Part of the greater Tokyo metropolitan area, Yokohama is a vibrant, modern port city that's accessible from downtown Tokyo by train. Glittering skyscrapers, a thriving art scene, one of Japan’s oldest and largest Chinatowns, and a food and drink that runs from craft beer to ramen make the trip worthwhile.
A visit to Yokohama should include a stop in Chinatown, but don't miss the century-old Sankeien Garden, Yokohama Museum of Art, the Nippon Maru ship museum, Kirin brewery, and Cup Noodles Museum. With Cosmo Clock 21 Ferris wheel glistening against skyscrapers, Yokohama’s skyline is especially striking at night. See the sights on a helicopter tour out of Tokyo; on a harbor cruise; or on a food, photo, or cultural encounter tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Yokohama is a great choice for lovers of urban life.
- Wear practical shoes. The center is relatively compact, so expect to do a lot of walking.
- Like other Japanese cities, Yokohama is friendly to travelers who rely on wheelchairs.
How to Get There
Yokohama is about 23 miles (37 kilometers) south of downtown Tokyo, with a wealth of rail connections. The most cost-effective way to visit from Tokyo is with a Tokyu Minatomirai Ticket, which combines a round-trip ticket to Yokohama from most Tokyu Line stations with a day pass on Yokohama’s Minatomirai line.
When to Get There
There's no bad time to see Yokohama, but visit in winter to view colonial-era villas lit up for Christmas and Chinatown decked out in lanterns to celebrate Lunar New Year. The Yokohama Museum of Art hosts a major international exhibition, the Triennale, every three years.
What to See on the Yokohama Waterfront
Yokohama came to fame as the first port in Japan to accept international trade, and the waterfront is still the heart of the city. Stroll Yamashita Park; explore historic ships such as Nippon Maru and Hikawa Maru; take in views from Cosmo Clock 21 or Landmark Tower observation deck; shop Red Brick Warehouses; and choose from among a wealth of museums.