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Fun Guide: Top 10 Things To Do In Yokohama Japan!

Fun Guide: Top 10 Things To Do In Yokohama Japan!

Date published: 15 February 2020
Last updated: 27 October 2020

Yokohama Japan is a gorgeous port city that is extremely close to Tokyo, yet it seems to get overlooked by many tourists. So you can enjoy the best aspects of this cool city, we have listed up some of the top things to do in Yokohama to make your trip a real success!

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Visit Sankeien Garden, a traditional Japanese garden!
  2. 2. Take in the views at Yamate and Yokohama Foreign Cemetery
  3. 3. Go Window Shopping in Yokohama Motomachi
  4. 4. Explore Yokohama’s Famous Chinatown
  5. 5. Enjoy the romantic Yokohama Landmark Tower and Minato Mirai
  6. 6. See the sights a different way: Yokohama Boat Cruise
  7. 7. Slurp Noodles at Shin-Yokohama’s Ramen Museum
  8. 8. Visit Zoorasia for Some Animal Fun
  9. 9. Experience the excitement: Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival
  10. 10. Catch a Yokohama DeNA Baystars Baseball Game
  11. Related Articles

How to get to Yokohama City
A mere 30 minutes from Tokyo, it is extremely convenient to get to and makes a fantastic day trip. It is a destination that is included in the JR Rail Pass, the JR Tokyo Wide Pass, and even the N’EX Round Trip Ticket!

Why is Yokohama Japan so unique?
Although we can demonstrate how easy it is to get to Yokohama, you might be wondering, “but what is Yokohama City?” Originally it was a small fishing village, but when Japan reopened to the world after a period of national isolation, it became one of the first ports which allowed foreign trade.

From these humble beginnings, it quickly grew with foreigners settling in the Kannai area. For this reason, Yokohama became the first place in Japan for Western fashion to become popular, for an English language newspaper to be published, and more. In recent decades the population has grown to nearly 4 million, and even today, it remains a bustling port – the second busiest in Japan and in the top fifty largest seaports in the world.

1. Visit Sankeien Garden, a traditional Japanese garden!

1. Visit Sankeien Garden, a traditional Japanese garden!
Sankeien Garden - A real traditional Japanese garden

Opened to the public for the first time in 1906, Sankeien Garden was designed as a traditional Japanese garden. The expansive grounds include 17 old buildings that were moved and reconstructed from places such as Kyoto and Kamakura.

As just a traditional Japanese garden, it is beautiful in itself, but the fact that as you wander through it that you can come across impressive historical structures is awe-inspiring. Discover the Shunsoro, or tea room, which is believed to have been built for Oda Nobunaga’s brother Oda Urakusai, or the Gekkaden, or guest house, which was built in 1603 for none other than Tokugawa Ieyasu.

2. Take in the views at Yamate and Yokohama Foreign Cemetery

2. Take in the views at Yamate and Yokohama Foreign Cemetery
Old western homes can be seen in Harbor View Park, Yamate

When Yokohama opened as an international trade port foreigners started settling in the area of Yamate, not many of their houses survived until today.

But in Harbor View Park you can see some of the oldest ones. This park also has a lovely view of the harbor, which means you can experience the history of the houses, which are open to the public, and take some great pictures of Yokohama City.

Not far from here you can also visit Yokohama Foreign Cemetery where a number of famous westerners were buried; including one of the first westerners to be buried here in 1854 after Japan ended its national isolation.

3. Go Window Shopping in Yokohama Motomachi

3. Go Window Shopping in Yokohama Motomachi
Shops along Motomachi's main street

The street of Motomachi, which is close to Yamate, was a shopping street for the foreigners living in Yokohama. Today it hasn’t retained those original Western shops, but it still has a Western feel. It is really delightful to walk around, browse the shops and cafes, and perhaps try to recapture how those foreigners felt visiting Japan for the first time 150 years ago. It's among the any list of things to do in Yokohama.

  • Yokohama Motomachi Shopping Street
    横浜元町ショッピングストリート
    • Address 231-0861 神奈川県横浜市中区元町
    • Nearest Station Motomachi-Chukagai Station
      ・ Minatomirai Line
      Exit 5
      2 minutes on foot

4. Explore Yokohama’s Famous Chinatown

4. Explore Yokohama’s Famous Chinatown
One of the streets in Yokohama’s Chinatown – home to over 500 restaurants

Japan’s reopening to the world also attracted many Chinese people to Yokohama City who started settling in the area of Chinatown in the 1850s.

Today, Yokohama Chinatown it is famous for the more than 500 restaurants found within the four gates which make up the entrances to Chinatown, at the center of which Kanteibyo, a temple built in 1873 and dedicated to business and prosperity, can be found.

