EVERYONE KNOWS TOKYO, OSAKA, HOKKAIDO, BUT MAYBE NOT YOKOHAMA?
More often than not, tourists prefer the famous cities of Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, when visiting The Land of the Rising Sun.
Before we begin to fully embrace Summer 2015, let me take you back to our December Winter trip to Japan for some cool to bring with you.
Now I would probably do the same if not for some friends who live in the Port City of Japan which is Yokohama.
So Yokohama is a port city reminds me of San Francisco, which is the bay area of California. If one takes a private car, expect that you’d be there in about an hour to an hour and a half if coming from Tokyo.
In other previous posts I talked about my Yokohama explorations through the Sankein Garden and the Ramen Museum. I include the links here so if you would like to make an itinerary revolving around this pretty sea-ty, you may want consider them all together. Check out these posts: I <3 Japan and Much Ado About Macha.
Things to do by the Bay…
My in-laws got really good rates at the Intercontinetal in the Minato Mirai area. This is actually an amazing location, as it provides a “square-full of activities.” To walk around the harbor alone is a treat, day or night.
In the evening, one cannot refuse staring at the gigantic Cosmo World Ferris Wheel, which I must say, looks pretty awesome from almost every angle!
Around the square you will get a view of the wheel and to walk its corners already gives you so much to cover. Cup Noodles Museum is just by its edge, there are great malls, and more to do in Minato Mirai over here.
The Red Brick Warehouse
I guess it’s pretty obvious that eating is not to be missed when in Japan. (Japanese food is always a hit ANYWHERE in the world, is it not?) At Minato Mirai’s malls, you actually have a load of choices- from World Porters, Queens Square, with the Akarenga Soko as the one I have enjoyed the most!
Akarenga Soko or The Red Brick Warehouse is actually a warehouse in brick red, used for port services back then but now converted to a place of sorts- for restaurants, retail, and even events. However, what I like about it the most is the way it is dressed per season. When we were there, they set up heat lamps outside, with covered tables and benches for dining al fresco, Christmas lights guided almost everything your eyes will fall on, and they even had a skating rink right in front of what seems to be a church. They say the walkway is lined up with flowers in Spring and that is probably what you’ll see should you visit it around this time. 🙂
Out of Minato Mirai, but near enough…
I particularly know this “mall” or more like an alley of shops because our friends go to an office nearby. My trip to Yokohama back in 2013 led me to spend a day here while waiting for them to be out of work, and I cannot not share what I found in this place! Haha, for girlies who wanna shop I will let you in on a secret! This alley has lots of cheap finds. I bought my KITKAT in every flavor for souvenirs from around here and they turned out cheaper than big grocery stores, and for us fans of DAISO, you will also find a 4-floor-100-Yen store right above Uniqlo!
Stores to Watch Out For
Now these stores may just be all over Japan but I encountered them both in Yokohama and I think that people like me shouldn’t miss it.
Flying Tiger is a Danish shop with lots of different items, big and small, for home or personal use- it actually has a wide range of objects and there is always something for everybody! The price points are also great for one on a budget and also for those who have more to spend. BUT IT’S A CUTE SHOP AND YOU SHOULDN’T MISS IT ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE A QUIRKY PERSONALITY LIKE WANTING RAINBOW COLORS FOR YOUR UMBRELLA. 😀
GU. Okay there’s Muji, then there’s Uniqlo, then there is GU. Locals reco-ed this shop to us, who are fans of Muji! And though I wasn’t able to get any from the brand on my last trip, I know this to be true because I was able to buy shorts and pants for only about 200-300 Pesos a pair when I went to shop in 2013.
Out of the Bay
If feeling explorative, then go to Disney Sea and Tsukiji Market, which shouldn’t be hard to reach by train.
I’ve been to Japan so many times already and yet I still find so many new things to discover with every visit. Which only makes me so excited for our next time. Until then…I cannot wait!