Japan’s second most populous city, Yokohama, is located just a 45-minute train journey from the capital. As one of the nation’s prominent economic centres, the city mixes modern architecture and shopping with historical temples and picturesque waterfront scenery.
During your time in Yokohama, you’ll find its theme parks are just as present as its historical monuments. Minato Minara or Cosmo World, located in the former industrial district, offer exhilarating roller coasters, buzzing family-friendly restaurants, the Yokohama Museum of Art and Shinko Island. Alternatively, some of Yokohama’s best nature can be found at Yamashita Park or the botanical gardens of Sankei-en – the location of a 15th century Japanese pagoda.
As the home of Japan’s largest Chinatown, Yokohama is the best location to sample traditional Japanese dishes like Gyunabe, while many restaurants serve fresh sushi and tempura. For something a little more offbeat, head to the Noodle Cup Museum to design your own ramen cup or explore the Yokohama Ramen Museum to visit the world’s only food-themed amusement park.
Following the end of Japan’s isolationist policy in the 1800s, Yokohama was transformed from a small fishing village into the city we know today. Now, one of Japan’s largest administrative zones, the city's Kannai business district was formerly a moated island before its development in the 15th century. Today, western influence can be felt across Yokohama's music, fashion and art worlds, while the city was first recognised on a global scale after hosting the 2002 FIFA World Cup final.