Luckily there are signs in English and there is an information center on the main floor in case you get lost and need directions. I always see Gaijin (foreigners) at this station so don’t panic if it is a little overwhelming.
In the Motomachi Yamate area you will find many museums, a foreign cemetery, Yamate Italian Garden, Harbor view Park and Yamate Park (western style buildings). This area was where foreigners lived after Commodore Perry began trading with Japan in the 1850’s. There is a large Tennis club with a museum.
In the Port area is Marine tower with a very nice observatory, a doll museum, history museum, silk museum, the international passenger terminal (great for a night view of the city lights.), Yamashita Park, and across the street is a western style pancake house that usually has a long waiting line whenever we are at the park.
In the Minato Mirai 21 area is Landmark Tower (196 Meters high with an observatory), adjacent is Queens Square Building, both offer upscale shopping and dining, Yokohama Port Museum, Museum of Art, Cosmo World (with the world’s largest Ferris wheel, 112 meters high holding 480 passengers), historical Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse shopping center (try the locally brewed Yokohama beer), Japan Coast Guard Museum, World Porters Shopping center, several theaters and much more.
Yokohama’s Chinatown is Japan’s largest and was settled over 150 years ago. There are over 500 shops and restaurants. There are four colorful gates when entering the area and additional gates inside. The food is why there are so many visitors, Miwa and I usually order knife cut spicy noodles and then take home Shoronpo (steamed buns) from one of the many street vendors. This past February we celebrated the Chinese New Year watching the ceremony of the dragons going into each store praying for good sales.
There are many other sites in the city including the Bay Stars major league baseball stadium, Nissan stadium where the final 2002 world cup was played, the Ramen museum, Cup of Noodle Museum, Aquarium, Zoo, Kirin Beer Garden, Sea Paradise, and so many parks that I cannot name them all.
Japan is the only country besides France where it’s cuisine is listed as a UNESCO world cultural heritage.
In Yokohama you can find all the varieties of Japanese food as well as most from around the world. Come hungry and make sure you have enough time to try a little of everything. The presentation of food in Japan is an art form. Every time I walk through the basement of our local department store, I wonder if they all have a culinary PHD. Because of its appearance I have tried food that otherwise I would never touch.
To ensure a healthy lifestyle the portions of food served is about half of that in the U.S. My wife keeps the balance in our diet so that we never over do on particular food item. Plus we are very active. A minimum of three times a week we walk or hike for over an hour.
We visited 10 area parks that have various floral festivals throughout the year.
Mitsuike Park is one of the top 100 areas in Japan for viewing the Cherry Blossoms. The park also has a very a nice Korean Garden.
Popular Sankeien Gardens is near the U.S Military housing area.
Oike Park is a 45 minutes walk from our home. The trails are from easy to medium and good for the heart.. Since this one is close to home we have visited it several times throughout the year.
Maioka Park is one station from our house with very nice hiking trails. On our last visit cherry blossom trees were in bloom and we were rewarded with beautiful colors.
Because the train system is so efficient and clean we do not need an automobile. The station is only a three minutes walk. There are many convenience stores, restaurants, etc. at our doorstep. There is also an excellent hospital only two blocks away.
There is so much more to see in this city that it will take a few years to cover it all.