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A Lovely Day in Yokohama

by Veronika 3166

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Yokohama is a very popular city among tourists
and young people. It has everything from
historical buildings, nice parks, beautiful
photogenic spots, and a big Chinatown. We will
take you through only but a small fraction of
the best Yokohama and its’ Chinatown have to


Recommended route:

Nihon-odori Station Exit No 1 →

Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall →

Ryokuen → tef-tef → Nanetsu Bishoku →

Yokohama Marine Tower →

Motomachi-Chukagai Station


Distance: 2.1 km

Steps: 3,992

Time: 25 min + meals, shopping

Budget: 5,000 yen


1. Begin your journey with some stained glass.

Your journey starts from Nihon-Odori station

exit no 1 on Minatomirai line. As you leave

the station and head towards Prefectural Office

crossroad, you will see the tower of Yokohama

Port Opening Memorial Hall, also known as

The Jack.

The building looks foreign and beautiful. It is

made from red bricks and granite.


The Memorial Hall was built in 1917 to

celebrate 50 years of opening the Yokohama

Port to foreign trade. This building is

considered an Important Cultural Property.

The Jack is one of the Yokohama Three Towers

along with Kanagawa Prefectural Office

(The King) and Yokohama Customs building

(The Queen). It is said that if you go to see all

three towers with your significant other, you will

get married.

The most beautiful part of this Western style

building of Yokohama Port Opening Memorial

Hall is the stained glass.

Left: The window located at the central


Top & Bottom Right: Stained glass on the 2nd


On the other side of the door you can find the

document room.


The most famous stained glass masterpiece is

the one located at the central staircase. It

depicts the arrival of The Black Ships and

Commodore Perry.

A part of the glass was lost during the Great

Kanto Earthquake of 1923, however now it

has been restored for everyone’s enjoyment.

It is the most beautiful on the sunny days, as

the light comes through the windows in

multiple colors. So we absolutely recommend

you visit this place during daytime!

Meeting hall and auditorium are only open to

public once a month, but the corridors,

document room and the stained glass

staircase are open from 10 AM to 4 PM.


Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall

1-6 Honcho, Chuo-ku, Yokohama-shi Kanagawa


Open 10:00-16:00

Closed on the 4th Monday of the month

(next day if Monday is a Holiday),

New Year’s (December 29 - January 3)



Travel along the Nihon-Odori street towards

Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office

and turn right at the corner of the building.

You will see a café terrace on a stone paved

walkway surrounded by colorful flowers,

reminding people around of Europe.

There is not even one piece of garbage on the

walkway. The plants also seem well kept with no

dried leaves or withered flowers in sight.


After taking a relaxing walk down the nice

street, you will come to the entrance to

Yokohama Park and one of the 9 gates of


2. Chinese tea drinking traditions.

As you enter through the gate, you will reach a

writing stating “Chinatown” in Japanese.

This next gate is the entrance to the main

street. The street is always crowded with

people, as there are many famous restaurants

concentrated in the area. You might be drawn

into the crowd, but enter the street in front of

the gate and go to your right instead.

Top Left: The store is bright, so you can enter

without worries.

Top Right: Tea jars displayed along the wall look


Bottom Left: An interesting display shelf.

Bottom Right: You can also find compressed

Mongolian tea.

Head into the Chinese tea store “Ryokuen”.

First floor is a shop space with the highest

quality teas from China. Apparently, even

the famous high-class Chinese restaurant

“Heichinrou” buys their tea from this store.

Café space on the 2nd floor.


If you want to enjoy the tea from the store at

its’ finest, head to the “Meikokaku” café on the

2nd floor. The owner of the store, who is also

the director of Chinese tea appreciation

association in Japan, selects the best tea leaves

which are the prepared and enjoyed in the

Gongfu cha style.

Top Left: Tung-ting tea set (Oolong tea from


Top Right: Before pouring in the tea, the

teacups are warmed up with hot water.

Bottom Left: Tea leaves are placed in the teapot

and hot water is poured on top.

Bottom Right: In order for every last bit of

liquid to pour out, the teapot is placed at a 90°



It is difficult to choose your tea with so many

options available.,. We recommend trying the

Tung-ting tea (2,000 yen), which is the most

popular beverage in the store. Sometimes the

owner Mr. Zhou himself comes down to pour

your tea, but usually the first cup is served by

the staff.

Since the cup was warmed up by hot water,

your tea will not get cold fast.


To properly enjoy Chinese tea, you should start

by admiring the color, instead of drinking right

away. After that, smell the tea and put some in

your mouth and on your tongue. By drinking it

slowly, the flavor and fragrance of the tea

spreads through your mouth and your senses.

Mr. Zhou suggests coming over for tea when

you have some spare time, so you can slowly

enjoy the tea up to the 3rd cup.

You can attend Chinese tea preparation classes

(1 hour, weekdays 2,500 yen, weekends 3,500

yen, reservation required). If you are interested

in Chinese tea culture, be sure to participate!



220 Yamashita-cho, Yokohama-shi Kanagawa


Open 12:00-20:00



3. Meet the superstar of Chinatown!

Leave the Chinese tea store and walk down

Emperor Guan Yu street where his temple is

located until you come across a lovely dog.

Fluffiness of a plush toy! Passers-by can’t help

but stop and marvel.


