A couple of days ago I was free so I decided to head to Yokohama, which is one of Japan’s largest cities and is conveniently located right next to the capital. In fact, from my apartment Yokohama is only half an hour away on the train and relatively cheap coming in at about 600 Yen for a one way trip (about £2.50 – side note: in Tokyo and surrounding areas we use what is similar to an Oyster card back in London, only we don’t get any discount with a Suica or Passmo card). Upon arriving in Yokohama my immediate reaction was that of surprise – I had arrived in Minatomirai which is a very new area of Yokohama and is currently undergoing more development and construction; the reason why I was surprised is that the area itself looked a lot similar to Dubai. I have spent one day in Dubai a few years ago, and the roads and buildings in the area around Minatomirai station look a lot similar to that of Dubai.
Anyway, I started by checking out the shopping mall next to the station – quite a good selection of stores including a Snoopy store selling… you guessed it, just about as much Snoopy merchandise as any hardcore Snoopy fan could want! After exploring the mall, I decided to leave and take a walk outside – I ended up in another shopping mall about 15 minutes later checking out what was on offer over there… well, not much, although I found out that Converse (my favourite shoes!!) can actually be quite cheap in Japan; about 4000 Yen for the average pair which is about £17. I ended up buying the new Jimmy Eat World album (which is pretty awesome!) from HMV and decided to walk some more! Eventually I ended up in Yamashita Park after taking a rather scenic route along a path next to the sea. Yamashita Park was a bog-standard park really, there were actually quite a few parks in Yokohama but I didn’t check out the others. From Yamashita Park I decided to check out some of the Yokohama China Town which is the biggest China Town in Japan. Most of China Town was devoted obviously to Chinese restaurants but there were also some pretty sweet stores selling various goods such as panda plush toys and traditional Chinese clothing. The rest of the day was spent just randomly walking around Yokohama and discovering a pretty awesome shopping area (I totally raided the Book-Off over there lol!). In the evening I was able to get some awesome night photography of the scenery. Overall, if you visit Tokyo you really ought to have a day trip to Yokohama – its an awesome city with plenty on offer, I didn’t really see most of it so Im going to go again with some friends.
Final note – Yokohama seems to be the perfect place to take your girlfriend/boyfriend so you might want to consider it! 😉