25 Best Places and Things To Do in Yokohama (in 2019

As a couple living only 30 minutes from Yokohama, we have been there so many times we’ve lost count. In many ways, Yokohama is like Tokyo’s younger and more chilled out brother. While not as crowded (usually) as Tokyo, Yokohama has just as much to do and see, and it’s because of this we’ve made this list; to share our love of this great city.

1. Ride Japan’s fastest elevator at Yokohama Landmark Tower.

Photo by Jason Arney

Did you know that there are over 50 skyscrapers in Japan? In fact, Tokyo alone has 30 of them. But of that 50 there’s one skyscraper that’s humbly standing among them — the Yokohama Landmark Tower. What’s so special about it? It has Japan’s fastest elevator, reaching 45 kph (28 mph), allowing you to reach its Sky Garden Observation Deck on the 69th floor in only 40 seconds! Here, you can grab a whiskey while enjoying the 360-degree panoramic night view of Yokohama.

Train access: Sakuragicho Station

2. Stroll at one of the oldest seaside parks in Japan, Yamashita Park.

The Yamashita Park, also known as Yamashita Koen Park (which is rather redundant), is the most popular park in Yokohama. Running alongside Yokohama Bay, locals often come here to walk their dogs, buy refreshments, and get the stunning view of the harbor and Minato Mirai. Here you can also find the Hikawa Maru cargo ship, which is now a floating museum. Guests are welcome on the ship’s decks and to stroll the decorated interior preserved over a half-century ago.

Train access: Motomachi Chukagai Station

3. Visit the beautiful Sankeien Garden.

This traditional Japanese-style garden was originally built in Kyoto and should be the first thing that you visit once you step foot in Yokohama City. It’s a huge beautiful garden featuring ponds, historic buildings, and pagodas and is popular among locals for its cherry blossoms in the spring and its golden leaves in autumn.

4. Travel back in time to Shomyoji Temple.

Who would have thought that in the big city of Yokohama lies a quiet and beautiful Buddhist temple? Built in the 13th century, the Shomyoji Temple is hidden in a subdivision. You’d never imagine that a cultural gem is tucked away in this place until you see the huge gate and red bridge inside. There are also hiking trails in the temple vicinity if you’re feeling energetic.

5. Check out the Yamate Western Houses.

Photo by Teruhide Tomori

These original Western Houses were built in the early 1600s but only a few remained after the Great Kanto Earthquake. The houses are within walking distance from each other and are quite easy to spot as they seem completely out of place in Japan. It is recommended that you start from Ishikawacho Station.

Train access: Ishikawacho Station

6. Enjoy a relaxing Yokohama night cruise.

Photo by Kiyoshi Noguchi

Why not take your dinner dates to a whole new level by having a dinner cruise in Yokohama? There are several sightseeing boats in Yokohama. The Marine Rouge and Royal Wing are the most popular for Lunch and Dinner cruise buffet style which starts at 2,800 yen per person excluding the boarding fee.

7. A Nighttime Helicopter Ride.

Photo by Voyagin

Most of the skyscrapers in Japan have publicly accessible upper levels to give people a view of the amazing cities they’re situated in since you really need to be up high to truly appreciate the scale of these cities. So a helicopter ride at sunset is really the ultimate way to experience this. Fly around Yokohama Bay taking in all the sights from 600 meters high with friends or family.

8. Rent a Go-Kart and ride around Yokohama.

MariCar branches out in Yokohama! A popular attraction popping up around Japan recently has been the Go-Cart Tour. This attraction gained popularity due to the group in Akihabara running the Mario Kart (now MariCAR) tours of Akiba and later Roppongi. In this tour, you drive around Yokohama (like MariCAR) in a funny costume of your own or one provided by the company. These carts are fast so you’ll need an approved drivers license to be able to participate.

9. Visit Yokohama Zoo aka “Zoorasia.”

Photo by Toshihiro Gamo

Yokohama Zoo or “Zoorasia” has been tagged as one of Japan’s largest and best-kept zoos. Family and stroller friendly, this zoo highlights some of the cutest animals with different personalities that you cannot find in a typical zoo, like the cuddly red pandas, a very sociable giraffe, and kawaii camels. We personally enjoy this zoo far more than the more famous Ueno zoo, mainly because the animals seem happier here.

10. Skip Tokyo DisneySea and go to Hakkeijima Sea Paradise.

Photo by Yanai Takahiro

Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is a big island located at the tip of Yokohama Bay. There are many attractions here including the Pleasure Land for rides and the Aqua Resorts for interactions with friendly animals. If you’re not really up for the rides, it is best to just buy the Aqua Resort pass for 3,000 yen (adult). For ticket information, you may visit the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise English website here.

11. Try some rides at Cosmo World.

If you Google Yokohama images, you’ll always see a giant Ferris wheel with a clock. That is Cosmo World and it has become an icon of Yokohama Skyline photographs. There is no entrance fee here. Customers pay by rides which range from 300 to 500 yen for kid rides and 700 yen for the adult rides.

Train access: Minato Mirai Station

12. Make your own Cup Noodles.

The Cup Noodles Museum is not your typical museum. This is where you can make and decorate your own cup noodles and is no doubt a perfect outing for curious kids. While the museum is pretty fun and interesting by yourself, to truly enjoy it you should bring someone along with you, then you can compare your creations at the end of your trip! Who is the real Cup Noodle expert!

