Yokohama – more than meets the eye

3 years ago by in Travel

I’ve been in Tokyo for quite a few years, but not really explored Yokohama, despite its proximity. So I decided to spend some of my Summer holiday looking at the place.

First stop was Zoorasia, which far exceeded expectations. What impressed most, aside from the large collection of animals (which appear to be kept in decent conditions), was the attention to detail that had gone into things such as the paths and cafes. To get there you need to take a short bus ride, but it’s worth it.

Staying overnight in a hotel was a good idea. It made the trip a real holiday and having a great view of the ferris wheel from the room balcony was an added bonus.

Day two of the trip consisted of shopping and exploring. The red brick storehouse is well worth a look for shopping, and the buildings themselves are also interesting. I’m sure you could spend a whole afternoon just spending money, but I needed to get some air so went for a walk. After a short distance I found a water-fountain donated by the Indian community in memory of those who suffered in the earthquake (detail in a photo below), and boarded the Hikawa Maru, restored to its original 1930s decor. It was really possible to feel what it must have been like to travel from Yokohama to Seattle along with superstars such as Charlie Chaplin. It is around this area that you can also find a statue of the "girl with red shoes", whose traditional song seems to either be a romantic tale or one of kidnapping… I haven’t worked out which yet.

After this, finally, I experienced Chinatown. If there’s one thing I miss about the UK it’s decent Cantonese food. Now I don’t have to miss it anymore: I had some of the best dim sum I’ve ever eaten and will definitely be going back regularly from now on. Yokohama Chinatown is much larger than I thought and will definitely require several trips to explore fully. This time I settled for stuffing my face, visiting the temples and taking some photos. I can’t believe I left it so long to find this place.

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