You can choose anything from going into one of the many restaurants offering all you can eat, to simply checking the market stalls and what they have to offer. It is a real culinary treat!

5. Enjoy the romantic Yokohama Landmark Tower and Minato Mirai

5. Enjoy the romantic Yokohama Landmark Tower and Minato Mirai
There is nothing quite like the night view of Minato Mirai

The business district of Minato Mirai is very photogenic and receives tens of millions of visitors every year. In particular, the skyline is beautiful, and there is any number of places from which you can really appreciate it including but not limited to the Ferris wheel in Cosmo World Amusement Park, Kishamichi Promenade, and Yokohama Landmark Tower.

One of the joys of this area is that it is very pretty during the day, but absolutely gorgeous at night, and there is no better place to appreciate the view than from the observation deck of the Yokohama Landmark Tower. It is the second tallest building in Japan and on a very clear day it is even possible to see Mount Fuji.

  • Yokohama Minato Mirai 21
    • Address Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa, Nishi-ku, 220-0012
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Yokohama Station (JR Tokaido Main Line / JR Yokosuka Line / JR Shonan Shinjuku Line / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Negishi Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Line 3 (Yokohama Blue Line) / Tokyu Toyoko Line / Minatomirai Line / Keikyu Main Line / Sagami Railway Main Line)

6. See the sights a different way: Yokohama Boat Cruise

6. See the sights a different way: Yokohama Boat Cruise

It will come as no surprise, Yokohama Japan, being a port and all, that another very popular attraction is to take a cruise. While there are different cruise operators, one of the most accessible is directly in front of Yamashita Park. There are different kinds of cruises, including short ones and dinner ones, as well as day cruises and night cruises. Regardless of which one you choose, you will be able to enjoy the famous skyline of Yokohama!

7. Slurp Noodles at Shin-Yokohama’s Ramen Museum

7. Slurp Noodles at Shin-Yokohama’s Ramen Museum
A replica of an old district of Tokyo in the Ramen Museum

Another culinary delight of Yokohama Japan which is not to be missed is the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, which should be on any list of things to do in Yokohama. In recent years ramen has spread in popularity across the world. And in a way, this museum almost anticipated this as it only opened just over twenty years ago.

Inside the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, there is an unbelievable replica of the streets and buildings of Shitamachi in 1958. This old area of Tokyo was popular for ramen, and you can believe you have been almost transported back in time as you step into one of the restaurants for a delicious bowl of ramen.

8. Visit Zoorasia for Some Animal Fun

8. Visit Zoorasia for Some Animal Fun
Just one of the many animals at Zoorasia

Zoorasia is one of the largest zoos in Japan with seven ecological areas, and lots of animals waiting to be seen ranging from cute little Red Pandas to Indian Elephants. In particular, it is a great place for families, but with restaurants and regular events, it can be enjoyed by anyone.

As it is quite big and it isn’t so close to the center of Yokohama Japan (about 1 hour away), it is more recommended for a day out.

9. Experience the excitement: Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival

9. Experience the excitement: Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival
Fireworks in Yokohama every August!

If you happen to be in Japan during August then you absolutely have to see the Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival, it is one of the largest fireworks displays in Japan, as well as a great opportunity to see Japanese people wearing traditional clothes, the yukata, and enjoying all kinds of street foods.

The fireworks are really massive and impressive, and there is nothing better than to be eating some yakitori from a stall along with a beer and enjoy the display.

10. Catch a Yokohama DeNA Baystars Baseball Game

10. Catch a Yokohama DeNA Baystars Baseball Game
Mix with the locals at a Yokohama DeNA Baystars baseball game!

This is perhaps a more unusual recommendation of things to do in Yokohama, as many tourists don’t think about seeing baseball when they visit Japan. But it is really fun to go see a game. Baseball has been played in Japan for over a hundred years and is today a professional sport.

The Yokohama DeNA Baystars are based at Yokohama Stadium which has a capacity of 30,000 people and is one of only three stadiums that is based on an American version of a baseball stadium.

For anyone who has never seen a baseball game in Japan, and for anyone who does enjoy a good baseball game, this one of the must-dos for Yokohama.

Yokohama Japan is the most convenient city to visit for anyone arriving in Tokyo, along with excellent transportation links, including fast trains and great value passes, it has a lot to offer for tourists and locals alike.

In terms of age, Yokohama is a relatively new city. Still, it celebrates the history it has, for example, with the Sankeien Garden, alongside its international status with famous districts like Chinatown, and finally, the views of a beautiful modern landscape, as can be seen in Minato Mirai.

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*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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