The state of the art Osanbashi cruise port terminal in Yokohama can accommodate four 30,000-ton-class or two 70,000-ton class cruise ships at once. It’s a giant, contemporary looking piece of architecture with a cleverly designed wooden decking with fascinating views of Minato Mirai – the business district of Yokohama. It’s in the heart of the city, shopping and tourist spots are a walk away, and it also serves as a gateway to greater Tokyo area. Being located at 11 nautical miles closer to the Pacific than Tokyo Port, it is more convenient for both cruise ships and passengers. Inside the pier there are a few restaurants, cafes with free WiFi and gift shops. There is a public bus service every ten minutes between the terminal and Yokohama station, costing only 200 yen per ticket. From Yokohama station (downtown), passengers can continue exploring Yokohama, take a train down to Tokyo, 40km away, or go further to Mount Fiji and Kamakura.
The official currency is Japanese yen – JPY. Exchanging money is easy and safe throughout the city and there are ATMs at nearly every convenience store, post office, 7/11 shop. They are not all working 24/7 though. Do make sure you get enough cash because a surprising number of shops and restaurants would only except cash payments.
Opening hours and bank holidays. Outlets in Japan tend to be open daily, including national holidays, except for New Year’s, generally from 10 or 11 am to 7.30 or 8 pm. There are quite a few national bank holidays in Japan, so it would be useful to be aware of them before visiting.
Tipping is considered rude in Japan, so just don’t do it, and the same applies for haggling.
The local time in Yokohama is GMT+9 and the international dialling code is + 81 45.
Things To Do
Feel Yokohama city at 273m sky view at the 69th floor of the Landmark Tower. The fastest elevator in Japan will whisk you to the Sky Garden there, at the speed of 750 metres per minute. You can enjoy the panoramic view of Yokohama, on the north you can see Tokyo skyline, on the south the bay bridge and the sacred Mount Fuji. If you have an evening to spare, and you are blessed with a cloudless weather, you can capture the spectacular Fuji sunset.
Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is another spot of the city to spend some time, it’s a leisure land surrounded by nature. It’s located at the tip of Yokohama bay and is a new generation amusement park, home of one of the top aquariums in Japan. At 107 metres high, you can enjoy an exhilarating vertical fall – it’s the Blue Fall, Japan’s first surf coaster, that swings out over the water. The world-famous Merry-Go-Round with thousands of glittering lights is also there. For the less adventurous, there are also shops, restaurants, a marina and a hotel.
A great way to spend an afternoon in Yokohama for anyone with interests in nature and gardening would be to see the Sankeien Gardens. Enjoy some piece and quiet in the heart of the hustle and bustle of Yokohama. This spacious, Japanese style garden exhibits a number of historic buildings from across Japan, there is also a pond, small rivers, flowers and delightful scrolling trails. Among the historic buildings exhibited in the park are an elegant daimyo (feudal lord) 300-year old residence, several tea houses.
The Cupnoodles Museum is a fun and interactive museum in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai district that shows the history of instant ramen noodles using a combination of whimsical exhibits and hands on workshops. It was opened by the Nissin Food company, whose founder invented instant ramen noodles in 1958 as a fast and convenient food.
Other points of interest in Yokohama include the Yokohama Marine Tower (the tallest lighthouse in the world), Yamashita Park, Nogeyama Zoo, NYK Hikawa Maru, a Japanese ocean liner that is berthed as a museum ship, Yokohama Cosmoworld amusement park and the Yokohama museum of art.
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