Yokohama, Japan’s second biggest city, is filled with enough history, unique architecture, and great food to keep you busy for three days. You can learn about the historical importance of Yokohama’s port, visit Japan’s biggest Chinatown, and even explore the ancient capital of Kamakura. Here’s how to spend three days in Yokohama.
Day 1: Explore the City
Kick off your visit to Yokohama by seeing the city through the eyes of a local. Join a private walking tour led by a passionate resident who can take you to see not only the most important attractions, such as Minato Mirai and the Red Brick Warehouse, but also to some off-the-beaten-path places that most visitors miss. Customize a tour to your own interests, and get insider tips on the best places to eat and shop.
Alternatively, cover more ground by taking a full-day tour of the city by chartered vehicle. These tours typically also can be customized to your interests. In the evening, see the city from another perspective—and the lights of the skyscrapers shimmering in the night sky—on a helicopter tour departing from Minato Mirai Heliport.
Day Two: Have a Foodie Adventure
Yokohama is known as a food town, so make this the day you dive into the local food scene. Yokohama Chinatown, in the center of the city, is the biggest in Japan so you can easily spend part of your day strolling the streets, dipping in and out of eateries, and grabbing bites to eat from vendors selling their wares. For an insider’s perspective on the best spots, join a food tour of Chinatown. Later, head for the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum where nine renowned ramen restaurants from all around Japan sell their wares in a retro-style replica of a 1958 downtown district, called “shitamachi.” Another quirky food-themed attraction is the Cup Noodle Museum, dedicated to instant ramen.
Round out your day with an evening tour that takes you to the best viewpoints in the city via a water bus. These tours typically then head for an izakaya, or traditional-style pub, to enjoy local cuisine.
Day 3: Take a Day Trip
Kamakura, Japan’s first feudal capital (from 1185 to 1333), is just 30 minutes away by train and a popular day trip from Yokohama. Kamakura is filled with Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, including the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine and Kencho-ji, which was established in 1253 and is Japan's oldest Zen monastery. However, the Big Buddha (Daibutsu), a 37-foot (11.4-meter) bronze statue of the Amida Buddha, claims the title of main attraction.
Guided tours leaving from Yokohama in the morning typically include the main sights, as well as time to soak up the area’s laid-back vibe, before arriving back to Yokohama with time for further exploration. Some options for your final evening in Yokohama include checking out the bars and nightlife around Minato Mirai, or heading to the Red Brick Warehouse for dinner in the restaurant arcade.