One Day in: Yokohama
A quick train ride from western Tokyo, Yokohama is the next big city in eastern Japan. Shin-Yokohama Station acts as a hub for the shinkansen (bullet trains) in the area, while Chinatown is the tidiest version of one quite likely in the whole world.
You may like to begin with some shopping or get right to your day. Exiting the shopping area, continue down the main street, crossing the river over a large bridge. From this point you will see an amusement park and a beautiful cityscape. Continuing down, the Cup of Noodles Museum will be to your left. If you’re lucky enough to overcome the crowds and get in on a busy day, spend an hour browsing the museum and creating your very own Cup of Noodles snack.
Straight across from the museum is the World Porters building, home to independent shops and Hawaiian Town, a collection of stores and restaurants specializing in Hawaiian goods. Crossing through the mall, you will reach Aka Renga, the red brick warehouses which house restaurants, shops and special exhibits. In the square between the two brick buildings, events are often held and an ice rink is placed in winter.
From Aka Renga, continue along the bayside path, across a bridge, to Elephant Park. Strolling through the park, you will reach Osanbashi, a wooden pier with unique architecture which can be seen in the distance.
Feel free to stop for lunch in the way or continue on to Chinatown, a 10-15 minute stroll away. From Chinatown, continue to Motomachi shopping area and stop in the popular Hello Kitty Cafe.
Return toward Minato Mirai via Yamashita Park, located along the bay. From there you can retrace your steps past Osanbashi, Elephant Park and Aka Renga to return to the Minato Mirai area. If the sun has yet to set, visit Landmark Tower at the far end of the shopping area for an incredible sunset view. Stay for a drink to see the city sparkle at night. Then head down to the restaurants located underneath the shopping stretch.
If you still have energy after a long day, try a local jazz bar for some entertainment. The relaxed neighbor of Tokyo, Yokohama guarantees a good time.