Yokohama

Nippon-Maru at Minato Mirai

Located on the western coast of Tokyo Bay directly south of Tokyo, Yokohama (横浜) is the second largest city in Japan and one of the cities most used to seeing foreigners.

Understand

Yokohama was the first port opened up to foreign trade after the opening of Japan in 1854. At the forefront of the Meiji restoration, the first train line in Japan connected Tokyo and Yokohama. However, Yokohama was devastated by the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and again by the firebombings of World War II, and never really regained its prominence. It remains a maritime city to this day and retains an international flavor.

Get in

Yokohama is located only half an hour away from Tokyo, and effectively forms a part of the giant conurbation.

By plane

Yokohama does not have its own airport. You can reach Yokohama from Tokyo's two main airports.

Some Narita Express trains from Narita Airport go through to Yokohama (1½ hours, ¥4290). Limousine Buses run frequently from Narita to the Yokohama City Air Terminal (YCAT) in 2 hours (¥3600). The cheapest access from Narita Airport involves a Keisei train. The Keisei Main Line train, with one across-the-platform transfer at Aoto, will cost ¥1500 to Yokohama. The Sky Access line train will cost ¥1690. Most Sky Access trains run to Keisei Ueno, but there are a handful each day which run through to Yokohama (and beyond; generally to Kanazawa-Bunko) on the Keikyu Main Line.

From Haneda Airport, take the Keikyu Line's Airport Express (エアポート急行) to Yokohama station in 30-35 minutes for ¥480. Note that the Airport Express has several variants: If the train's destination is Shin-Zushi (新逗子) or Kanazawa-Bunko (金沢文庫), then you can stay on the train for the entire trip. If the train goes to another destination, it's likely to continue on into Tokyo so you will need to change at Keikyu-Kamata station to the next main line limited express train going in the other direction.

By train

The overwhelming majority of visitors to Yokohama arrive from Tokyo by train. A multitude of train lines connect the two cities at roughly equal prices, but some of the more convenient options are:

The Toyoko Line station in Shibuya is located deep underground, due to its connection with the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line subway. On a positive note, this allows trains to continue north to Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and into Saitama.

JR Trains from Ōmiya and Urawa in Saitama and Akabane in northern Tokyo run towards Yokohama using either the Shonan Shinjuku Line or the Ueno-Tokyo Line. The trip from Ōmiya takes 60-70 minutes either way and costs ¥920.

On the Tokaido, Yokosuka and Keihin Tohoku lines, the trip from Tokyo Station costs ¥470, and from Shinagawa, ¥290.

Shinkansen trains go to Shin-Yokohama station instead, a few stations away from the main Yokohama station. The two stations are connected via the JR Yokohama line (10-15 minutes via direct service, ¥170) and the Yokohama Subway Blue Line (10 minutes, ¥240). Alternatively, take the Shinkansen to Shinagawa and change to the Tokaido, Yokosuka or Keihin Tohoku lines. If your final destination is Chinatown or the harbor area, taking one of the non-Shinkansen trains listed above is likely to be faster.

Minato-Mirai Line

The Minato Mirai Line (みなとみらい線), opened in 2004, is a direct extension of the Tokyu Toyoko Line. Connection with the lines is at Yokohama Station, and the line itself has five stations: Shin-Takashimacho (新高島町), Minatomirai (みなとみらい), Bashamichi (馬車道), Nihon Ōdori (日本大通り), and Motomachi-Chūkagai (元町・中華街), terminating at the posh Motomachi shopping street and the second largest Chinatown in the world. The line’s stations itself are worth seeing, especially Minato-Mirai Station itself, where you are able to see straight up to the very spacious entrance hall (7 floors in all) of the Yokohama Landmark Tower, the tallest building in Japan.

Bashamichi Station is with artifact bricks and hosts the remains of the first western style bank of Yokohama. Note also that Bashamichi (literal translation: horse carriage street) was the first street in Japan to have gas fired street lightings, which were re-installed lately. Bashamichi Station is surrounded by historical buildings, built only a century ago, but for Japanese standards are a true catapulting into westernization. Thus all buildings remaining (partially rebuilt after the heavy bombings of WWII) are protected as “historical – cultural national treasure.”

Nihon-Ōdori Station is similar to Bashamichi Station. Nihon-Ōdori (meaning Japan Avenue) is a two lane-two way avenue, which back then separated the living quarters of the foreign delegation and Japanese. The line runs parallel to the Keihin-Tohoku Line, but due to its massive expenses in keeping the designer-class stations running, the fares are rather pricey but definitely worthwhile. The line runs through the very historical parts of Yokohama, when Japan opened up towards the Western civilization. Many history-related museums of Yokohama are dotted along the line, and to attract further tourists, the line offers a one-day unlimited ride ticket (¥460 for adults, 1/2 price for children).

Get around

View of Yokohama skyline and passenger port

Yokohama is not a very automobile-friendly place, especially for foreigners. Public transit and walking works best. The Naka Ward office provides a map of Yokohama in English.

By train

The Minato Mirai 21 subway line from Yokohama station down the harborfront to Chinatown is the best method of accessing the main tourist haunts. The main subway line is useful primarily for transfers between central Yokohama and the Shinkansen station. JR Negishi Line (根岸線) is also available for Chinatown and Minato Mirai Area. All Negishi Line Trains with the blue line are direct service via the Keihin-Tohoku Line. For suburban areas, Yokohama has a subway and extensive commuter rail lines that crisscross the city from every direction and to all neighboring cities.

Yokohama Subway (横浜市営地下鉄) This train has two types: the "blue line" and the "green line". The former is from Azamino to Shonandai. The latter is from Hiyoshi to Nakayama. Using this train, you can get around Yokohama easily.

By bus

Akai Kutsu Bus is a sight seeing bus around Minatomirai, Chinatown and Motomachi. It runs every 20-30 minutes and looks like an old red bus. A ticket costs ¥100, and a 1 day pass costs ¥300

By boat

A "sea bus" operates between JR Yokohama station (east exit), Minato Mirai and Yamashita Park, and is one of the nicest ways to get around on a sunny day. The fare is ¥340-700 depending on the distance.

By human power

Velo taxis are widely available within the harbor area, while rickshaws make their rounds within Chinatown.

On foot

Central Yokohama is comparatively compact and the Chinatown/Yamashita Park area is best explored on foot.

See

Chinatown in Yokohama
Bay Stars Stadium
Landmark Tower

Do

Cosmo Clock 21

Buy

Yokohama Station Area (横浜駅前)

Other (その他)

Eat

Budget

Mid-range

Recreation of Old Tokyo, in the basement of the Ramen Museum

Splurge

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

The three main hotels in the Minato Mirai area are the ultimate in local luxury, and occasionally offer their rooms on sale at bargain prices.

Go next

Routes through Yokohama

Nagoya Odawara  W  E  Shinagawa Tokyo
Shizuoka Kamakura  W  E  Kawasaki Tokyo
Shizuoka Atsugi  W  E  Kawasaki Tokyo
END  W  E  HanedaOdaiba Urayasu
END  W  E  Kawasaki → in to Tokyo
Yokosuka Zushi  S  N  END
Yokosuka  S  N  SagamiharaHachioji Kawagoe
Hakone OdawaraFujisawa  W  E  Kawasaki Tokyo


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, March 22, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.