by Valeri-DBF

In 1978, collector Hideko Oono decided to donate her entire collection of dolls to the city of Yokohama — a donation massive enough to warrant an entire museum. The four levels have a running theme of nostalgia, with the top floor devoted to a theater primarily for puppet shows.

Closest station: Motomachi-Chukagai

15. Be entertained at Yokohama Nigiwaiza

Yokohama Nigiwaiza Theater

If styles of Japanese storytelling like rakugo, noh, kabuki and manzai have a special place in your heart, then check out this performing arts venue. Street performers, stand-up comedians and shakuhachi (Japanese flute) musicians are just a few of the acts that grace the 400-seat auditorium.

Closest station: Sakuragicho

16. Sample delicious bread at Uchiki Pan

Uchiki Pan Yokohama

It may look like an average sweet bread shop on the outside, but Uchiki Pan has been stuffing customers with English-style bread for over 120 years. Uchiki Pan was started during the Meiji era by Hikotaro Katsuki, who learned the art of U.K.-style baking and brought it to the Motomachi Shopping Street. The cinnamon bread is a must-try.

Closest station: Motomachi-Chukagai 

17. Dive into Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Hakkeijima Sea Paradise Yokohama

Underwater tunnels, dolphin shows and even a roller coaster are here for your entertainment at this aqua-themed amusement park island. If you’re a fan of plummeting toward earth (um, who isn’t?), go for the Blue Fall.

Closest station: Hakkeijima via the Seaside Line

18. Catch a baseball game at Yokohama Stadium

Yokohama Baseball Stadium

Catching a Yokohama DeNA BayStars game at their home stadium is a no-brainer thanks to its open-air setting and brilliantly energetic fans. With the place soon getting a 6,000 seat upgrade, baseball enthusiasts will also have a better chance of grabbing a seat.

Closest station: Kannai

19. Embrace your inner techie at Mitsubishi Minatomirai Industrial Museum

Mitsubishi Minatomirai Industrial MuseumPhoto by Guilhem Vellut

Mitsubishi created this quirky museum that appeals to people who’d rather design an aircraft, look inside rocket engines and understand wind turbines. Located next to the Landmark Tower, the interactive exhibits are perfect for those left-brainers out there.

Closest station: Minato Mirai

20. Go for a morning jog in Rinko Park

Rinko Park Yokohama

Looking for an open space to jog with a bonus view of the ocean? Rinko Park has it. Enjoy a run along a 500-meter waterfront walkway or sit back for a picnic and view joggers from a distance. It’s a free getaway without leaving the city.

Closest station: Minato Mirai

21. Try outdoor yoga by the sea

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Marine & Walk Yokohama frequently organize events related to the community’s health and wellbeing. Why not join its popular outdoor yoga workshop that takes place along the waterfront promenade in front of the shopping complex? It’s retail and spiritual therapy in one.

More information: http://s.gaijinpot.com/2DzYEFA

22. Climb aboard the Nippon Maru sailing ship

Yokohama Nippon Maru

Built to train cadets, this full-sized vessel is nearly as long as a soccer field. A rich 150-year maritime history lesson awaits within, as you can see the rooms that cadets, cooks and the room that the captain lived in. Delve deeper into Yokohama’s seafaring story through interactive exhibits at the maritime museum next door.

Closest station: Sakuragicho

23. View Yokohama from the water

Yokohama Sea Bus waterbus

The Yokohama Sea Bass is a futuristic-looking water bus that cruises between Yokohama’s top attractions via Yokohama Station and Bay Quarter, Yamashita Park, Minato Mirai and finally the Red Brick Warehouse/Marine & Walk Yokohama. Speedy it ain’t, but you’ll get to appreciate Yokohama’s skyline from its breeziest vantage point.

Board at: Bay Quarter (next to Yokohama Station)

24. Satisfy the Mozart in you at Minato Mirai Hall

Minato Mirai Hall Yokohama

An absolutely stunning concert hall, Minato Mirai Hall is a masterpiece of class, elegance and precision. Located in Queen’s Tower and connected to the train station, the 2,000 seat hall hosts philharmonic orchestras, talented violinists and concert pianists.

Closest station: Minato Mirai

25. Reinvigorate your spirit at Yokohama Kanteibyo

Yokohama Kanteibyo Temple in Chinatown

Nestled in the heart of Chinatown, this shrine was first constructed over 150 years ago as a tribute to an ancient general named Guan Gong. A meditative respite from the eating madness surrounding it.

Closest station: Motomachi-Chukagai

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