In the sweltering summer months in Japan, the heat and humidity get turned up, especially in Tokyo. So, Sakuragicho – Yokohama’s harbourside hangout, is a great place to escape some of the heat or cold depending on the season.
You see Yokohama is typically cooler in summer and also warmer in winter than it’s overpopulated sibling. Thus, it is an easy escape from the concrete jungle, to check out the neighbouring town or even explore with friends or a potential date. Furthermore, it was also voted best city to live in the Tokyo area earlier this year.
Yokohama as a city is famous for its large China Town, Landmark Tower and of course harbour and sea views. However, delve deeper into Sakuragicho, and you have a whole day of activities or more at your disposal.
Yokohama’s Landmark Tower stands just shy of the big 300 at 296m tall. It is the tallest building in the greater Tokyo area, and second tallest in Japan. Just beaten by the recently built Abeno Harukas Skyscraper in 2012 (located in Osaka).
The building spans a total of 73 floors high including a luxury hotel on floors 49-70. The whopping floors 48 and below holding a collection of stores, restaurants, medical clinics and office space. Check out more in our post on Yokohama’s largest Skyscraper.
Nippon Maru Memorial Park
Directly opposite the tower, you can find the infamous sailboat known as the Nippon Maru, which is also used for sailboat training. Further exploring will also reveal a fully intact cabin, including captain’s quarters, crew cabin and more.
Surrounding the boat is the Yokohama Port Museum which is dedicated to the history of the Port of Yokohama, plus the Nippon Maru sailing ship. It also plays hosts to a large number of lectures, exhibits, craft classes and events.
Above the museum are the lawns of the park which overlooks Minato Mirai, Yokohama’s infamous and picturesque harbour. Here they hold several events and concerts throughout the year. Moreover, it is simply a nice place to sit to have lunch or to just relax and enjoy the calm sea views.
Yokohama Art Museum
Located behind Landmark Tower is the Yokohama Art Museum, which opened around the late 1980s. It features unique architecture and is one of the largest art-related buildings in Japan. Inside you will find a total of seven individual galleries, with an art information and media centre that holds many iconic events.
You can find out about all the latest exhibitions, events and more on their English website.
Across the Kishamachi Promenade
From across Sakuragicho station’s bus terminal, you can head across the Kishmachi Promenade towards Unga Park for a variety of places to see.
The park itself is a great and welcoming place to chill out and relax (or chillax!). There are photo ops galore of Yokohama’s scenic harbour, or it’s a great place to enjoy a picnic with friends.
For shopping enthusiasts, head across to Yokohama World Porters or Red Brick Warehouse which is a short walk from Unga Park. World Porters is full of enticing eating and buying options with its large array of shops and restaurants. Red Brick Warehouse has more of a local market feel with its range of stores and more open environment feel. It is not uncommon to find different kinds of events parked outside its doors too.
Sitting close behind Yokohama World Porters is the well known Yokohama Cup Noodles Museum, which you can explore in further detail via Luke’s take.
Noge’s Alcohol Alleyways
Should you choose to head towards the south exit of Sakuragicho station, then you’ll reach the well-known alleyways of Noge. This is the local area’s drinking haven, full of many small, yet interesting and diverse drinking establishments.
Here you can find all the usual Japanese food suspects, plus a few upmarket options to boot. Some of the standouts include Yokohama Bay Brewing Pub, which included a crazy range of craft beer flavours. We were able to taste great Kushi-katsu (fried anything on a stick) store from Osaka, plus we enjoyed awesome flavours from some of the yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) jaunts.
It is a place that is worth exploring without any direction so that you stumble into a random, but hidden gem in this maze of bustling bars.
Other places of Interest
Beyond Landmark Tower, there is the Cosmo Kids Amusement full of all the essential theme park rides. Perfect to take the younger kids for an afternoon out.
Beyond the amusement park is a bunch of shorter buildings across from Landmark Tower, known as Queen’s Tower. In this area, you can find an amphitheatre, another even more shopping centres, with major brand names plus another full food court. Yokohama is almost like a shopping paradise, with this amount of unlimited options.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your exciting day’s escape from the Tokyo cityscape now. Then you can be sure to enjoy one of the more stunning, serene and substantially different sides of Japan.