Monday, October 21, 2019

Yokohama, A Day Trip Away From Tokyo

Tokyo is a conveniently accessible city. And that is why it's a good idea to go sightseeing in nearby prefectures. Yokohama is one of the city that most visitors love to squeeze in for a short and brief trip away from Tokyo.


Being the second largest largest city in Japan, Yokohama is reachable under JR train in less than an hour from central Tokyo. For more than 200 years of isolation, this historical port city opened it's doors to the world in 1859. The city has since become famous for its fusion of both eastern and western cultures and for its stunning ocean views.  

I have travelled to Yokohama twice - the first trip was just a day trip from Tokyo and as for the second trip, I decided to stay for a night in order to make the most out of Yokohama's night view. So for this post, I gathered my experiences and compile everything into this brief and basic travel guide, including the way to get to Yokohama from Tokyo, places of interest and where to stay.

HOW TO REACH YOKOHAMA FROM TOKYO
From Tokyo Station:
1) JR Tokaido Line - the fastest connection between Tokyo Station and Yokohama Station (25 minutes; 480 yen)
2) JR Yokosuka Line - slightly slower that the Tokaido line (30 minutes; 480 yen)
3) JR Keihin-Tohoku Line - slower, local train connection (40 minutes; 480 yen)
[You can use any of these three JR lines if you are departing from Shinawaga Station. It will be more faster and cheaper]

From Shibuya Station:
1) Tokyu Toyoko Line - cheapest way to travel between these two cities. Make sure to board a limited express or express train, as they are more faster than the local trains though the fare is the same (25 minutes; 280 yen)

From Shinjuku Station:
1) JR Shonan Shinjuku Line - direct connection between Yokohama and Shinjuku, Shibuya and Ikebukuro in central of Tokyo (30 minutes; 570 yen)

TRAVEL TIPS: Besides using Google Map, I do use Hyperdia to search for more accurate timetable and route in Japan. 

Yokohama JR Station

GET AROUND IN YOKOHAMA
There are two means of transportation you can rely on when exploring Yokohama; by bus and train. 
By Bus
Akai Kutsu Bus is a sightseeing bus around Minato Mirai 21 District, Chinatown, Red Brick Warehouse and Motomachi. One way costs 100 yen and 1-Day Pass costs 500 yen.

By Train
  • Minato Mirai Subway Line is an ideal method of accessing the main tourist attractions between central Yokohama and the Shinkansen station. 
  • If you have a JR Pass, you can travel on JR Negishi Line to Chinatown and Minato Mirai area. 
Yokohama Akai Kutsu Bus
Akai Kutsu Bus, the city tour bus of Yokohama

PLACES OF INTEREST
Yokohama might seems small, but actually it is packed full of interesting places to visit and things to do. So now,  here comes the ultimate question for the first-time visitors who would like to a day trip there, which are the top tourist attractions must go and see? For this post, I listed down the attractions I managed to cover when I was in Yokohama: 

1) Yokohama Cup Noodles Museum
There are two cup noodles museums in Japan; the first is the Momofuko Ando Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka and second would be this in Yokohama. Since I never been the one in Osaka, so this will definitely in my top list to visit when going Yokohama. 
Yokohama Cup Noodles Museum

Not only that you can learn the history and development of how these instant ramen noodles produced in a styrofoam cup but Yokohama Cup Noodles Museum is also a museum creates fun and encourages creativity using a combination of fanciful exhibits and hands of workshops. My Cupnoodles Factory is the most popular one where you can create and design your custom cup of instant ramen noodles by mixing and matching a variety of soup flavours as well as toppings. Before begin this workshop, don't forget to purchase an empty cup from the vending machine for the price of 300 yen each.  
Yokohama Cup Noodles Museum 1

Yokohama Cup Noodles Museum 2
How To Get To Yokohama Cup Noodles Museum
By train:
10 minutes walk from Minato Mirai Station on the Minato Mirai Line; or Sakuragicho Station on the JR Negishi Line or Yokohama Subway Line.

By Bus:
The Akai Kutsu Loop Bus connects Sakuragicho Station with the nearby Landmark Plaza, the Pacifico Convention Center, World Porters (across from the Cup Noodles Museum), the Red Brick Warehouse and other sights in central Yokohama.

Opening Hours: 10am to 6pm (Last entry is 5pm). Closed on every Tuesday
Admission Fee: 500 yen (Workshops and activities cost extra)

2) Yokohama Chinatown 
Claimed to be the largest Chinatown in Japan, this is where you can spot a large number of Chinese restaurants and stores in the narrow and colourful streets of Chinatown. Just like any other Chinatowns, you'll know you have arrive Chinatown when you see a tall and huge eye-catching Chinese-styled red gate stands at the entrance of it. 

Yokohama Chinatown 1

Besides the four Chinese-styled red gates at the entrances, there is a multi-coloured temple in the center of Chinatown. Built by the Chinese residents in 1873, Kanteibyo is a temple dedicated to the Chinese god praying for good business and prosperity. I guess, Chinese and prosperity forever can't be separated, right? 
  
Yokohama Chinatown 2

The main attraction of Yokohama Chinatown is the cuisine offered at its various restaurants and food stands with plenty of options and flavours to keep your hungry tummy satisfied. Among the popular favourites would be the steamed buns (manju), ramen noodles and wide array of other Chinese dishes, many of which have been Japanised to a certain degree. And do you that Yokohama's Chinatown considered to be the home of Japan's earliest ramen shops due to the Chinese immigrants entered the country via Yokohama in the 19th century? 

