Things to Do in Yokohama
Tokyo may attract the majority of travelers to Japan thanks to its fun and flashy attractions. But Yokohama is another exciting city with plenty of amazing things to do. You cannot and should not miss it!
Yokohama is actually the second largest Japanese city by population. It is also the primary economic and commercial port of the Greater Tokyo Area. So you can definitely expect a wide variety of brands and businesses from all over the world. But there is more to Yokohama than shopping and stunning, seaside views. Here are the best things to do in Yokohama!
1. Sankeien Garden
Sankeien is a traditional Japanese garden located in southern Yokohama. With a pristine pond, vibrant flowers, and winding trails, Sankeien is one of the most peaceful places in Yokohama.
In addition, the garden features numerous historical buildings. Here you can find a charming daimyo (feudal lord) residence, tea houses, and a pagoda from the old Tomyoji Temple in Kyoto.
Yokohama’s Chinatown is the largest in all of Japan. The neighborhood was once home to Chinese traders that settled there in the late 1800s. However, nowadays there are more businesses than actual residents.
Although you can find many beautiful arches and a majestic temple as well, food is the main draw to the Yokohama Chinatown. You can sample dishes from nearly every corner of China. Seriously, there is no shortage of options. But my favorite dish in Chinatown is the steamed pork buns.
3. Yamate and the Harbor View Park
One of the best things to do in Yokohama is head to the area of Yamate. Once Yokohama opened as an international trade port, Yamate became the residence for many western traders. You can still see some of their old houses here today.
The best place to see these houses is in Harbor View Park. As you might have guessed, the park has excellent views of the harbor. However, you also have the opportunity to explore some preserved homes and tranquil gardens.
4. Minato Mirai
Minato Mirai is the business district of Yokohama. It receives millions of visitors per year thanks to its incredible skyline. Although pretty in the day, Minato Mirai comes alive at night with a splendid array of lights.
Some key attractions to check out are the Cosmo World Amusement Park and Yokohama Landmark Tower. The Yokohama Landmark Tower is the second largest tower in Japan. On a good day, you can see Mt. Fuji from the top.
5. Red Brick Warehouse
Located at the Port of Yokohama, the Red Brick Warehouse is a complex for shopping, dining, and events. There are actually two buildings. The first is a cultural facility that houses events like art exhibits, film festivals, and musical performances.
But if you’re a foodie like me, you’ll have your eyes on Building No. 2. In addition to trendy shops, this building contains a wealth of wonderful restaurants. And given the Red Brick Warehouse’s location near Minato Mirai, it’s a great place to stop for a bite to eat.
6. Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum
Ramen fans rejoice! The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum is one of the coolest things to do in Yokohama. Inside the museum is a replica of the streets of Shitamachi in 1958. Shitamachi was an area of Tokyo known for its ramen. And thanks to the museum, you don’t even have to go to Tokyo to get your fill of ramen.
Aside from the old architecture, you can appreciate a wide selection of ramen restaurants. The four basic types of ramen are shoyu (soy sauce), shio (salt), miso, and tonkotsu (pork bone broth). But the museum’s restaurants offer some new varieties and additions to keep things interesting.
7. Yamashita Park
After the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, rubble was used to fill in a section of land in front of the Port of Yokohama. That 700m stretch of waterfront because Yamashita Park. The public green space is a favorite for couples thanks to its gorgeous, waterfront views.
If you come to Yokohama in spring, you may also get to experience Cherry Blossom Season. Yamashita Park is one of the best places to visit if you want to see all the flowers in bloom.
Window shoppers should put the street of Motomachi on their list of things to do in Yokohama. Not far from Yamate, Motomachi became popular as a hub for western shops. Over time many of the original shops have been phased out. However, the street retains its western vibe and still boasts a great number of shops and cafes.
Zoorasia is one of the newest, largest, and best zoos in all of Japan. The sprawling zoo was founded in 1999 on the principle of harmony with nature. Here they try to use as few fences as possible so animals feel at home instead of trapped in a cage.
Given how big Zoorasia is, you’ll have to travel about an hour from the center of Yokohama to see it. But the zoo makes for a great daytrip. You can see a plethora of animals from all over the world.
10. Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival
If you visit Japan during August, then you will want to visit Yokohama for the Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival. The fireworks display is one of the best in Japan. It’s also a great time to interact with the locals, many of whom will be out in their traditional outfits.
Come by, get yourself a beer and some street food, and enjoy the show!
Other Japanese Adventures
Although there are plenty of amazing things to do in Yokohama, Japan has a long list of incredible places to see. Most notable of Japan’s exciting cities are the capital city of Tokyo and the cultural hotspot of Kyoto. But also consider stopping by the neighboring Kamakura for a look at stunning shrines and temples.