Finding a place to stay in Japan on any budget can be an overwhelming project. For the most part, we all want to book something that’s worth every penny. After years of trial and error, I discovered that the one of best ways to travel was to sign up for a hotel loyalty program, such as the Tokyu Hotels Comfort Members card.
Knowing that my family and I would be staying in Japan for sometime, why not reap the benefits of Comfort Member rates and rewards. Ease of use online was important to me, too. So after browsing the Tokyu Hotel listings, I decided to reserve one-night at the beautiful Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu in February. It was a holiday destination to remember!
The Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu is located in the Minato Mirai 21 waterfront area of Yokohama and is nothing short of fantastic. The reception and bell desk staff members were warm and attentive. Greeted by name, our luggage was whisked away the minute a room key was in hand. “This way please,” as we were escorted to the assigned floor and room. “Woah!” The first word uttered once the door opened. The ocean view balcony reeled us in and we were taken aback by the incredible views of the Port of Yokohama and Cosmo Clock 21, once the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, is now the world’s largest clock. We were excited to start sightseeing!
Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu is part of Queen’s Square Yokohama complex, which sits directly above Minatomirai station and has over 200 stores and restaurants. We got ourselves acquainted by doing a great deal of window-shopping and decided on a restaurant we’d return to for dinner. The weather was perfect to venture outdoors and explore the gateway to Japan, so we decided to walk along the waterfront and make our way towards the Red Brick Warehouse.
Our first stop was Cup Noodles Museum. Adult Admission is 500 yen, which includes access to the Instant Noodles History Cube, Momofuku Theater, Momofuku’s Work Shed, and the Momofuku Ando Story timeline. For an additional 300 yen, you can create your own one-of-a-kind Cup Noodles package. Due to popularity, make your reservation by selecting 1 of the 15 time slots when you pay admission. So much fun!
The Red Brick Warehouse is just a 3-minute walk from the Cup Noodles Museum. En route, you’ll come across the unique Circle Walk footbridge. A bit of Yokohama's history and maps of the area are posted for reference. Continuing on, there are two buildings that comprise Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse. The 1st Building is mainly used for concerts, while the 2nd Building houses 40 shops and open café’s. We decided to snack on some yummy crepes.
Making our way back to the hotel, the entrance to Yokohama World Porters was inviting. There are 210 unique stores divided into categories like fashion, interior design, and amusement. Head to the Roof top floor. Here you can enjoy playing a round of miniature golf at Bahn Golf Club located at the Roof Garden. For 900yen, test your mini golf skills while overlooking Minato Mirai 21. Awesome!
After a good nights rest, we planned Day 2 while enjoying a wonderful breakfast buffet at Café Tosca located inside the hotel. Thrilled to see a both local and Western cuisine, our favorites were the fresh squeezed orange juice, baked salmon, and the omelet station. Surrounded by tall palm trees in an open floor plan, it was like eating in the middle of an oasis.
We kicked the day off at Sky Garden, an observation deck on the 69th floor of Landmark Tower. It's the second tallest building in Japan! For 1,000yen admission, you can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of Yokohama at 273m high in the sky. The views were so breathtaking we decided to lounge at Sky Café and ordered a couple of iced mocha’s.
The rest of our day was spent in Yokohama's Chinatown to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year. It has become one of the largest in the world, with more than 500 shops featuring various Chinese cuisines, goods, and souvenirs. There are elaborate designed gates located around the town to welcome visitors; a colorful introduction to what you can expect inside.
Chinese Lunar New Year celebration is just one of the major festivals held annually and many flock to watch the Lion Dance and Dragon Dance. During our visit, we were able to watch the Lion Dance, which is performed by a pair of acrobatic dancers and is accompanied by revelry of drums, gongs and firecrackers. In Chinese culture, the dance is believed to scare away evil spirits and brings good luck, joy, fortune, and happiness for the New Year. Participating businesses hang lucky red envelopes on the outside entrance to their store and are encouraged to include Chinese lettuce as an offering for the Lion. For this reason, spectators will have a good idea of the lion’s route and can easily follow along for photos and a thrilling adventure.
To access Chinatown, it is a convenient 5-minute train ride from Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu via Minatomirai to Motomachi-Chukagai.
To learn more about the Tokyu Hotel Comfort Members program and enrollment, register here. Enjoy your stay!
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Originally from San Diego, California, I lived in Japan for 4-1/2 years and now I am currently based out of Honolulu, Hawaii. In December 2010, I arrived in Yokosuka with a new outlook on my future. Mainly, to refocus on family and let my curiosities take us to places we’ve only dreamt of. Along the way, we’d hopefully develop new friendships and simply collect memories to last a lifetime. Then, there was the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. I will never forget that experience and the devastating effects it had on the entire country. I asked the community, “What can I do to help?” Collecting, sorting, and packing donations, was the least I could do. I also ended up going back to California for one month, raised a small monetary donation for Red Cross, and secured a few phone interviews to help spread the word on how others from the United States could assist. I was determined to show my family, friends, and folks across the world that it would be okay to return to Japan. After all, I wanted them to know that all of the little things that make up this beautiful country still existed. What better way than to use a platform such as JapanTravel.com to share photos and stories full of life, history, and culture. It is a pleasure to say I have contributed more than 150 articles to a database that now collectively holds more than 15,000! This journey has not only allowed me to realize my initial goals, but I’d like to think that it has somehow played a role in sparking an interest locally and across the globe for others to experience all that is published here and more. I invite you to also share your wonderful stories, offer comments, and ask questions right here on JapanTravel. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Safe travels! ٩( ๑╹ ꇴ╹)۶