Train access: Minato Mirai Station

13. Food trip in Chinatown.

Experience two (or more) cultures converging in one place in the cleanest Chinatown in the world! Of course, the things you can do in Chinatown (aside from eating to your heart’s content) are endless, but make sure to be respectful and help maintain the cleanliness of the place by picking up after yourself.

Train access: Motomachi Chukagai Station

14. Motomachi Shopping Street, Yokohama’s little Europe.

The Motomachi Shopping Street is known to give people a sense of what’s it like to be in Europe. There is a lot to see here and you’ll never tire of window shopping at the several fashion shops (though your husbands/boyfriends might). Make sure to ready your wallet, though, because Japan has some pretty pricey import fees.

Train access: Motomachi Chukagai Station

15. Dine and/or shop at Queen’s Square Mall.

Photo by Crazy4u

Queens Square is a huge mall with a VERY long escalator from B1 to the 4th floor, which is odd since the 4th floor is bad luck in Japan (like the 13th floor in western culture). This mall has been a favorite among foreigners living in the area because of their international brand stores. LL Bean (shout-out to other Mainers!), Eddie Bauer, H&M, and Zara, just to name a few. There are also plenty of restaurants to choose from. The downside is that some shops close as early as 8 p.m. so make sure to arrive early for a shopping spree.

Train access: Minato Mirai Station

16. Leisure shopping at Lalaport.

Photo by weboo

For American brands that you didn’t see in Queen’s Square Mall, this is the place to go. The nice thing about Lalaport is that it’s a very family-friendly mall with childcare facilities and kid zones.

Train access: Kamoi Station

17. Peek inside the Red Brick Warehouses.

Whenever there’s a seasonal event in Yokohama, it’s always being held at the Red Brick Warehouse or Aka Renga as it’s dubbed by locals. It’s a two-story building made of entirely, you guessed it, red bricks, with a variety of stores and restaurants inside.

Train access: Sakuragicho Station

18. All-You-Can-Eat Pizza?! How About Shakey’s Buffet?

The Japanese have a pretty liberal term for “pizza” which makes for some pretty awesome (and not-so-awesome) combinations, so a pizza buffet makes for a great chance to try some of those combinations. When you’re hungry and walking around Yokohama Station, Shakey’s Pizza Buffet is worth checking out. Lunch starts at 1,200 yen while dinner starts at 1,600 yen, which is why it is very popular among high school and university students who are studying near the area. Try their awesome dessert pizzas!

Train access: Yokohama Station

19. Visit Miysis Cat Café in Kannai.

Photo from Tabelog

Cat Cafés allow people from all walks of life to momentarily forget the stresses brought about by daily life and enjoy their time with fluffy, adorable cats. Miysis Cat Café is smaller than most cat cafés in Tokyo, but expect this small paradise on earth to be filled with cats. After all, there is nothing more relaxing than having to watch cats frolic from afar or cuddle next to you. The best time to visit is before closing when cats are more lively as they get ready for dinner.

Train access: Kannai Station

20. Dine at Benny’s Place, an American Style Pub and Restaurant in Ishikawacho.

Photo from Yelp

Benny’s Place is a popular American Pub Restaurant and Sports Bar run by a retired US Navy officer. They serve beer, wine, and cocktails along with great spareribs, nachos, or buffalo wings. You can also play darts and meet other foreigners in a friendly atmosphere.

Train access: Ishikawacho Station

21. Kirin Yokohama Beer Village.

Photo by Etienne95

If you are interested in the long history of Kirin beer in Japan, and how Kirin is different compared to other beers, then you should check out the Brewery Tour of Kirin Beer Village. You get to watch thousands of cans and bottles filled with beer every minute through factory machines. At the end of the tour, you will end up at their “tasting bar” where you exchange your tickets for three glasses of your choice.

22. Taste ramen from all over Japan at the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum.

Photo by Niklas Barsk

Ramen is one of the staple foods in Japan. Like all dishes, a bowl of ramen is cooked differently per region in the country. Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, however, decided to serve all the kinds and variants of ramen from all over Japan, and a few international bowls, in just one area. It’s a ramen paradise! For visitors who wish to try different varieties of ramen on the same day, it’s recommended that you order the “mini ramen,” from each store to make room for your stomach.

Train access: Shin-Yokohama Station

23. Trick Art Museum.

Photo by Ash

There are several Trick Art Museums in Tokyo, but if you don’t feel like traveling that far, or if you live in Kanagawa like us, the best option is to visit the closest one. This Trick Art Museum is located on the 3rd to the 8th floor of Yokohama Daiseki, an entertainment mall in the heart of Yokohama Chinatown.

Train access: Motomachi Chukagai Station

24. Dancing Pikachu in Minato Mirai.

Photo by AsepsFire

Every early August, you will see thousands of Pikachu called the “Pikachu army” dancing in different areas of Minato Mirai. They’re usually seen scattered in Landmark Tower, Minato Mirai Station, World Porters, Sakuragicho Station, and the Red Brick Warehouse. And with the advent of Pokemon GO, this event has taken on a whole new level of insanity. The kids (and most adults) will surely love them.

Train access: Minato Mirai Station

25. Oktoberfest in Red Brick Warehouse.

Photo by Masayuki Takaku

Red Brick Warehouse is very popular for its grandiose Oktoberfest every early October, so be sure to go there once in your life.

Train access: Minato Mirai or Sakuragicho Station