Two balls of fluff with big round eyes - Jobim

and Loco. They work as billboard dogs at an

Asian goods and clothing store “tef-tef”.

The items in the store are mostly from China,

Nepal and Thailand. You can find such rare

items as pouches made from goat skin!


Inside the store you are greeted with colorful

bags, accessories and clothes. Usually the

image of goods from Asia might not be very

good, but this store specializes in only the

highest quality products, so they can be used

on any occasion.

The owner opened this store in 2007 after

visiting Nepal and falling in love with Asian

general goods.


Colorful bags from Nepal are hanged along the

wall, turning the inside of the store into an

exotic spectacle. Round bags with bamboo

handles look particularly nice for summer


Top Left: BONBON necklace 1,200 yen~

Top Right: Donation box for Nepal is placed at

the entrance.

Bottom Left: Jobim and Loco both love their

BONBON necklaces!

Bottom Right: Their Nepal charity was featured

in a local newspaper.


3 years have passed since April 2015 Nepal

Earthquake. Yet even now, many people still live

in horrible conditions with no improvement in

sight. In “tef-tef” part of the proceedings from

BONBON necklace sales and donations for a

picture with Jobim and Loco are used to buy

and send necessities like blankets and mosquito

nets to Nepal.

There is also a separate box for collecting

money to buy special treats to Jobim and Loco,

the two diligent workers.

Show some love and compassion by donating

to both causes.



166 Yamashita-cho, Yokohama-shi Kanagawa


Open 11:00-19:00

Closed on Wednesdays and the third Tuesday of the month.



On the same street as “tef-tef” there is the

famous Emperor Guan Yu temple where the

Emperor, celebrated as a hero in the Annals

of the Three Kingdoms, is enshrined. Guan Yu

is also considered the deity of trade, and can

bring great fortune and profits. Don’t forget

to say a prayer.

Top Left: The gates have gorgeous decorations,

unlike the ones at Japanese shrines.

Top Right: Statues of lions by the entrance.

Bottom Left: Colorful dragons on the roof.

Bottom Right: Life story of Guan Yu.


4. A small Chinese restaurant - secret of the


After walking around, head to a nice restaurant

for lunch. Don’t be tempted by the street food

available on every corner and head down the

street until you reach a Chinese restaurant

called “Horaikaku”. Turn the corner to the left,

and you will reach your destination - “Nanetsu


Red walls with a yellow sign stand make the

restaurant stand out. It is in front of the “Rose



The character in the name points to

Guangdong province in China. The owner of the

store was born in Guangdong and he brings the

authentic flavor to Cantonese food served in

the restaurant.

There are more than 220 Chinese restaurants

in Yokohama Chinatown, but “Nanetsu Bishoku”

is admired by the chefs of other establishments

for its’ exceptional quality.

The recommended dish in this restaurant is the

steamed and fried salted chicken (800 yen for

half a bird, 1,600 yen for a full bird). The taste

is that of the owners’ hometown, and it’s so

popular it sells out pretty quickly.

Clockwise from the left: Steamed and fried

chicken half (800 yen), Hong Kong Shrimp

Wonton Noodles (980 yen), Pig Offal and

Vegetable Stir-fry (1,800 yen)


The chicken is more substantial than it seems.

The more you chew, the more you feel the

meat flavor. Perfect with alcohol!

Other recommended items on the menu would

be the Hong Kong Shrimp Wonton Noodles

(980 yen) and Pig Offal & Vegetable Stir-fry

(1,800 yen). All meals combined make a

perfect portion for two.

Wonton noodles have tender shrimps that are

delicious to chew. Stir-fry is surprisingly light. It

is recommended even for people who are not

too fond of pig organs.


Nanetsu Bishoku

165-2 Yamashita-cho, Yokohama-shi Kanagawa


Open Weekdays 11:30-15:00/17:00-23:00 (L.O. 22:00),

Weekends 11:30-23:00 (L.O. 22:00)



5. Yokohama Marine Tower - beautiful sight day

and night.

After having a decent meal, finish your days’

walk with a visit to a place where you can see

the best of Yokohama.

Leave the East Gate of Chinatown and head

straight. When you reach Yamashita Park, head

right and you will soon see the Yokohama

Marine Tower!

Yokohama Marine Tower is located by the sea

and was once used as a lighthouse.


Buy a ticket for the observation desk

downstairs (750 yen for adults) and take the

elevator to the 30th floor. The elevator is

see-through, so riding it might be a little scary.

You can see all the landmarks of Yokohama

from the observatory located 94m above


On the days with clear skies, you can even see

the Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower!

You can just look at the beautiful ocean, or try

to trace your steps throughout the day - it is

great either way. At night you can see the nice

view of Yokohama, so be sure to visit the tower

at both times.


Yokohama Marine Tower

15Yamashita-cho, Yokohama-shi Kanagawa


Open 10:00-22:30 (Reception until 22:00)



How was your day in Yokohama? The route this

time concentrated on the Chinatown and the

Eastern feeling of the city.

Yokohama is a place were many gourmet items

originate. Bread is said to be one of those

things. You can find many famous bakeries

here, from “Uchiki Pan”, which was the first

store to sell bread in Japan, to the famous

“Bluff Bakery”. Visiting all of the famous

bakeries might be a good idea for a sightseeing




Original article in Japanese