48 Hour Layover Guide To Yokohama

Yokohama is Japan’s second largest city by population after Tokyo, and Yokohama is located just half an hour south from Tokyo situated on Tokyo Bay. Yokohama may not be as exciting and have the same electric vibe as its neighbour Tokyo, it definitely has more of a business and corporate feel to it. That being said there are things to go see, do and explore and some excellent places to eat and drink and of course you can sing your heart out after a few sakes in one of the many karaoke bars.

Yokohama is one of Japans prominent port cities and over the years has developed rapidly, and business is booming in the area. The city also contains one of the worlds largest Chinatowns with hundreds of restaurants and shops.

I wouldn’t really suggest going out of your way to visit Yokohama as there are much more interesting places to explore around Japan, however if your in Yokohama on business or a layover then here’s a mini guide on some cool stuff to see and do.

Sights & Activities

Cup Noodles Museum

Entrance Fee: 500 JPY

Cup Noodles Museum is a bit of a fun novelty museum, with lots of information, facts, displays, factories and exhibitions all about Cup Noodles. Cup Noodles are huge in Japan, and this museum just proves the popularity of this snack. There are plenty of noodles to try and fun interactive areas in the museum. If your looking for something a little on the quirky side then thus museum is a must!

Karaoke

No trip to Japan is complete without a trip to one of the many karaoke bars and booths, karaoke was invented in Japan and attracts people from all walks of life. I’m not normally a karaoke fan, however in Japan, it is so much fun, you definitely need a few drinks in you first though! When in Yokohama like many other Japanese cities there are karaoke bars dotted all around the city and you can easily stumble across one.

I would recommend heading to the downtown area called Sakuragi-Cho also called Noge where there are plenty of small bars to go bar hopping and then finish your night in a karaoke bar. Many of the bars have set packages such as all you can drink for two hours etc prices and packages vary depending on the bar. Many of the karaoke booths have a box of fancy dress items too, which you should definitely make full use of, dress up as silly as you possibly can and sing the night away dressed like an idiot!

Minato Mirai

Minato Mirai is a futuristic area set along Yokohamas waterfront and the name translates to Harbor of the Future, the area has many features such as a Ferris wheel which is lit up at night, a 1930s sailing ship docked up and also an amusement park called Cosmo World. The Landmark Tower is a real highlight and is a huge skyscraper filled with shops, restaurants, hotels, offices and an observation deck, and it was Japans tallest building until 2014. Have breakfast in the hotel in the Landmark Tower before heading into Tokyo as it provides excellent views over the waterfront. If you can try and visit Minato Mirai both during the day and also at night to see the waterfront lit up.

Minato Mirai Yokohama

Pokemon Centre

There is a Pokemon Centre in Yokohama and if like me you’re a bit of a geek at heart and were also a huge pokemon loon as a kid you need to go! It’s more of a shop with plenty of merchandise available and also a gaming room. The Pokemon Centre is a smaller version to the one in Tokyo, but a must visit and its located just by Yokohama Station.

Pokemon Centre Yokohama

Sankeien Garden & Tea House

Entrance Fee: 700 JPY / Teahouse 500 JPY

Sankeien Garden is a great outdoor space to visit if you want to escape the modern skyrises of Yokohama. Its a large spacious and traditional Japanese Garden which features a pond, small rivers, historic buildings, tea house, pagodas and nature trails. The garden was created back in 1904. You can spend hours exploring all the different buildings and areas of the garden.

After we spent a few hours wandering around we went to the tea house which is a must! Sankeien Garden Tea House is located in the lobby of the memorial hall of Sankeien Gardens where you can enjoy a cup of matcha tea and some traditional Japanese sweets. The lovely ladies that work there also can show you the technique for making matcha tea. This was a real highlight of visiting the gardens as the ladies were so friendly, only one of them spoke a bit of broken English but we had such a laugh with them and got to experience a taste of Japanese culture.

Sankeien Garden And Tea House YokohamaSankeien Garden And Tea House YokohamaSankeien Garden And Tea House YokohamaSankeien Garden And Tea House YokohamaSankeien Garden And Tea House Yokohama

Food & Drink

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! the bar is one of my favourite bars in Yokohama and I have so many great memories of this bar or at least from what I can remember. Its one of the dinkiest bars ever, but has a friendly atmosphere and plenty of retro board games to play while your boozing, best of all – all drinks are 500 Yen! This 80s style bar is located in the Noge area which is the best area for nightlife and a decent bar crawl in the city, the bar is also open until the very early hours of the morning and has a great selection of cocktails.

Gyoza No Ohsho

Gyoza No Ohsho is a large chain and has restaurants all over the country, there are several dotted all over Yokohama. They make the most delicious gyozas which are their signature dish. They also have several Chinese dishes available too. The restaurants have a bit of a diner kind of feel to them, but if you want delicious, cheap and quick eats then head to any of the Gyoza Ohsho chains around Yokohama.

