Introduction

Yokohama, a vibrant city situated just south of Tokyo, is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor. However, this cosmopolitan destination boasts an array of attractions and activities that make it a must-visit for travelers. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a food lover, or an adventure seeker, Yokohama offers something for everyone. With only 48 hours to spare, here are 10 cool things you absolutely must do in Yokohama.

1. Explore the Enchanting Sankeien Garden

Sankeien Garden, a historical Japanese garden, is a treasure trove of tranquility and beauty. The sprawling 175,000-square-meter garden features stunning seasonal landscapes, serene ponds, and historic buildings relocated from various parts of Japan. Take a leisurely stroll through its meticulously landscaped grounds, adorned with cherry blossoms in spring and vibrant foliage during autumn. This remarkable escape from the bustling city provides the perfect ambiance to unwind and reconnect with nature.

Explore the traditional tea houses within the garden and experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. The charming tea houses offer an authentic glimpse into Japanese tea culture and provide a unique opportunity to relax and savor traditional matcha green tea. Don’t forget to also check out the beautiful pond garden, showcasing stunning reflections of the surrounding trees and architecture.

2. Visit the Iconic Yokohama Chinatown

No visit to Yokohama is complete without a trip to its bustling Chinatown, one of the largest in the world. A vibrant hub of activity, this colorful quarter offers a feast for the senses. Explore the labyrinthine streets and alleys filled with shops, markets, and countless eateries. Indulge in a gastronomic adventure, sampling a variety of Chinese dishes from dim sum to Peking duck.

Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere during Chinese New Year, when the streets come alive with vibrant decorations and exciting festivities. Discover hidden temples, such as Kanteibyo, a beautifully adorned Taoist temple known for its majestic dragon decorations. Chinatown is a true melting pot of cultures, blending Chinese, Japanese, and Western influences, making it an absolute must-visit in Yokohama.

3. Marvel at the Iconic Landmark: Landmark Tower

Standing tall at an impressive height of 296 meters, Yokohama Landmark Tower dominates the city’s skyline. This architectural masterpiece offers breathtaking panoramic views of Yokohama and even Tokyo on clear days. Head up to the Sky Garden on the 69th floor and enjoy a 360-degree view that will leave you in awe.

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, take a ride in the high-speed elevator, which whisks you to the 69th floor in just 40 seconds. Feel the exhilaration as you ascend to one of the highest observation decks in Japan. The Landmark Tower is not only an observatory, but also hosts a luxurious hotel, shopping boutiques, and numerous dining options. Catching a mesmerizing sunset from this vantage point is an unforgettable experience you won’t want to miss.

4. Experience Thrills at Yokohama Cosmo World

Quench your thirst for excitement at Yokohama Cosmo World, an amusement park located in the heart of Minato Mirai. Home to the iconic Ferris wheel, known as the Cosmo Clock 21, this lively park guarantees a day filled with fun and entertainment. Ride exhilarating roller coasters, experience gravity-defying attractions, and enjoy various carnival games at this sprawling waterfront amusement park.

The Cosmo Clock 21 is an absolute must-try here. Standing at a staggering height of 112.5 meters, it offers breathtaking views of Yokohama’s skyline, especially when lit up at night. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or simply seeking a fun day out with family and friends, Yokohama Cosmo World is a place where memories are made.

5. Dive into History at the Yamate Western Houses

The Yamate Western Houses, also known as the “Foreigners’ Houses,” are a collection of beautifully preserved Western-style residences from the late 19th century. These elegant houses were once inhabited by foreign diplomats and merchants who resided in Yokohama during the Meiji era. Wander through the narrow, picturesque streets of Yamate and immerse yourself in the history and architectural charm of these century-old buildings.

Visit the Bluff No. 18, a stately wooden mansion nestled on top of a hill, which now serves as a museum showcasing the Western-style architecture and period artifacts. The surrounding neighborhood, known as Yamate Park, offers stunning views of the city and is perfect for a leisurely stroll. The Yamate Western Houses provide a fascinating glimpse into Yokohama’s international past and are ideal for architecture and history enthusiasts.

