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Photo credit：Yokohama Visitors Guide
Base your trip in Yokohama to discover its rich culture, with convenient access to Tokyo, Hakone and beyond
Yokohama is full of cultural attractions and modern amenities befitting a major Japanese metropolis, at a convenient size for exploring. Japan's second-largest city has so much to discover on an extended stay. Just 20 minutes from Tokyo by train, Yokohama's relaxed pace and cosmopolitan atmosphere combine with easy transport links to the capital and other nearby destinations like Kamakura, Hakone and around the Kanto region.
There are many options for longer stays, including luxury hotels and apartment-style accommodations. The Oakwood Suites Yokohama is the new modern luxury serviced residences located on the upper floors of Yokohama's one of the tallest residential buildings. The waterfront location gives the apartments stunning harbor and city views, as well as a wealth of shopping, dining, and entertainment options within close reach. The building is connected to Bashamichi Station on the Minatomirai Line, which links some of Yokohama's most interesting neighborhoods with Tokyo. Rooms are fitted with a fully equipped kitchen, with dishes and cooking utensils, so guests can prepare their own meals with ease.
The Yokohama Bay Sheraton Hotel and Towers offers a more conventional luxury hotel experience, complete with a gym and a pool. It is located across the street from Yokohama Station, the city's main transportation hub, making travel around Yokohama and to surrounding destinations such as Tokyo a breeze. The Shin Yokohama Prince Hotel is steps from Shin-Yokohama, the city's shinkansen (bullet train) station, providing easy transfers within Yokohama and around the country. There is a large shopping center on-site, and it is a short walk from Yokohama International Stadium, a venue for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, as well as the home of J. League soccer club Yokohama F. Marinos.
Slow sightseeing in Yokohama
Yokohama's main face is that of a modern, cosmopolitan city with a glittering harborfront skyline. It also has a rich history, shaped by its past as Japan's gateway to the world. Travelers on a Yokohama day trip might skip some of the best sights and miss out on fully embracing the city's complexity. An extended stay allows visitors to learn about Yokohama's heritage at a relaxed pace, spending extra time at attractions that are best explored slowly. With its wide streets and open spaces, Yokohama is ideal for exploring without feeling crowded.
Start at the Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History for an overview of the area's cultural milieu, with artifacts and exhibits from ancient times through to Yokohama's emergence as Japan's main international port. The museum's stately building was once the central branch of Yokohama Specie Bank, built in 1904. The Western-style architecture is reminiscent of many of the majestic former residences of the wealthy merchants and diplomats who populated the hillside Yamate neighborhood.
Continue your journey through Yokohama's more recent past with a visit to the NYK Hikawamaru , a cargo-passenger liner constructed in 1930 and moored in front of Yamashita Park since 1961. The ship was a pinnacle of technology at the time and shuttled passengers including Japanese Prince and Princess Takamatsu and Charlie Chaplin between Yokohama and Seattle. It was used as a Navy hospital ship during World War II before returning to passenger use from 1951 to 1960. Visitors can see the restored art-deco interior as well as exhibits on the ship's history.
Yokohama retains many links to traditional Japanese culture. Sankeien Garden is a traditional-style garden spread over 175,000 square meters. Many of the historic structures in the park were brought in from around the country, including a pagoda dating from the 1400s, brought from the ancient capital of Kyoto. Streams, waterfalls, ponds, bamboo groves and bridges round out the quintessentially Japanese atmosphere.
Similarly, those in Yokohama for an extended stay can experience Buddhist heritage at a relaxed pace. Go to Narita-san Yokohama Branch Temple Enmei-in (commonly called as Yokohama Naritasan), to stroll among a series of statues, including a statue of Fudo Myo-o (a guardian deity), that is said to fulfill visitors' wishes. The temple's hilltop location affords views across the Minato Mirai 21 and Noge neighborhoods. Hakusan Tokozenji Temple, one of the oldest temples in the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism, offers guided Zen meditation (Zazen) experiences in English, including private meditation sessions.
Getting around Yokohama and beyond
Like most Japanese cities, Yokohama has an extensive, efficient and clean public transportation network. Most sights within Yokohama can be accessed by train. Yokohama Station, the city's main transportation hub, is linked to many notable neighborhoods and destinations by the subway's Blue Line, the Minatomirai Line and the JR Negishi Line. Sightseeing buses also link popular sightseeing spots with major stations.
Yokohama is extremely well-linked to Tokyo and other nearby destinations. The Tokyu Toyoko Line is a major train route between Tokyo and Yokohama, running between Shibuya Station and Yokohama Station in just 25 minutes. After Yokohama Station, the line continues to Minatomirai, Motomachi, and Chinatown as the Minatomirai Line. After Shibuya, trains continue onto the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line. Other lines to Tokyo include the JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line to Shinjuku Station, and the JR Tokaido Line to Tokyo Station. Shin-Yokohama Station links the city with most of the rest of Japan via the Tokaido Shinkansen (bullet train).
Enjoy smooth connections with a travel pass. The Japan Rail Pass includes unlimited travel on all JR lines in Japan for seven, 14 or 21 days. Both the JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area) and the JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area) cover JR trains in and around Yokohama, each for five days.
Yokohama's modern style extends well beyond the skyline and sleek waterfront district. The city's cosmopolitan heritage influences its rich cultural attractions, including fashion, art, music and theater. Enjoy the fusion of Japanese and international influences on Motomachi Shopping Street. The charming streets are designed for strolling, lined with stylish boutiques, cafes and restaurants. The Minato Mirai 21 area is a more contemporary shopping destination, with numerous shopping centers in a picturesque setting on the harbor.
See around 40 cars of the past, current and near future at the Nissan Global Headquarters Gallery. Take a test drive, or enjoy a coffee overlooking the harbour at this modern automotive museum. Traditional performing arts are alive and well at the Yokohama Noh Theater, whose main stage dates to 1875, the oldest Noh stage in the Kanto area. There are regular performances of Noh and other modes of Japanese theater. When not in use for performances, visitors can view the stage, which is painted with a beautiful pine tree and plum blossoms, from the second floor of the theater.
Make the most of Yokohama's proximity to some of Tokyo's trendiest areas to explore more cultural options. The Tokyu Toyoko Line runs to Shibuya , a center of nightlife, fashion and the iconic scramble crossing, in just 25 minutes. Along the way are Nakameguro and Daikanyama, relaxed neighborhoods with hip restaurants and trendy boutiques. Toyoko Line trains continue onto the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line past Shibuya, stopping at the youth fashion hub of Harajuku and Kita-Sando, a short walk from the Japan National Stadium, built for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
Hakone and beyond
To the west of Yokomama, Hakone , a hot spring resort with spectacular views of Mt. Fuji, is within easy reach. Hakone Open Air Museum and Lake Ashinoko are popular draws. Take the JR Tokaido Line to Odawara Station (under an hour), then get around by train, bus and ropeway.
Kamakura , home of the Great Buddha statue and many well-preserved temples, is similarly convenient. The JR Yokosuka Line connects Yokohama Station with Kamakura Station in about 30 minutes. Continue on to the beautiful island of Enoshima, 25 minutes on Enoden trains, for beaches, caves and views of Mt. Fuji.
Farther west, Atami is a major onsen destination with a host of traditional inns and luxurious resorts. Atami Station is about an hour from Yokohama Station on the JR Ueno-Tokyo Line and just half an hour from Shin-Yokohama Station on the shinkansen.
All information is correct at the time of publishing. Business hours may be subject to change; please check with the venues before visiting.
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