Gyoza No Ohsho Yokohama

Seryumon

Seryumon is like no other restaurant I have been to before, the restaurant is set out like an underground sewer with industrial pipes and brickwork. Every half an hour or so water runs through the middle of the restaurant, it’s definitely unique! As well as having a quirky interior it also serves delicious food, try their chilli chicken and gyozas! I visited the restaurant before I was vegetarian, so I can’t remember if there were many options for veggies, however it does have a slightly more western take on Japanese food so they might be able to adapt the menu to remove meat from a dish.

Seryumon Yokohama

Transport & Getting Around

Being Japans second largest city and being in close proximity to Tokyo means that Yokohamas transport links are very efficient, and there are plenty of options available to get about. The city has two major railway stations with lots of links to Tokyo and the surrounding areas. There are also subways and buses available, but if your planning on sticking to central Yokohama most places are easily accessible by foot. If you want to get between Tokyo and Yokohama take the Tokyu Toyoko Line and opt for the express or limited express trains as they cost the same as other trains but are much faster.

48 Hour Itinerary

  1. After arriving grab some lunch at Gyoza No Ohsho, then head to the Cup Noodle Factory. In the evening grab some dinner at Seryumon restaurant and have drinks in Noge and check out one of the many karaoke bars.
  2. Have a big breakfast at the Yokohama Royal Park hotel in the Landmark tower for incredible views over Minato Mirai. Then head to the Pokemon Centre, after that then onto Sankeien Garden to explore and check out the Tea House.

Top Tips

If your vegetarian or just prefer a plant based diet, then the biggest bit of advice would be to do some research before leaving your accommodation and decide where to eat beforehand.

Try downloading the Happy Cow app or googling vegetarian friendly restaurants as trying to seek out places that serve veggie food isn’t always obvious in Japan, so research before you go. If you can also take a small translation card or find it in a guide book and take the translation for vegetarian food, as there is a language barrier. So if you have this you can show waiters and waitresses so they can assist you.

I would really recommend when exploring the city to download the maps.me app this is a great app to have in any country but especially countries where there can be quite a big language barrier. I swear by having this map in an unfamiliar city. It’s like google maps but works offline, so is great if you don’t have WiFi.

I would recommend planning your day before heading out, and seeing what sights and attractions are near to one another. I normally search places on my maps.me app and save and pin it so I can see what is close by, and what is the best route to take so I’m not wasting time going out of the way and then having to go back on myself.

Important Information

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx48 Hour Layover Guide To Yokohama - Pinterest Pin

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A Day Trip To Kamakura From Tokyo - Pinterest Pin

A Day Trip To Kamakura From Tokyo

Kamakura is a seaside town an hour south of Tokyo and is a popular coastal resort it is sometimes referred to as the Kyoto of eastern Japan, as it is very picturesque with numerous temples, historical monuments, Shinto shrines, hiking trails and several beaches. During the summer months, the beaches attract large crowds of domestic tourists. Kamakura makes a great day trip from Tokyo or Yokohama and is the perfect escape from the cities.

Sights & Activities

Daibutsu Hiking Trail

Daibutsu Hiking Trail is a wooded trail which is just short of 2 miles long, the trail begins just by Jōchi-Ji Temple and finishes just by The Great Buddha. We actually stumbled on this trail by accident when we got on the train we got off at Kita-Kamakura by accident rather than Kamakura, so we decided to go and visit the Engakuji Temple and Jōchi-Ji Temple.

Once we visited these temples we decided to walk to The Great Buddha, we didn’t plan on doing this trail and I didn’t have the best footwear on so make sure to wear some comfortable trainers or walking shoes if you plan on doing this trail, not some silly glittery peep toe dolly shoes like I had on! However the trail is quite an easy route and walking through the woods and bamboo forests were great and so nice to be out in nature, the trail was nice and quiet too.

The Daibutsu Hiking Trail took us just short of an hour half but we did stop a few times, make sure to also take plenty of water on this trail as there’s nowhere really to get a drink on route. There are several shrines along the way that are hidden away so if you are doing this route maybe pin them on your map so you know where to stop. I really recommend if your visiting Kamakura for the day to get off at the Kita-Kamakura stop as there are plenty of temples and shrines to see near to the station and then can take the Daibutsu Hiking Trail to the Great Buddha.

Daibutsu Hiking Trail KamakuraDaibutsu Hiking Trail Kamakura

Engakuji Temple

Entrance Fee: 300 JPY

Engakuji Temple is built into the slopes of Kita-Kamakuras forested hills and is one of Kamakura’s leading zen temples. The temple was founded back in 1282 and was built after a second invasion attempt by the Mongols to pay respect to both the Japanese and Mongolian soldiers that had died. Like many Japanese temples the entrance has a large wooden Sanmon gate at the entrance, and once inside the grounds of the temple there are several buildings to explore and there is also a traditional tea house on site too.

