A fresh sea breeze in the harbor.
Yokohama is well known for its wonderful harbor. Our Yokohama trip started at the Yokohama station. We thought that it would be a good idea to start with a boat trip (35 minutes) around the harbor of Yokohama. Just to see what it’s about. You could choose to go straight to Yamashita park or to have two other stops before arriving at the park. We chose the latter, because the straight line would only take about 15 minutes and we thought that wouldn’t be enough to see the harbor from the sea. We were quite right about that.
The boat ride took us around the harbor and we were moored two times to allow other passengers to enter and exit the boat. It was not cold at all and the sea breeze was very refreshing. And the views, they were just beautiful.
After the boat ride we had lunch in Yamashita park. The park is approximately 750 meters long and stretches out along the coast line. You are able to see Yokohama’s waterfront from almost every spot in the park (if the trees are not blocking your view). You can also find some special architectural structures like the one you can see in the picture below.
Yamahita park also houses the Guardian of Water statue. The woman depicted in the statue, who is holding a jar of water, is standing in a small pond and small fountains surround her. The water will reach different heights.
Next up was a visit to the fully restored passenger liner called the Hikawa Maru. This ship is moored in the Harbor of Yokohama. The Hikawa Maru served as a passenger liner of the NYK Line and did trips from Yokohama to Seattle and many more.
It also served as a hospital ship during the Second World War. It was completely painted white with red crosses. After that the Hikawa Maru changed jobs again and served as a repatriation ship after the War. And after that there was another occupation change and the Hikawa Maru served as a passenger liner once more. She survived all this time and today the ship is 86 years old.
The famous Osanbashi Yokohama International Passenger Terminal can be found ‘right next to’ the Hikawa Maru. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to enter the passenger terminal, but from the outside the structure was very impressive. It stretches all the way from the shore into the water and the architecture is beautiful.
China in Japan
After visiting the Hikawa Maru we walked to Yokohama’s China Town. Everywhere you could see Chinese food shops and restaurants. Lanterns were hanging from ropes in the smaller streets as well. I was accompanied by one Chinese girl, so she could translate everything for us, which is kind of convenient if you do not understand the language.
Here we had some Chinese ‘dumplings’. I forgot what they were called, so I will just call them dumplings in this blog post. They looked and smelled really delicious (even though I did not like the taste that much). You could eat them with meat, seafood, crab or vegetables. Inside of the dumplings was some sort of oil. So you had to drink the oil first and after that eat the dumpling.
And it would not be a Buddhist religion if there were no Chinese temples in China Town. The biggest temple we visited was the Kwan Kai temple. The is quite big for the area (just in the middle of China Town, with small(er) streets).
The inside of the temple was also astonishing. Very very beautiful and full with bright colors. The wonderful picture below was made by my friend Antonio Schuhmann dos Santos (click on his name for more pictures!).
For some reason I still don’t understand, Chinese people happen to love pandas. You could see those fluffy bears everywhere in the shops in China Town. From small walking toys to pencils and socks. Even a store with a panda mouth as front door. After visiting the panda shops we had a great dinner in a nice little restaurant. I had a spicy noodle dish, which was really amazing.
Yokohama by night
If you are planning on visiting Yokohama: make sure that you stay there at least until it’s dark. The harbor is full of colors and lights and the sights are just stunning. We visited the Yokohama Landmark tower during the evening as well and you can see so many lights all around you. I cannot even try to describe the beauty of Yokohama during the night. You should just visit!
On the picture below you can see Yokohama’s harbor. You can see the Hikawa Maru and the Passenger terminal.
Visited on the 7th of October 2016