Monday, December 18

Travel Destinations: Yokohama, Japan

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Travel Destinations: Yokohama, Japan

Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan after Tokyo and is often overshadowed by the capital; however, this wonderful vibrant city shines on its own. Less chaotic than Tokyo, this city is a pleasant day trip from the hustle and bustle of the capital.

There are so many sights to see here. Start your trip to Yokohama by visiting Minato Mirai 21. This is a new development (the 21 means 21stcentury) is north of the Sakuragi-cho Station and one of the many Japanese themes of ‘the future’. The new Landmark Tower is the highlight here; it is the tallest building in Japan and has the world’s fastest lift. The observatory is on the 69thfloor and offers spectacular surrounding views.

Opposite the Landmark Tower, you will find the Yokohama Maritime Museum and the Nippon Maru sailing shop. Not far from the Martime Museum you will come across Cosmo World; this is a wonderful amusement park. The best part in here is the Cosmo Clock Ferris Wheel which is the highest in the world at 105m.

Go northeast of Landmark Tower and you find the Pacifico Yokohama complex, which holds the National Convention Hall. The Yokohama Museum of Art is located behind the Landmark Tower and showcases some wonderful pieces of modern art. You will also find the Mitsubishi Minato Mirai Industrial Museum nearby.

In the Yamashita-Koen Area, you will find the traditional sightseeing area. Alongside the park is Hikawa Maru, a beautiful and luxury passenger liner that entertains the kids; the Silk Museum which traces the history of silk, its production and the industry. It has some exquisite displays of kimono and obi to gaze upon. If you are still searching for history, try the nearby Yokohama Archieves of History which trace the history of Yokohama.

Not far from the harbour area you will find another piece of the Orient – Chinatown, known as Chukagi in Japanese. Tourist flock here to admire the Chinese facades and sample the wonderful food here. You can see the eight storey high Yokohama Daisekai which is a kind of Chinese amusement park modelled on 1920s and 30s Shanghai.

Sankei-en is one of the most popular and beautiful places to visit in Yokohama. These landscape gardens were first opened to the public in 1906 and are a haven of pools, twisting paths, 17thcentury architecture, several tea-ceremony houses and a pagoda which is 500 years old. These gardens are the perfect example of traditional Japanese landscaping.

There are so many more places in Yokohama that cannot be written here, not can these simple words describe the rich history, the vibrant culture or the beauty of this destination. A trip to Yokohama is something to be experienced and treasured forever. 

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