Subscribe to RSS feed subscribe by email twitter stumble this page  
Great Escapes Yokohama
(Entered Apr. 02, 2007)
  Recent Great Escapes:

After the close confines, noise, and stress of Tokyo, Yokohama makes for a pleasant change. Situated less than an hour away by train from Tokyo Station, it's hard to tell you're in another city since there's no break in buildings, stores, houses, construction, etc. between the two cities. Yokohama is actually the 2nd biggest city in Japan, not Osaka, which usually overshadows Yokohama as Japan's 'other' big city. Once you're in Yokohama though, you'll start to notice the differences. Things don't seem to move quite as fast here. Generally there seems to be more space and less stress.
One of the biggest draws of Yokohama is probably Chinatown, which is where Kumi and I started our day. Here we are at the entrance among a milling throng of people. To be honest though, for a city of millions, Yokohama's Chinatown is actually kind of small and not really that impressive. The restaurants have a price range between expensive and really expensive. As for food quality, well I've only been to a few of them but I found that the portions are just ok tasting, but not spectacular.


More fun is to buy some Chinese sweets from the some of the stalls which line the streets. The most popular snack is nikuman, which some of you might remember from my slightly uncharitable review. For me though, the ones in Chinatown aren't much better than the Japanese versions in the convenient store. Much better are the goma dango, which are little pastry balls covered in sesame seeds. Kumi and I bought some of those after lunch as well as two bubble teas, then headed to Yamashita Park. Here I am sampling a goma dango in, as Jason would say, my favourite pose (with food in my mouth).


Yamashita Park, although nice, isn't really a park in my mind, more like a long stretch of sidewalk with a few trees thrown in. Still, it borders the ocean and the view is great. Here you can see the futuristic skyline of downtown Yokohama. On the left is the Landmark Tower, the tallest building in Japan, which is a combination hotel, office building and department store. To the right of the center you can see another well known building, the curved InterContinental Hotel, which is without a doubt my favourite building in the world.


When I saw it for the first time, I immediately dubbed it the 'shark fin hotel'. However many people, including Kumi, see a half moon shape instead. Moon shape? Can't understand it, it's obviously a shark fin.


The shark is getting closer!! Swim for your lives!


On the other side of Yamashita park are the 'Aka Renga Souko' which means 'Red Brick Warehouses'. Long ago, these were just what the name implies, harbour warehouses for storing stuff. They've been given a makeover however, and are now full of shops, restaurants (plus a tiny little museum showing how they used to look), etc. Girls will have a good time window shopping of course, but prices are sky high and in the end, it's just another department store. They look nice on the outside though.


Yokohama also has a small amusement park with a couple of rollercoasters (you can see the Ferris Wheel in picture #4) which we gave a miss. We headed back to the mayhem of Tokyo after strolling through the absolutely massive department store in the Landmark Tower. We must have walked 10 miles in total, but all in all it was a good day! Thanks Yokohama.




Hakodate - Day 3
Hakodate - Day 2
Hakodate - Day 1
Cherry Picking
Hiking Mt. Kumotori
Nikko - Winter Hike
New Year's Sunrise 2010
Fuji Five Lakes Winter Hike
Hiking Mt. Jinba
Hiking Oze National Park
The Grapes Shall be Plucked
Sapporo - Down on the Farm
Our Man in Yakushima
Hiking Mt. Kawanori
Hiking Mt. Oyama
Hiking Mitousan
All Entries

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009
Tripbase Blog Awards 2009


Recent Comments...

Recent Artwork:
winter beauty

Blogroll - Friends:
Michael John Grist
Comicrocosmos by SZLIN
Jason Collin Photography
Philbuchan's Weblog
The Itinerant American

Blogroll - Japan:
Alive in Kyoto
An Englishman in Osaka
As I See Japan... From L.A.
Gaijin Tonic
i, cjw
Japan Probe
Japan Sugoi
Tokyo Times

Blogroll - Elsewhere:
Buy Absinthe
The Daily Kimchi
Travel Photo Blogging

Great Art Sites:
Red Bubble
Deviant Art



Blender Poll  
  Mike's Facts
sheep on the hunt