Travel, Teach, Live in Japan
Yokohama, a city that sits in Tokyo Bay, is often overlooked when traveling in Japan. I admit, it is not that exciting and culturally rich as other travel destinations, but it still has unique attractions to offer. If you are in the Tokyo area looking for a day-trip and are sick of shrines and temples, Yokohama is for you.
Yokohama is the capital city of Kanagawa prefecture. It is slightly to the south of Tokyo and on the mainland of Honshu Island. It is a major commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo area. Initially starting out as a fishing village that opened Japan's doors to foreign trade through its port, it developed into a prominent port city very rapidly, and also holds a large population of foreign nationals. Yokohoma's climate is a humid subtropical climate with hot and humid summers and not too cold winters.
There are many places of interest in Yokohama that fascinates travelers. At 106 meters, Yokohama Marine Tower, is the tallest inland light house in the whole world. It is located in the Yamashita Park next to the water front in the celebrated port area of Kannai. Japan's largest Chinatown is situated in this city as well, and is worth a visit. You will find the food tasting very different from the Chinatown in New York or any other place. If you liked the ramen noodles there, be sure to stop by the Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum to learn how this mouth-watering dish spread from Yokohama to the rest of Japan. Very near to Chinatown is the famous Yokohama Doll Museum and the Silk Center. The Kanagawa Museum of Modern Literature with its lovely rose garden is also within reach.
Yokohama's harbor area houses the Cosmo Clock 21, which is not only a giant ferry wheel but the worlds biggest clock too. It also provides amazing photographs at night. If you're awed by vast arenas or stadiums, the Yokohama Arena built for 17,000 people is in the vicinity, next to the Shikansen station. The International Stadium Yokohama and Nissan Stadium are some more. Finally, in the Naka Ward, there is a famous Japanese garden called "Sankeien" that was designed by a silk trader, Tomitaro Hara.
Josh Shulman, Author of All-You-Can Japan - www.smartjapantravel.wordpress.com.