As we visited during the summer the trees were bright and green, however if you visit in the autumn be sure to visit this temple as there are plenty of maple trees surrounding the temple which turn to stunning autumn colours, Engakuji Temple is a must when visiting Kamakura.

Engakuji Temple KamakuraEngakuji Temple KamakuraEngakuji Temple Kamakura

Jōchi-Ji Temple

Entrance Fee: 200 JPY

Jōchi-Ji Temple is another one of Kamakura’s main zen temples, its close to Engakuji Temple which is its head temple. Jōchi-Ji Temple was once a huge temple complex, today it is a much smaller temple surrounded by forest. The temple was originally founded in 1283 by the ruling Hojo family in honour of their young son who died. Most of the buildings that stand there today have been there since the 1920s.

I would suggest visiting this temple after Engakuji Temple as they are only a few minutes walk apart from one another. The Daibutsu Hiking Trail also starts just by this temple too, the gardens in the temple grounds are calm and tranquil and the grounds have lush flowerbeds and bamboo groves which are great to stroll around before starting a hike.

Jōchi-ji Temple Kamakura

The Great Buddha (Kotoku-in Temple)

Entrance Fee: 300 JPY

The Great Buddha is a symbol of Kamakura and one of the pictures most associated with this coastal city. The Buddha draws plenty of visitors and is Japans second tallest bronze Buddha statues. The statue was cast back in 1252 and originally sat inside the temple, however the temple halls and buildings were destroyed on numerous occasions by typhoons and tsunamis back in the 14th and 15th centuries. Since the late 15th century the Buddha has been outside overlooking the city and coast. There is another small fee of 20 yen if you would like to enter the Buddha statues interior. As the Great Buddha is Kamakuras top attraction it would be a crime to miss it, so make sure this is top of your must see list in Kamakura.

The Great Buddha (Kotoku-in Temple) KamakuraThe Great Buddha (Kotoku-in Temple) Kamakura

Zaimokuza Beach

Zaimokuza Beach is one of five beaches set along Kamakuras 5 miles of coastline, the other beaches are Yuigahama Beach and Koshigoe Beach which are the other two main beaches along with Zaimokuza Beach, and Inamuragasaki and Shichirigahama are two smaller beaches and coves which are less touristy. Zaimokuza Beach is one of the main tourist beaches but is less crowded than Yuigahama and is set in a calm cove. The official beach season in Kamakura is short lived and only runs from July – August, when many beachfront bars, cafes, restaurants and beach huts open for business, and watersport equipment is available for rent.

Zaimokuza Beach is only a few minutes walk from the Great Buddha and on clear days you can also get a glimpse of Mt Fuji, however if you want the best view then head to Inamuragasaki which is also a popular spot for surfers.

We visited Zaimokuza Beach and had a stroll along with it after visiting the Great Buddha, and we enjoyed getting to see one of Japans beaches and viewing the coastline, which considering Japan is a cluster of islands I never think to associate beaches with Japan, so if you’re visiting Tokyo or one of the surrounding areas make sure to head down to one of Kamakura’s beaches for something a little different.

Zaimokuza Beach KamakuraZaimokuza Beach Kamakura

Transport & Getting Around

Kamakura is pretty straight forward to reach from both Tokyo and Yokohama, if you take the JR Yokosuka line from Tokyo it goes directly to Kita-Kamakura and Kamakura and stops via Yokohama where you can also get the train directly from on the same line. The trains are regular and also very cost efficient costing between £3-£7 per person depending on where you take the train from.

There are also buses from Tokyo to Kamakura however these take a long time and are more expensive. Taxis are also available but cost far more, personally I would always recommend taking the trains as much as possible in Japan as they are so clean and efficient  and cost effective when not taking very long journeys.

Due to Kamakuras small size the area can be explored by foot, scenic hiking or by bicycle, there are several rental places to rent bikes if you wanted to cycle around. There is also a good network of city buses, trains and taxis availble for slightly longer distances.

Top Tips

If your vegetarian or just prefer a plant based diet, then the biggest bit of advice would be to do some research before leaving your accommodation and decide where to eat beforehand.

Try downloading the Happy Cow app or googling vegetarian friendly restaurants as trying to seek out places that serve veggie food isn’t always obvious in Japan, so research before you go. If you can also take a small translation card or find it in a guide book and take the translation for vegetarian food, as there is a language barrier. So if you have this you can show waiters and waitresses so they can assist you.

I would really recommend when exploring the city to download the maps.me app this is a great app to have in any country but especially countries where there can be quite a big language barrier. I swear by having this map in an unfamiliar city. It’s like google maps but works offline, so is great if you don’t have WiFi.

I would recommend planning your day before heading out, and seeing what sights and attractions are near to one another. I normally search places on my maps.me app and save and pin it so I can see what is close by, and what is the best route to take so I’m not wasting time going out of the way and then having to go back on myself.

Important Information

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

A Day Trip To Kamakura From Tokyo - Pinterest Pin

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48 Hour Layover Guide To Yokohama - Pinterest Pin