Of Yokohama’s many eclectic neighbourhoods, the waterfront region of Minato Mirai 21 has become the modern heart of the city with its lively atmosphere and numerous attractions. The highlight of this regenerated shipyard is the Landmark Tower, a 112-metre skyscraper that was Japan’s tallest building until losing its crown to Abeno Harukas in 2014. The 69th-floor observation deck is a great place to get an overview of the city and port – and on a beautifully crisp, clear day, you can see the Tokyo skyline to the northeast and Mount Fuji to the west.
Once you’ve descended from the tower, wander along the cherry tree-lined Kisha-michi Promenade or visit one of the area’s handful of museums, such as the Yokohama Port Museum or the Museum of Art. On the adjacent Shinko Island you’ll find the Cosmo World amusement park. Nearby Yokohama Akarenga Sōko is a dining, shopping and entertainment centre housed in two brick-built warehouses. Back on the mainland, relax in one of the two parks – Kamonyama-koen and Yamashita. The latter has a wonderful setting overlooking the water and the classic ocean liner Hikawa Maru. Visit in spring to see these charming green spaces at their best as cherry trees blossom.
A few blocks west from Yamashita Park is Chikagai, the country’s largest Chinatown, where foodies can lose hours perusing hundreds of restaurants and food stalls that serve traditional Chinese dishes with a Japanese twist. Be sure to visit the Kanteibyo shrine, dedicated to Emperor Guan, and take in the vibrant sights and sounds of the Chinese New Year celebrations if you’re visiting in early February.
To the north of Minato Mirai 21, Yokohama Station is a commercial region centred on the city’s main train station where you’ll find plenty of shops and department stores – as well as the unique Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, which chronicles the Chinese and Japanese dish that’s taken the world by storm over the past decade or so. You’d think one museum dedicated to noodles was enough, but Yokohama has two; back down on Shinko Island, the interactive Cup Noodles Museum showcases the history of the instant noodle. Learn everything you never knew you needed to know about one of the world’s most popular convenience foods before making your own cup noodle to take away.
Travel south from Minato Mirai 21 and you’ll reach the city’s historic area, where foreign tradesmen settled in the latter half of the 19th Century following the end of Japan’s isolation from the rest of the world. The Yamate region features just a couple of buildings that have survived earthquakes and the destruction of World War II, such the 1909-built Yamate Museum. The rest of the western-style architecture dates from the 1930s and buildings of note include the British House, the Diplomat’s House and a selection of houses located on the Yamate Bluffs. Again, there are a couple of parks that are worth spending a few hours exploring – Harbour View Park, which as the name suggests offers panoramic views over the water; and Yamate Park, Japan’s first western park.
Yokohama is served by Tokyo’s two main airfields – Haneda Airport and Narita International Airport – plus a heliport a little closer to the city itself. Simply contact one of our team and we can arrange everything you need to charter a private jet to Yokohama.