How to make the most of your time in Japan’s second-largest city
Japan 2019 Travel Guide: Yokohama
The venue for four Rugby World Cup pool games as well as the semi-finals and final, this city has something for everyone…
The Culture Vulture
Admire authentic Japanese architecture, including 17 historical buildings, as well as a vast Japanese garden in southern Yokohama. Sankeien Garden (sankeien.or.jp) is designated as a national scenic point and is gaining a reputation as a tea ceremony venue and as a great attraction for worldwide travellers. The perfect place to switch off from the city’s hustle and bustle.
During the World Cup, the garden’s business hours will be extended to 7pm for an evening event featuring Japanese music performances and illuminations at the former Tomyoji Temple. The event will take place on 19 days in total – 20-22, 27-28 September, 4-5, 11-13, 18-19, 25-26 October and then from 28 October to 1 November. The garden is ten minutes by bus from JR Negishi station or you can take a taxi from Sakuragicho station.
We only need to make one suggestion here but that suggestion has plenty of options. Head to Yokohama’s Chinatown in the heart of city. It’s lined with more than 600 shops and restaurants, so there is lots of choice!
When the city’s port opened to the world in 1859, Chinese traders started moving to Japan and they created Yokohama Chinatown. It also features Kanteibyo Temple, which is where people visit for good luck in business.
You won’t only find different varieties of Chinese food but also colourful and vivid buildings to catch your eye. The nearest stations are JR Ishikawacho or Motomachi-Chukagai (Minatomirai line).
Take a Segway tour and feel the fresh sea breeze of Yokohama (segwaysmile.jp/tour/yokohama). This guided tour happens in the Minato Mirai 21 district, where you can enjoy beautiful views of the water and the cityscape.
There are two tours a day (morning and afternoon) with up to six people and it lasts two-and-a-half hours. It is usually conducted in Japanese but organisers are planning to have English tours. Check the participation requirements on the website.
At the Minato Mirai Manyo Club you can relax in different hot springs. Or channel your inner chef by creating your own cup noodle at the Cup Noodles Museum.
The Party Animal
To make the most of the nightlife head to the Noge district. Even though Noge is located in the centre of Yokohama, it retains a nostalgic feel with more than 500 izakayas and bars.
There are many craft beer offerings and jazz venues as well as street events, and the area is set to become a hub for fans after World Cup matches. To get to Noge, take the JR train to Sakuragicho station – about 15 minutes from Shin-Yokohama, the nearest station to the stadium.
For more travel information…
How to get there
Yokohama is 30 minutes from Haneda Airport and 90 minutes from Narita by train or limousine bus. The stadium hosting World Cup games is at Shin-Yokohama, 15 minutes from downtown on the metro.