My Favorite Cities of Japan: Yokohama

A walk through the city

By Elena Lisina    - 3 min read

I’ve visited Yokohama many times because I love the city. It has its own face, and I’ve often heard that Japanese people also love Yokohama as it reminds them of a city from the future. Why? Maybe because it’s very spacious, and the modern buildings of Yokohama are geometric with no decorations from the past.

A lot of space and sky
A lot of space and sky

Walking in modern Yokohama, it’s hard to imagine that about a century ago it was a small village which only developed into a port city during the Meiji period (1868 - 1912). Yokohama was destroyed by an earthquake in 1923 and later by U.S. air raids during World War II. All its modern buildings, including the Minato Mirai 21 district were built not too long ago – mostly from 1983 to 1993.

Cosmo World's Ferris wheel from afar
Cosmo World's Ferris wheel from afar

Yokohama is unlike any other city of Japan that I’ve seen. I was fortunate that all my visits occurred on fine spring days and I enjoyed blue skies and sunshine together with the views of the spacious city. Closer to the city center there were more and more people, but still Yokohama wasn’t crowded when compared with Tokyo. I still can’t believe that Yokohama is Japan's second largest city with a population of 3,748,781!

I found that Minato Mirai and Osanbashi Pier are two favorite places for Japanese to visit on weekend vacations. Watching people speaks a lot about a country and I saw many happy people in Yokohama. I saw families and pairs, young people and aged couples, bikers, fans of cosplay, and fans of big ships that moor to the Osanbashi Pier. I joined them a few times, and the sight of the huge ship Fuji Maru was really exciting.

Fuji Maru
Fuji Maru

There are many shops, restaurants, museums and other places of interest in Yokohama, but I don’t visit them. I prefer strolling along the Osanbashi Pier looking at the water and watching seagulls resting on the powerful chains of ships. By night Minato Mirai with its amusement park Cosmo World looks to be a very festive and happy place. It reminds me of the fantastic city Gel-Gyu from my favorite fiction book…

Minato Mirai 21 and Cosmo World are happy places
Minato Mirai 21 and Cosmo World are happy places

Getting there

Yokohama can be reached from Tokyo by the JR Tokaido, Negishi, and Yokosuka Lines. The Tokaido Shinkansen also stops at JR Shin-Yokohama Station.

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Elena Lisina

Elena Lisina @shiroi.tenshi

I love Japan very much! I like small towns of Japan where I can watch people doing their business and talk to them carefully. They're always friendly. I like Japanese gardens where I can just sit or walk and take my time. Also I like Shinto Jinja as being there I feel in peace. I like to watch sunsets and then to dine in some small local places. I like to soak into onsen after a long day of wandering. I like Japanese crafts very much as all items are made with great taste and skill. Nihon wo daisuki desuyo! My photos from Japan I also place here: Matane!

Join the discussion

Kim B 7 months ago
I am fond of Yokohama too! Definitely feels more spacious than Tokyo!
Lynda Hogan 7 months ago
I am very fond of Yokohama too. To visit, not to live in though. I lived in Yokohama for six months many years ago and it was my least favorite place to live in Japan. I bring the kids to Yokohama now sometimes and they really love all it has to offer too.
Elena Lisina Author 7 months ago
Lynda, why it was bad for living?
Sleiman Azizi 7 months ago
This is a nice read.
Elena Lisina Author 7 months ago
:D Arigatou gozaimasu!