Having lived in the Yokohama area on and off for 15 years, I have experienced much of the city. If you are only in Yokohama for a few days, here are my top 10 things to do, mostly free, while visiting our fine city.
1. Osanbashi Pier – See the sunrise or sunset at Osanbashi Pier. Great unobstructed views of Bay Bridge, Yamashita Park and Minato Mirai. The sun rises behind Bay Bridge and sets behind Minato Mirai. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see Mt. Fuji.
2. Sankeien Garden – This is a beautiful traditional Japanese Garden, although it is a bit of a hassle to get to by public transportation. But it has everything you would expect, shrines, pagoda, ponds and gardens. There is a modest entry fee of 500 yen.
3. Yamashita Park – The premier park in Yokohama and there is always some event going on. The park is about 750 meters long and the Hikawa Maru is berthed here. Yokohama Marine Tower is across the street. Great place for people watching and you’ll see lots of couples on dates strolling through the park during the weekend. The park is very close to Osanbashi Pier.
4. Chinatown and Motomachi – These two places are relatively close to each other and extremely crowded with tourists on the weekends. If you are into high end shopping or finding unique items, Motomachi is the place to go. Chinatown has some of the best food in the city for every budget.
5. Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum – Always fun to visit this unique Japanese noodle museum. Designed inside to mimic a Tokyo town in 1958, it has a history museum upstairs with 9 ramen restaurants downstairs from all around Japan. The entry fee is 300 yen.
6. Yamate Bluff and Harbor View Park – This is a historic foreigner neighborhood with many old Western homes. The area also contains two nice parks and gardens, Motomachi Park and Harbor View Park, and a foreigner’s cemetery. Great place to take a morning or afternoon walk. There is no entry fee to enter the historic homes.
7. Isezaki-cho, Kogane-cho, and Noge – These areas have a lot of character and nostalgic atmosphere. The area has hit some hard times with newer developments in Minato Mirai and Yokohama Station, but I really enjoy walking around the shopping areas and neighborhoods in this part of town, you’ll see all walks of life.
8. Kirin Yokohama Beer Village – I’m not a big beer drinker, but the one hour tour of the Kirin beer factory was very interesting. Also, they give you free beer at the end of the tour.
9. Minato Mirai 21 Area – This area was developed relatively recently, with shopping, museums, office towers, parks, and amusement park. Great place to just people watch and have a leisurely day.
10. Yokohama Bay Stars – If you like baseball, you need to see a Japanese baseball game, it will be an experience to remember. The lovable losers of Yokohama play at Yokohama Stadium and haven’t had a winning season in many, many years. But it is still a great time, but try to go to an evening game, it will be much more comfortable.