Yokohama Chinatown 3
How To Get To Yokohama Chinatown 
By train:
Motomachi-Chukagai Station on the Minato Mirai Line.

By Bus:
The Akai Kutsu Loop Bus connects Sakuragicho Station with the nearby Landmark Plaza, the Pacifico Convention Center, World Porters (across from the Cup Noodles Museum), the Red Brick Warehouse and other sights in central Yokohama.

Opening Hours: 10am to 6pm (Last entry is 5pm). Closed on every Tuesday
Admission Fee: 500 yen (Workshops and activities cost extra)


3) Red Brick Warehouse (Aka-Renga Soko)
Formally the Customs Inspection House for Yokohama Bay's shipping activities in the early 1920's, these handsome red brick buildings have been converted into one of Yokohama's famous landmark for family or dating spots. 
Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse 1

Inside this chilled vibe of the Red Brick Warehouse houses a number of artsy and unique shops featuring creative items, handmade jewelry, gorgeous dishware and ornaments, overseas imported products and even a large selection of restaurants. 
Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse 2

The complex also served a wonderful event space. Two of the most famous recurring events held are Oktoberfest in autumn and Art Rink, an outdoor ice skating rink during the winter months. Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse 3
How To Get To Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
By train:
The closest stations are Bashamichi and Nihon-Odori on the Minato Mirai Line. If you have a JR Pass, you can stop Sakuragicho Station on the JR Negishi Line and walk for less than 15 minutes. 

By Bus:

The Akai Kutsu Loop Bus connects Sakuragicho Station with the nearby Landmark Plaza, the Pacifico Convention Center, World Porters (across from the Cup Noodles Museum), the Red Brick Warehouse and other sights in central Yokohama.

Opening Hours: 11am to 8pm


4) Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum
We visited another second ramen museum in the city and this Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, it's the first food-themed amusement park in the world opened in 1994. This "so-called" museum is not only showcases the history behind of ramen noodles in Japan, but it is also one-stop place to enjoy the flavours of the national dish from renowned shops across Japan without have to travelling further
Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum 1

Walking through the basement floor, you will feel like you are being transported back to old time of Japan where the floor features a small street-scape replication of Tokyo in 1958, the year instant noodle were invented.
Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum

Making your way through a narrow alleyways and you will feeling nostalgic, reminiscing the old good days with all these old-fashioned candy shop and cinema, the old-school television and refrigerator once used by your grandparents and more. 
Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum 3

One you done with exploring the whole floor, now it's time for sampling the ramen. The are nine distinctive ramen restaurants can be found here and each featuring a ramen dish from a different region of Japan. Wish to try multiple ramen dishes but worry your stomach can't fit in all, don't worry cause every store offers "mini ramen" which serves in small portion of the feature fish. Tickets for the meals can be purchased at the vending machines in front of each store. 
Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum 2
Ryu Shanghai Honten - One of a kind spicy hot miso ramen.

How To Get To Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum 
By train:
Less than 10 minutes walk from Shin-Yokohama Station on JR Yokohama Line or Yokohama Municipal Subway. 

Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm
Admission Fee: 380 yen (Ramen cost extra)


5) Minato Mirai 21 District 
Don't leave Yokohama without stopping Minato Mirai 21, a seaside urban area in central Yokohama whose names indicates "harbour of the future". It is blessed with an excellent location along the water and has wide array of attractions such as shopping malls, hotels, amusement park, a relaxation center with hot springs baths, museums and park space. 
Yokohama Minato Mirai 21 1

The most recognisable freature of the island is the Cosmo World Ferries Wheel, which displays the time and was for a period the largest clock in the world.
Yokohama Minato Mirai 21 2

Located along the waterfront, the buildings like the Landmark Tower, Queen's Tower and Cosmo World Ferris Wheel form the distinctive skyline of Yokohama. This is the main reason why I tend to stay until night time in Yokohama in order to enjoy and witness this magnificent and marvellous night view. 
Yokohama Minato Mirai 21 3
How To Get To Minato Mirai 
By train:
Minato Mirai Station on the Minato Mirai Line located in the basement of Queen's Square. 
It is also easily accessed from Sakuraguchi Station on the JR Negishi Line and Yokohama Subway Line.

By Bus:
The Akai Kutsu Loop Bus connects Sakuragicho Station with the nearby Landmark Plaza, the Pacifico Convention Center, World Porters (across from the Cup Noodles Museum), the Red Brick Warehouse and other sights in central Yokohama. 


WHERE WE STAYED IN YOKOHAMA
For my second visit to Yokohama, I had planned earlier that I would love to stay a night here before heading back to Tokyo. And the ideal location for me would be probably somewhere nearby Minato Mirai and Yokohama port. This is where we came across Hotel Edit Yokohama
Yokohama Hotel Edit 1

The hotel seems to be pretty new to me by looking at its reception and lounge area. And out of all the hotel areas, my favourite part would be the lounge with its modern, warm and cozy atmosphere. Feeling so Scandinavian with its white walls matching with bright and clean backdrop. 
Yokohama Hotel Edit 2

Room wise, it's quite normal to get a compact room size just like any other hotel rooms in Japan. The room comes with almost everything we need; a mini fridge, a coffee and tea making facilities, TV and a great range of toiletries with every bits and pieces. There is nothing we could complain about cause they even arrange a room for us with overlooking the Ooka River. 
Yokohama Hotel Edit 3
Hotel Edit Yokohama
Room Rate: RM309 for a double (non-smoking) room per night
Nearest Station: 5 minutes walk from Bashamichi Station and Sakuraguchi Station

Yokohama
Sayonara Yokohama! Till then, see you again next time...


My Other Posts Of Tokyo:

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