Tokyo is enough of a draw card to Japan in itself. So if you’re like me you’re probably wondering why bother with Yokohama? As it turns out there’s heaps to do. For a start Yokohama is significantly more family friendly.
The Yoshimuraya Ramen store is well worth a visit. Allegedly Yokohama’s best ramen. No arguments here. It was sensational. Easy to find too, just look for the courtyard full of people out the front. It’s at least a 20 minute wait to get in and the place runs like clockwork. Whole sections of the bar entering and leaving at the same time. It’s all orchestrated by a guy in a white suit and gumboots that very politely orders everyone around. A very Japanese experience.
It’s not a place to sit and ponder the world Parisian style. Just enjoy some bitchin’ ramen and get on with your day punk rock style. Honestly the broth might be a tad salty but that must be a Yokohama thing. You haven’t tried ramen until you’ve been to this place.
The ramen though is only part of the fun. Just watching the team of chefs make the ramen broth and noodles is an attraction in itself. They cook ‘in the round’ and have these massive stock pots, probably 150 litres on the go constantly. Watching these five guys prepare a dozen bowls of noodles at a time, while working these massive pots in sauna like conditions is truly a sight to behold. Little wonder these guys stay so skinny and muscular.
Other than that Yokohama’s been getting a whole lot of love in the past decade. There’s whole brand new district there. The waterfront area where the Landmark and Queens Towers is pretty cool. You can go to the 69th floor of the Landmark tower and get a great view. Oh yeah and compared to Tokyo it’s extremely family friendly. We were about the only people there without small children.
There are heaps of amusements for small children as well. Likewise the bigger stores like H&M etc all sell baby and children’s clothing and lots of it.
If you’re a car tragic like me, Nissan Global HQ is a great excuse to swipe yourself a Nissan GTR brochure and sit in a few cool cars. They even have a few Le Mans and Aussie touring cars there. If you’re really a tragic, I enjoyed just wandering through the Nissan and Toyota used car dealerships seeing what was on offer. You just won’t find that in Tokyo.
Other than that I indulged my trashy side. The Minato Mirai 21 district has plenty to keep you entertained. There’s a huge store home maker store that’s kind of like a Bunnings/Wal Mart kinda vibe where you can buy all your trashy cheap household stuff. There’s also a Super AutoBacs which is a huge car accessories store. A lot better that your Aussie Super Cheap auto. They have plenty of tuning parts, stereos, massive rims and accessories to gawk at. Yup it’s a tiny bit more suburban in Yokohama, but it’s a great break from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.