Explore Yokohama, Japan
Yokohama was the first port opened up to foreign trade after the opening of Japan in 1854. At the forefront of the Meiji restoration, the first train line in Japan connected Tokyo and Yokohama. However, Yokohama was devastated by the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and again by the fire bombings of World War II, and never really regained its prominence. It remains a maritime city to this day and retains an international flavor.
Yokohama is located only half an hour away from Tokyo, and effectively forms a part of the giant conurbation. You can reach Yokohama by plane and train.
Yokohama does not have its own airport. You can reach Yokohama from Tokyo’s two main airports.
The overwhelming majority of visitors to Yokohama arrive from Tokyo by train. A multitude of train lines connect the two cities at roughly equal prices.
Yokohama is not a very automobile-friendly place. Public transit and walking works best. The Naka Ward office provides a map of Yokohama in English.
Central Yokohama is comparatively compact and the Chinatown/Yamashita Park area is best explored on foot.
Minato Mirai 21 is a futuristic city district built entirely on reclaimed land. Accessible primarily through Minato Mirai Stn, but also frequently accessed via Sakuragicho Stn. Lots of shopping options spread out within it, including:
- Landmark Plaza / Queen’s Square.Giant complex starting from within the Landmark Tower, through to the Pan Pacific Hotel. If you like high-end shopping, then this is the place to check out. Also home to one of the five Pokémon Centers in Japan, wildly popular with kids.
- Pacifico Yokohama.Cafes, restaurants, shops and hotel. Sometimes concerts are held here.
- Yokohama Jackmall / Gento. Right outside Shin-Takashima Station. Two connected open-air malls, small but growing. Family oriented big-box retailers, game centers, and a movie theater.
- Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse “Aka Renga Souko” at the fringe of the MM21 area near Bashamichi Station. Historic port building dating to 1907, recently restored and now home to many boutiques, fashionista or otherwise.
- Yokohama World Porters near Cosmo World and Bashamichi Station. Many shops and restaurants, slightly less expensive shopping mall experience perhaps catering to the tweens, teens and twenty-something you see walking around.
- Diamond Underground Shopping Arcade. This maze-like shopping arcade is located at the west exit of Yokohama station. There are some restaurants, supermarkets, boutiques, bookstores and so on in here. These shops are inexpensive. But depending on shops, this arcade can be a little complicated; so take care and “Don’t lose your way”.
- Kiyouken is a most famous shop of shuumai “Chinese steam meat dumpling”. This is good souvenir and not so expensive.
- Yodobashi Yokohama West Exit. Forget Akihabara, this gigantic “denki-ya-san” branch is more than suffice for all your electronics needs. Also has a selection of duty free items. Be sure to sign up for a point card; you’ll receive a percentage in points depending on the purchase (usually 13%), which can then be applied same as cash on future purchases at any Yodobashi nationwide.
- Yokohama Bay Quarter7-min walk from East Exit, across the river from Sogo, steps away from Sea Bus stop. Up-market stores set in a pet-friendly, open-air and often breezy atmosphere with great views of the waterfront! Food options are on the gourmet side.
- Yokohama Vivre West Exit. Japanese fashion at its best (or worst, depending on your take) for 20- and 30-somethings. Think Shibuya 109 and Parco. There are food courts at GFloor.
- Motomachi is a small but fashionable shopping district located near Chinatown. Get off at Minato Mirai line “Motomachi-Chinatown” station or JR line “Ishikawacho” station.
- Mitsui Outlet Park is an outlet shopping mall located in Kanazawahakkei bay area. You get off at Sea side line “Torihama” Stn. It looks like small bay side town. There are about 220 shops. For example, Adidas, Nike, COACH, EDWIN and many other popular brands.
- Lalaport Yokohama is a big shopping mall in Kamoi. You get off at Yokohama line “Kamoi”. There are about 370 shops, cinemas and restaurants.
- Isezaki Mall Shopping Street. Accessible via Kannai Station. Great for the adventurous few who don’t want to break the bank shopping at Minato Mirai. Anchored by Matsuzakaya department store, with countless mom and pop stores dotting the area. Lively by day, but be wary at night as the area tends to get a bit seedy.
- Cubic Plaza Shin-yokohama. This is a station building at Shin-yokohama Station. There are many types of shops in it. There are 25 restaurants and 9 cafes, and other shops. For example, many shops for clothes, shoes, accessories and bags. Also, a bookstore, some household goods stores, even a beauty-treatment clinic are here. Of course, you can just go shopping or having meals anytime, but it is convenient for passengers for Shinkansento buy lunchboxes or souvenirs quickly.
- Minato Mirai 109.This is a building which has Japanese fashionable things. Just imagine a little Shibuya 109. Also, Starbucks is in here.
- Colette・Mare. This is a big mall which opened March 2010. Many shops, restaurants, bars, theater, lifestyle things and etc. are in. It takes only a minute to go here from Sakuragicho Stn of JR line.
- The Landmark Tower has Japanese, Chinese and French restaurants on the 68th floor, where you can enjoy excellent food and unparalleled views of Yokohama and Tokyo. But the luxury doesn’t come cheap.
Official tourism websites of Yokohama
For more information please visit the official government website: