Yokohama, Japan, is a can’t-miss destination. Despite living in Tokyo’s shadow, it has a culture and offerings all its own.
Yokohama started as a small fishing village before evolving into the major city it is today. Within its borders, you’ll find modern amenities, luxury hospitality, ancient cultures, and inventive cuisines.
Use this Yokohama travel guide to plan everything you want to do, see, and enjoy during your time in the city.
Fun Facts About Yokohama
- Yokohama is Japan's second largest city with 3.7 million residents.
- Yokohama is considered its own city even though it’s located just outside Tokyo.
- Japan's first railroad connected Tokyo and Yokohama in 1872. Public transportation is plentiful between the two.
- The name “Yokohama” means “horizontal beach” and refers to a sandbar off the coast.
- Yokohama was one of the first Japanese ports to open to foreign trade in 1859.
- Yokohama's Chinatown is the largest in the country.
Best Time to Visit Yokohama
The best time to visit Yokohama will depend on your reasons for visiting.
Many travelers to Yokohama base their travels around the weather. Visit Yokohama in June – September if you desire warmth. The average daily temps hover between 70° and 80° F.
If you want to take advantage of Yokohama’s plentiful snow activities, plan your trip for January and February when the area gets the most snowfall.
Yokohama is bustling with activity during the fall and spring. Consider these seasonal events when planning your trip:
Cherry Blossom Festival – March - April
Yokohama welcomes travelers in search of Japan’s beautiful cherry blossoms each year in the spring. Plan your trip for late March or early April to get a glimpse of these lovely pink trees in full bloom.
International Costume Parade – May
Catch the International Costume Parade in May. This event has been around for more than half a century. It features marching bands, dance teams, and plenty of costumes. People come from all over Japan to watch.
China's National Day and Double Tenth Festival – October
Yokohama is the site of Japan’s largest Chinatown. Two of the neighborhood’s biggest celebrations take place in October: China’s National Day and Double Tenth Festival. During early October, Chinatown celebrates both with parades and traditional dances.
PRO TIP: Travel to Yokohama in its low seasons (summer and fall) to get the most affordable hotel and airfare rates.
Getting to Yokohama
There are two primary airports you may fly into if you’re traveling to Yokohama: Narita Airport and Haneda Airport, both in Tokyo.
Take a train, limo bus, or rental car from Narita Airport to Yokohama. Any of these options will take about 90 minutes.
Narita Airport has two train stations:
- Narita Airport Terminal 1 Station – Located beneath Terminal 1
- Narita Airport Terminal 2-3 Station – Located beneath Terminal 2
The station you choose will depend on your arrival terminal. If you fly into Terminal 3, you can take a shuttle to Terminal 2, where you can access the Terminal 2-3 Station.
The train generally costs between ¥1190 and ¥3000.
Take the JR Narita Express Line to get to Yokohama.
To depart via limo bus, travelers flying into all terminals will depart from the 1F group bus platform directly outside the airport’s visitor service center.
The limousine bus can be more affordable than the train, but the cost depends on the service provider you choose. Prices range from ¥900 to ¥3600.
Airport limousine buses are widely available at both Narita and Haneda airports.
Terminal 1 arrivals will find car rental companies including Nippon, Toyota, Nissan, ORIX, and Times Car RENRAL on the first floor of the central building. Terminal 2 arrivals will find the same options on the first floor of the main building. See telephone numbers and check hours here.
Arriving in Haneda Airport makes the trip to Yokohama a little quicker – generally 30 minutes or less depending on your mode of transportation.
PRO TIP: Use Haneda Airport’s Route Master tool to help you plan your route from the airport to your destination within Yokohama.
You can take a train into Yokohama directly from the International Terminal of Haneda Airport. Board the Keiyku Line train at the underground station in the terminal.
There is also a Keiyku Line station serving both the domestic terminals at Haneda (Terminal 1 and Terminal 2).
You’ll want to follow the Keikyu Line to Yokohma Station. It is a 23-minute ride from the International Terminal and a 30-minute ride from the Domestic Station.
Ticket prices are around ¥450. Visit the Keikyu website for train schedules and up-to-date price information.
PRO TIP: Keikyu Corporation has a fantastic visual resource to help you navigate the International Terminal to get to the train station. Save it now to use once you arrive: https://www.haneda-tokyo-access.com/en/transport/international.html.
You can take a 30-minute bus ride from Haneda Airport to Yokohama Station (YCAT). Limo bus terminals are available at all three Haneda Airport terminals – the International Terminal and Domestic Terminals 1 & 2.
Check the bus schedule here.
Neighborhoods to Explore in Yokohama
Now let’s take a closer look at some of Yokohama’s best neighborhoods.
This neighborhood is both a regional commercial center and a residential area. However, it’s also home to several major attractions that draw in tourists to an otherwise locals-only neighborhood. These attractions include Nissan Stadium, Yokohama Arena, and the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum.
Nissan Stadium (previously International Stadium Yokohama) is a huge draw for major sporting events, including 2019's Rugby World Cup. If you’re traveling to the area for the RWC, you may want to stay in Kōhoku-ku to be close to the stadium.
Yokohama Arena is a nearby indoor stadium modeled after one of the world’s most famous event venues — Madison Square Garden. It’s often used for concerts featuring both Japanese artists and international artists. Famous faces who have performed there include Frank Sinatra and Mariah Carey.
Lastly, the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum is actually not a museum at all, but rather a food court focused on Japanese ramen. It’s a great spot to try authentic cuisine in a famed spot without breaking your budget.
Yokohama’s Chinatown is a great pick for foodies. It has an amazing cultural heritage and is saturated with restaurants and cafés. Choices range from traditional Chinese cuisine like noodles, dumplings, and porridges to innovative dishes from on-the-rise chefs.
Shopping is a popular attraction in Yokohama’s Chinatown – there are more than 250 Chinese-owned shops and restaurants in the district.
The neighborhood also hosts great festivals and holiday celebrations. These include two of the neighborhood’s biggest celebrations in October: China’s National Day and Double Tenth Festival. Both are celebrated with parades and traditional dances.
Minato Mirai is Yokohama’s central business district and a favored spot to visit regardless of the day or time. The area is ripe with shopping opportunities, attractions, and luxury hotels.
Don’t miss Yokohama Landmark Tower, the second-tallest building and fourth-tallest structure in Japan. You can enjoy magnificent views of nearby Tokyo and Mount Fuji in the distance from the observation deck.
Take a ride on Cosmo Clock 21 at Yokohama Cosmo World amusement park. This ride was once the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. Enjoy a ride more than 300 feet above the city!
Don’t stress if you’re afraid of heights. Take a walk along the Kishamichi Promenade instead. This walking path follows the harbor railroad tracks and gives you awesome views of the skyline.
The risk of danger to travelers in Yokohama is low compared to many large U.S. or European cities. The little crime that does occur often takes place in residential areas not typically visited by travelers.
However, it’s always wise to pay attention to your surroundings and be prepared for potential emergencies. Here are a few safety tips for your time in Yokohama:
Beware of pickpockets in crowded places.
Only carry as much cash as you need for the day. Carry your daypack on the front of you in crowded places. Anchor your purse or bag to your chair when you are seated.
Don’t drink excessively or let your drink out of your sight.
Criminals may view intoxicated travelers as prime targets for theft or assault.
Dial 110 if you need emergency assistance while in Yokohama.
Emergency services are available 24 hours a day and English-speaking operators are available if needed.
Know the names, locations, and phone numbers of a few hospitals in the area in case you have an accident or fall suddenly ill.
Hospitals in the Yokohama area with English-speaking staff include:
- Keiyu Hospital
- Address: 3 Chome-7-3 Minatomirai, Nishi Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 220-8521, Japan
- Phone Number: +81 45-221-8181
- Saiseikai Yokohamashi Tobu Hospital
- Address: 3 Chrome−6−1 Kanagawa, Yokohama, Shimosueyoshi, 230-8765, Japan
- Phone Number: +81 45-576-3000
- Yokohama City Minato Red Cross Hospital
- Address: 3 Chome-12- 1 Shinyamashita, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 231-8682, Japan
- Phone Number: +81 45-628-6100
Purchase travel medical insurance to cover eligible medical expenses in case you have an accident or fall ill during your travels.
Travel medical insurance can cover expenses incurred in Japan which may not be covered by your domestic health insurance provider. Additionally, travel medical insurance can cover eligible expenses resulting from terrorism, natural disaster, and even travel mishaps like the airline losing your checked luggage.
See what medical expenses and emergency situations Atlas Travel insurance covers.
Where to Stay in Yokohama
Lodging During Major Sporting Events
There are several good options for those traveling to Yokohama for a major sporting event.
Prince Hotel Shin Yokohama gives you the assurance of an established brand. Part of a Japanese hotel chain, this hotel offers visitors a style of hospitality you won’t find in the United States or Europe. Every guest room has magnificent city views regardless of the price you pay for your room.
Hotel Associa Shin-Yokohama is another option in the area. This hotel is connected to JR Shin-Yokohama Station, providing easy access for traveling in the area or throughout the country. Enjoy a traditional Japanese breakfast while you admire a beautiful view of the city.
You can also dive into the local culture by making reservations through Airbnb. Styles range from sleek and modern to truly traditional.
Capsule hotels are the ideal budget option for travelers in Japan looking for a cheap but authentically Japanese experience.
Spa & Capsule Hotel Grandpark-Inn Yokohama offers centrally-located capsule rooms prefect for the solo traveler sticking to a tight budget. The smallest room is simply an enclosed bunk bed. In the larger rooms, the low beds stow away to provide you with additional office space.
The rooms, or “pods,” are outfitted with a modern design and include several other amenities, such as a television and luggage storage.
If you don’t think you can sleep in a pod just yet, or you’re traveling with a few other people, Tinys Hostel might be a good fit. This cabin-style hostel gives each group of guests a tiny cabin of their own. Each is adorably decorated similar to what you might see in the “tiny house” trend. It is possible to fit a few guests into one cabin.
Lagunasuite Hotel is a good option for those who don’t want to give up a traditional Western-style hotel. This modern hotel has an updated design, luxurious decor, and an on-site restaurant – you’d never guess you were saving so much money!
Hotel Edit Yokohama is a newer 4-star property. It’s conveniently located close to the major attractions throughout the city and is popular with both leisure and business travelers. The modern, design-forward aesthetic rivals what you’d find in any 4-star property in New York City or London.
For size and convenience, Daiwa Roynet Shin-Yokohama has you covered. The hotel has some of the biggest guestrooms in all of Japan. It’s also located next to Yokohama Arena in case you want to catch a concert while you’re in town.
Book a stay at Sakuragicho Washington Hotel for breathtaking views of the harbor and Cosmo Clock 2 from the in-hotel restaurant or your guestroom.
The InterContinental Yokohama Grand is perfect for those who don’t want to give up luxury comfort on the road. Situated in the Minato Mirai neighborhood, this large hotel offers more than 500 guestrooms and suites, multiple restaurants, and all the elegant amenities you could need. Plus, the building itself is a sight to witness – it’s shaped like a yacht sail!
You don’t have to stay with an internationally-recognized brand to find luxury in Yokohama. The Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu offers 480 guestrooms which provide visitors with a glimpse of Japanese luxury. Book a seaside room for your own balcony and views of the city, and don’t miss out on the hotel’s award-winning food and beverage options!
The 5-star Hotel New Grand provides luxury accommodations in a historic, 1920s structure that includes a spa, four restaurants, and two bars. Make sure your room is above the 15th floor for the best views.
You can also book the MacArthur Suite for an extra historic stay. It was once favored by American General Marshal MacArthur in 1945 during World War II.
Transportation Tips for Yokohama
Yokohama has abundant public transportation options, including trains, subways, buses, boats, and car rentals. You can also explore most parts of Yokohama on foot. For example, tourists may choose to visit Osanbashi Pier after walking along the waterfront from Minato Mirai to Yamashita Park. From there you can explore the Yamate district and Chinatown.
Learn more about your other transportation options below.
Yokohama operates two major railway stations: Yokohama Station and Shin-Yokohama Station (also referred to as “New Yokohama Station”).
Four railway companies service these stations, including:
- Japan Railways
- Tokyu Railways
- Keikyu Railways
- Sagami Railways (also known as “Sotetsu”)
All four railway companies pass through Yokohama Station in the city center. Shinkansen (bullet trains) stop at Shin-Yokohama Station, which is located about ten minutes from Yokohama Station by the Yokohama Municipal Subway.
There are two subway systems serving the city of Yokohama: the Minatomirai 21 Line and the Yokohama Municipal subway.
Minatomirai 21 Line
This line runs 5 stops underground from Yokohama Station to Motomachi-Chukagai (for Yokohama Chinatown).
The 5 stops include:
Yokohama Municipal Subway
This subway operates two main lines:
- The Blue Line – Lines 1 and 3 together
Line 3 runs from Azamino to Kannai and Line 1 runs from Kannai to Shonandai.
A complete journey from Azamino to Shonandai takes just over an hour. The cost is ¥520.
See a complete list of stations on the Blue Line.
- The Green Line – Line 4 (Note that Line 2 was never developed)
The Green Line runs from Nakayama Station on the JR East Yokohama Line to Hiyoshi Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line.
A complete journey from Nakayama to Hiyoshi takes 21 minutes. The cost is ¥300.
See a complete list of stations on the Green Line.
The Akaikutsu Loop bus (or “Akai Kutsu”) runs between Sakuragicho Station and Yokohama Bay.
There are two main routes:
- Route C – Chinatown and Motomachi (65 minutes roundtrip)
On weekdays, buses from Sakuragicho Station run from 10:00 a.m. to 6:26 p.m. at 16-20-minute intervals. On Saturdays and holidays, buses from Sakuragicho Station run from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at 12-15-minute intervals.
See Route C timetables here.
- Route M – Minato Mirai (37 minutes roundtrip)
On weekdays, buses from Sakuragicho Station run from 10:14 a.m. to 6:20 p.m. at 54-72-minute intervals. On Saturdays and holidays, buses from Sakuragicho Station run from 10:10 a.m. to 7:06 p.m. at 56-60-minute intervals.
See Route M timetables here.
Akaikutsu Loop Bus Prices:
Minato Burari Ticket
Valid for one day in the Yokohama Bay area
Valid on all municipal buses
IC Card: ¥216
IC Card: ¥108
The ocean bus known as the Yokohama Sea Bass departs every 10-30 minutes.
- East Exit of Yokohama Station to Yamashita Park – This 15-minute ride costs ¥700 for adults and ¥350 for children
- East Exit of Yokohama Station to MM21 – This 10-minute ride costs ¥400 for adults and ¥200 for children
- East Exit of Yokohama Station to Pier Akarenga – This 15-minute ride costs ¥580 for adults and ¥290 for children
- Yamashita Park to Pier Akarenga – This 10-minute ride costs ¥340 for adults and ¥170 for children
- MM21 to Yamashita Park – This 10-minute ride costs ¥400 for adults and ¥200 for children
- Pier Akarenga to MM21 – This 5-minute ride costs ¥340 for adults and ¥170 for children
PRO TIP: Avoid renting a vehicle in Yokohama. It’s quicker to walk or take public transportation to your destination. Plus, parking is limited. If you do choose to rent a car, you can do so with any major travel booking brand (Kayak, Hotwire, etc.) for around 5500 per day.
Rickshaws are popular in Chinatown, and you can find velo taxis around the harbor. A velo taxi is an updated, modern version of a rickshaw.
What to Do in Yokohama
Nissan Stadium (3300 Kozukuecho, Kōhoku-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 222-0036)
Nissan Stadium is home to frequent football games and rugby matches. You can easily walk to the stadium from most accommodation options in Yokohama. You can also take a guided tour of the stadium (when there isn’t an event happening) for about ¥500. Find regularly updated tour dates and times on the stadium’s website.
Sankeien Garden (58-1, Honmoku Sannotani, Naka-ku, Yokohama, 231-0824)
This traditional Japanese garden is expansive – it covers 175,000 square meters. It was built in 1906 by a silk trader and features beautiful paths, rivers and ponds, and pristinely landscaped gardens. Many of the interior structures were declared as Important Cultural Properties by the Japanese government.
The garden is most popular in spring and autumn, when visitors come to see the cherry blossoms or the changing autumn foliage.
To reach the garden from central Yokohama, take the train to Negishi. Then hop on the 58, 99, or 101 bus from bus stop No. 1 to Honmoku. Ticket prices are ¥700 and the garden is open 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Yokohama Cup Noodles Museum (2 Chome-3-4 Shinko, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 231-000)
One of the coolest museums in Yokohama is the Cup Noodles Museum, which traces the history of instant noodles. These noodles were invented by Momofuku Ando, now known as the Father of Instant Ramen, who was looking for a way to increase the efficiency and affordability of cooking at home. He conducted many trial-and-error experiments for an entire year, often sleeping only four hours a night, before producing the first iteration of the instant ramen we know today.
Walk through the historic and cultural exhibits before trying some noodles for yourself at the Noodles Bazaar. Or make your own noodles by hand at the on-site factory.
The museum is open 10 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and closed on holidays. Admission is ¥500, though college students can visit for free. Take the Minato Mirai Line to reach the museum and disembark at the Bashamichi Station.
Yokohama Museum of Art (3 Chome-4-1 Minatomirai, Nishi Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 220-0012)
The Yokohama Museum of Art is located next to Yokohama Landmark Tower. It has a variety of exhibits featuring work from both established and new artists and features narratives which address cultural issues such as the evolution of postwar Japan. 2019 marked the museum’s 30th anniversary.
The museum is open 10 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and closed Thursdays and holidays. Admission is ¥500 or ¥300 for students.
Yokohama Landmark Tower Sky Garden (2-2-1 Minatomirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama)
The Yokohama Landmark Tower Sky Garden offers the best views in Yokohama. Take the country’s fastest elevator – 69 floors in 40 seconds – to reach the observation deck and look out at the Tokyo Skyline and Mt. Fuji in the distance.
The observation deck is open 10 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. and the cost is ¥1,000. You’ll find it right in the middle of the Minato Mirai neighborhood.
Iseyama Kotai Shrine (6 4 Miyazakicho, Nishi Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 220-0031)
The most popular shrine in Yokohama is the Iseyama Kotai Shrine. Constructed in 1870, the shrine is designated to the Shinto sun goddess. It’s a popular site to visit during cherry blossom season and around holidays.
The shrine is free to visit and has no opening or closing hours. To get there, take the Minato Mirai Line to Hinodecho Station. Then take the Keikyu Line to Minatomirai Station. The shrine is a short 16-minute walk from here.
Yokohama Cosmoworld (2-8-1 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama)
Yokohama Cosmoworld is a family-friendly amusement park that’s home to the iconic Ferris wheel Cosmo Clock 21. In addition to the Ferris wheel, there are plenty of attractions, rides, and games to keep kids and kids-at-heart entertained.
The amusement park is open 11 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The park is closed Thursdays and pricing is based on the rides and attractions you want to explore.
Nogeyama Zoological Garden (63-10, Oimatsu-cho,Nishi-ku Yokohama, 220-0032)
Nogeyama Zoological Garden provides a brief respite from Minato Mirai’s otherwise bustling cityscape. Not only was it the first zoo in Yokohama, but it’s the only central zoo in the city – and it’s free! Get excited to see more than 100 species of animals, including ever-adorable red pandas.
The zoo is open 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and closed on Mondays.
What to Eat and Drink in Yokohama
Be sure to try gyunabe during your trip to Yokohama. This beef hotpot originated in the Yokohama area following the lift of a Buddhist ban on eating four-legged animals. It also originated in part due to the Western influences that flooded the port city in the mid-1800s. The result is a dish of thin beef with tofu and vegetables in a miso broth.
Try the gyunabe at Janomeya, where it’s made with high-quality wagyu beef. The average price for a meal at lunchtime is around ¥8,000.
Sanma-men noodles are specific to Yokohama. Sanma-men is ramen noodles and stir-fried veggies in a thick broth – a dish traditionally enjoyed by the kitchen crew at restaurants who were too busy to fix anything else for themselves. Now it’s something everyone can love!
Get a hot bowl of this comfort food at Gyokusentei, where the dish was rumored to have been created. Prices are affordable – under ¥1,000.
Yokohama was the site of Japan’s first brewery and the invention of the country’s first cocktail. Kirin Brewery Company opened in 1869 in Yokohama, but now you can find craft microbreweries all around the area. The Yokohama favored cocktail, literally called “The Yokohama,” is a mix of gin, vodka, and anise.
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