Thursday, 4 December 2014

12 hours in Yokohama, Japan (What to do in Yokohama?)

Thursday, 4 December 2014
Away from the busy streets in Tokyo, Yokohama proves to be soothing to the mind and soul (I guarantee ;)). I highly recommend a day trip here for those that plan a visit to Tokyo for more then 4-5 days. Easily top one of my favourite places for families and couples alike, let me take you through what you can do in 12h! 
Tokyo has an extensive metro line which makes traveling very convenient (though super pricey imo). Taking the JR line to "Shin-Yokohama" station, our first stop was to visit the Ramen Museum located here!
After several attempts with the selfie stick, a group of handsome Japanese boys offered to take our picture hehehe *blush*
1) Shinyokohama Raumen Museum
From Shin-Yokohama, walk straight after you exit and cross a long bridge to reach the ramen museum (Takes about 10-15mins with several turns). Do ask for directions at the station! They will give you a map that leads you there.
Tickets for the entrance are rather cheap so don't fret about it if you're traveling on a budget ;)
Basement of the Ramen Museum where there are tons of ramen shops featuring the best ramen from all over Japan! Be sure to come here with an empty stomach as there are tons of shops to choose from (We were spoilt for choice seriously)
From the list of shops available from the map, we chose the miso based ramen (craving for something salty that day) and I ordered the small bowl (570yen=~SGD$6) without meat. Boy was I not disappointed. The soup was calling out for me and I finished it before I had half my noodles LOL.
Would recommend you guys to order the small bowl and not be greedy cos you can always go another shop and try another delicious bowl (the choices are endless).

The Yokohama Ramen Museum is a must-visit for all the hungry ramen lovers. Not so much a "museum" one would expect (There wasn't much history or educational stuff around) but just different ramen shops around. However, the whole place is situated in an old Japan environment, which means you'll be stepping into a different era that will blow your mind (great for pictures too).

Address: 2-14-21 Shinyokohama, Kohoku Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 222-0033, Japan
Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm

2) Chinatown
From the Ramen Museum, our next stop was to visit Chinatown, a place Yokohama was pretty famous for (Having a large number of Chinese-Japanese residing here).
Compared to the Chinatown we have in Singapore (being Asian and Chinese myself), I was honestly not too impressed. But for those who are interested in the Chinese culture, you'll be happy to know that there are lots of large bold majestic buildings everywhere that are good for photo taking ;)
And because Japanese make everything about them (especially their food) seem nicer, there were lots to see and eat even for an asian like myself HAHA.
You can find thrift shops, hand painting, name painting and all sorts of Chinese food and handicrafts here! 
We didn't stay that long (snapped some pictures, visited Daiso for a snack) and we left to our next destination. Estimated time needed for Chinatown will probably be about an hour or so.
If you're in a mad rush for time, you can skip this place completely. However, it is not that far from the other "must visit" attractions here in Yokohama so squeezing in a 45 mins walk around Chinatown will be perfect^^
From the Ramen Museum, ask them for directions to Chinatown, they will give you a map (or you can just snap a picture of it).

Address: Yamashitacho, Naka-ku Yokohama City
Opening Hours: 10am to 8pm
Directions: Shinyokohama Station --> Kikuna Station (Change train here) --> Motomachi-chukagai Station (Total 21 mins)

3) Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
We decided to walk from Chinatown towards the Red Brick Warehouse. The walk takes about 20-30 mins (we stopped for pictures) and the view in front of us was just amazing and so worth it.
Yokohama is the second largest city by population followed by Tokyo and it developed rapidly as Japan's prominent port city following the end of Japan's relative isolation in the mid-19th century, and is today one of its major ports (credits: Wikipedia)
So with the help of google maps, we arrived at the Red Brick Warehouse! It is not a mini shopping area inside as well as a boutique hotel at the opposite side. It is near the port so you can see lots of ships/boats around! Bought a pretty Yokohama badge as a souvenir over here hehehe <3
Perfect for all you #ootd people too LOL
The rest of the remaining day was left to explore Yokohama (We followed the direction of the big ferris wheel) and ended up at the theme park! The ferris wheel lights up beautifully at night and there were so many pretty buildings around. Felt a little like Singapore's CBD at night <3

4) Shinagawa
We left Yokohama around 730pm and headed towards Shinagawa station for dinner. 
This is such an amazing sushi joint. Everything on their conveyor belt cost only 100 yen (SGD$1.20) and I really mean everything :O Of course, don't compare their sushi with those you tried at Tsujiki Fish Market (that is another level all together) but for the price, this is A M A Z I N G.
Just take a look at their extensive 100 yen menu. Of course, expect to wait for at least 15-30 mins. We arrived around 8-ish and waited for around 20 mins before we got our seat. When you arrive, you'll see lots of people queueing outside/inside. Proceed inside and ask for a queue number first before queueing! For the whole extensive menu do check out:

Address: Japan, 〒108-0075 Tokyo, Minato, Konan, 2−17−1, 京王品川ビル2F
Opening Hours: 11am-1045pm
Station: Kitashinagawa Station

This is the chronological order of how I planned my day at Yokohama (and Shinagawa) but of course you're free to change it however you want! If Yokohama isn't on your list, you should still visit a Kura Sushi joint if possible. Great for those traveling on a budget.