One of the greatest international sea ports of the Far East, and the second largest city in Japan Yokohama has grown rapidly from a rough-and-tumble, male-dominated port of call, to a modern city with great sightseeing opportunities. Only 30 minutes south of Tokyo by train, Yokohama's broad streets, close concentration of areas of interest, and laid back attitude are a nice change from the claustrophobic capital. More than any city in Japan Yokohama is well-suited for walking tours of its major sights and attractions.
The first thing you're likely to see on your walking tour is Yokohama's Landmark Tower. The tallest building in Japan at 972 ft., the Landmark Tower is the centerpiece of the ultra-modern Minato Mirai 21 shopping and leisure complex. The first 49 floors of the Tower are office and retail space, while the luxurious Yokohama Royal Park Hotel occupies floors 49-70. A combination of modern engineering and ancient design, the Landmark Tower was built with the same theoretical structure of Japanese pagoda temples, which never seem to collapse even in the strongest of temblors. The tower also contains the world"s second fastest elevator, which travels at 1 floor per second, reaching the 60th floor in around 1 minute.
In addition to breathtaking views from the Landmark Tower, Yokohama travel offers up some scrumptious fare. During your Yokohama travel make sure to stop by the Shinyokohama Raumen Museum. This unique museum explains the history of the ramen noodle from its arrival in Japan from China, to the global success of the instant ramen noodle. On the two basement floors, tourists can visit a life-size replica of streets and houses in the Shitamachi district of Tokyo around the year 1958, when the ramen noodle was increasing in popularity. Nine ramen restaurants can be found here, each featuring a ramen dish from a different region of Japan.
After the enlightening (and filling) ramen tour, your next Yokohama travel destination should be the city's bustling Chinatown. Yokohama's port area became the residence of many Chinese traders and merchants when the harbor was opened to international trade in 1859. Today, if you tour Yokohama, make sure you walk through Chinatown's narrow streets, enjoy the sidewalk cuisine and barter for trinkets at one of the open-air markets.
And if you didn't fill up at the ramen museum, stop by Chinatown's food theme park, Daska. Modeled after Shanghai circa 1920, Daska features a three-story building packed with nothing but Chinese Restaurants.
After the sensory overload in Chinatown, Yokohama tourism offers a quieter option in the Yamate Hill area. Close to the harbor, this calm residential area features an Italian Garden and excellent views of the Bay Bridge from Harbor View Park. Yokohama tourism also affords ample opportunity for shopping in the Motomachi Shopping Street near Yamate Hill.
With its proximity to Tokyo, tourists should tour Yokohama when they want a quick change of pace from the frantic capital city.