6. Indulge in Yokohama’s Rich Ramen Culture

Japan’s love affair with ramen is undeniable, and Yokohama is no exception. With more than 600 ramen shops to choose from, this city has established itself as a ramen paradise. Experience the depth of Yokohama’s ramen culture by sampling various regional styles and flavors. One such style is the “Ie-kei” ramen, a specialty of Yokohama, characterized by its rich and creamy tonkotsu (pork bone) broth, topped with tender slices of char siu pork.

Visit Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, a unique museum dedicated to ramen, and immerse yourself in the aroma and flavors of this beloved Japanese dish. The museum showcases nine renowned ramen shops from across Japan, allowing you to savor different regional flavors all in one place. From its humble origins to its current popularity, indulging in Yokohama’s ramen scene is an absolute must-do for any food lover.

7. Discover Art and Culture at Yokohama Museum of Art

Art enthusiasts will be in heaven at the Yokohama Museum of Art. Located in the vibrant Minato Mirai district, this museum houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art. Explore the diverse range of exhibits, featuring both Japanese and international artists, and gain insight into the ever-evolving world of art.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, ensuring there is always something new and exciting to see. Immerse yourself in the captivating artworks, from paintings and sculptures to photography and installations. Additionally, the museum offers stunning views of Yokohama Bay, further enhancing the cultural experience. A visit to the Yokohama Museum of Art is a journey through creativity and a feast for the eyes.

8. Wander Through Yamashita Park and Experience Maritime Charm

Yamashita Park is a picturesque waterfront park that exudes an air of nautical charm. Stretching along Yokohama’s waterfront, this expansive park offers stunning views of the bay, beautifully landscaped gardens, and various attractions. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze as you admire the vibrant flowers and greenery.

Discover iconic landmarks such as the Hikawa Maru, a beautifully preserved ocean liner that once sailed between Yokohama and Seattle. Step inside and immerse yourself in the ship’s rich history, which includes serving as a hospital ship during World War II. Yamashita Park is also home to the iconic Red Brick Warehouse, a historic building that now houses trendy shops, cafes, and event spaces. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or a place to people-watch, Yamashita Park offers a delightful experience for all.

9. Experience Traditional Crafts at Yokohama Omoshiroi Marche

For those seeking unique artisanal treasures, a visit to Yokohama Omoshiroi Marche is a must. This lively cultural market showcases traditional Japanese crafts and products handmade by local artisans. From stunning ceramics and textiles to intricately designed accessories, you’ll find an array of exquisite handmade items that perfectly capture the essence of Japanese craftsmanship.

Interact with the artisans themselves and learn about the meticulous techniques involved in creating these masterpieces. Whether you’re looking for a special memento or simply appreciating artistry, Yokohama Omoshiroi Marche offers a truly enriching experience that supports local talent and preserves Japan’s traditional arts and crafts.

10. Enjoy a Night Out in Yokohama’s Cosmopolitan Nightlife

As night falls, Yokohama’s vibrant nightlife comes alive. From stylish bars to lively clubs, there is no shortage of entertainment options for a memorable night out. Head to the Noge district, known for its intimate and cozy bars, where you can enjoy craft cocktails and live music. Explore the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse district, where you’ll find trendy pubs, beer gardens, and live performance venues.

For a unique experience, venture into the historic Motomachi area, which fuses European charm with Japanese hospitality. Explore its narrow streets lined with chic cafes, jazz bars, and exclusive lounges. Whether you’re a jazz enthusiast, a craft beer aficionado, or a cocktail lover, Yokohama’s nightlife scene offers a diverse range of options for a memorable evening.

With its rich history, stunning waterfront views, and vibrant cultural scene, Yokohama offers an unforgettable experience for visitors. From exploring traditional gardens and immersing oneself in history to indulging in culinary delights and enjoying the city’s dynamic nightlife, the list of cool things to do in Yokohama seems endless. These 48 hours in Yokohama will undoubtedly leave you longing to return and discover even more of this captivating city. So, pack your bags and get ready for an adventure you won’t soon forget!

Sources:
– Sankeien Garden: https://www.sankeien.or.jp/en-old/index.html
– Yokohama Cosmo World: https://cosmoworld.jp/foreign_language/en/
– Yamashita Park: http://www.yokohamajapan.com/things-to-do/yamashita-park/
– Yokohama Omoshiroi Marche: http://omoshiroimarche.com/
– Yokohama Visitors Guide: https://www.yokohamajapan.com/