Despite being situated just over 30 minutes (or 15 miles/24 kilometers) from Shibuya, Tokyo, and technically classified as part of the capital metropolis, Yokohama is a bustling city with its own very distinct flavor. From the European architecture by the bay, the American-influenced shopping and dining outlets, to the biggest Chinatown in Asia, the city is a mixing pot of different cultures, and home to one of the most diverse populations in Japan. No matter where you’re from you’ll surely feel at home.
The International Stadium Yokohama (locally known as the Nissan Stadium) is where the main Rugby World Cup events will be held. Officially the biggest stadium in Japan, in its 20-year life span it’s hosted an impressive roster of events, including the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The stadium is located about a 14-minute walk from Shin-Yokohama station or a 7-minute walk from Kozukue Station.
Things to do
When it comes to Yokohama’s tourist attractions, one name you’ll see pop up time and time again is Minato Mirai, and with good reason. Spread along the bayfront, this glittering heart of the city is home to world class shopping and entertainment outlets like the Yokohama Landmark Tower, the Yokohama Cosmo World amusement park and the stylish Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse commercial and art complex.
A little lesser known fact about Yokohama is that the city has quite a penchant for novel food and drink related museums. In Minato Mirai, you’ll find the Cup Noodles Museum, a love letter in museum form to the world-conquering cult of instant ramen. If you’re hungry for more noodle-related attractions, Shin-Yokohama is home to the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, where the highlight lies in its 1:1 scale replica 1950s food court which serves ramen from different regions of Japan. Finally there’s the World Beer Museum also in the Minato Mirai area. Technically more a beer hall than gallery space, it’s a great place to celebrate (or maybe commiserate) all the events of the tournament.
Kannai is also one area of the city you can’t miss. Located right near Yokohama Stadium, the home ground of the much loved local DeNA Baystars baseball team, the neighborhood is home to a cluster of sports bars which will no doubt be getting into the rugby-related festivities. Bars like Yokohama Bay Brewing, Three Monkeys Cafe and Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! are well practiced at hosting games and a whole load of sloshed sports fans.
Food and drink
Arguably one of the best places to eat in all of Japan, Yokohama is home to an incredibly eclectic food scene. The picturesque style-cobblestone roads of the European-influenced Motomachi area are home to some serious high-end dining experiences; think multi-course French fare and cosy, dimly-lit wine bars.
If you’re hunting for something a little livelier, Chinatown (known to the locals as “Chukagai”) sits just next door. Home to countless street stalls serving nikuman (steamed pork buns), all-you-can-eat buffets as well as more luxurious offerings, it’s a haven for Chinese cuisine for all budgets and tastes. Right next door, you’ll also find the Yokohama Stadium (not to be confused with the International Stadium Yokohama), home to the local DeNA Baystars baseball team.
After dinner be sure to pay a visit to the boozy backstreets of Noge, wedged between the areas of Minato Mirai and Kannai. You’ll find izakaya (a kind of Japanese bar and restaurant hybrid) piled on top of each other serving free-flowing drinks, yakitori (chicken skewers), and jazz floating through the air every night of the week. It’s a secret side to the city well worth exploring.
Check out the Food and Drink listings in the Travel Finder for more places to eat and drink.
The city is home to a huge selection of accommodation options to suit all budgets and styles. For budget travellers, or those looking to stay a while, consider Chill Lulu, a trendy hostel in Chinatown that’s about 40 minutes from the International Stadium Yokohama (Nissan Stadium) by local train.
Looking out onto the picture perfect Yokohama port, Bayside Marina Hotel in the southern part of the city is another option worth considering for something a little more unique, though it’s further out (about 30-minutes train ride from Yokohama Station). This boutique complex is actually a series of self-contained small apartments built to look like shipping containers.
For those simply about location, location, location then book a place near Shin-Yokohama Station. Shin Yokohama Prince Hotel is an excellent mid-range hotel, a three-minute walk from the station and a 15-minute walk from the International Stadium Yokohama.
Getting to Yokohama
There are two main train connections between Tokyo and Yokohama worth getting familiar with. Firstly there’s the Tokyu Toyoko Line which travels from Shibuya Station to Yokohama Station in around 35 minutes, you cannot use a JR Pass for this line however. If you do have a JR Pass, you can use it on the JR Keihin-Tohoku Line, JR Tokaido Line, JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line and/or JR Yokosuka Line which all pass through Yokohama. For more general information on transport in Japan, have a look at the Top Tips for Travel page.
Getting around Yokohama
From central Yokohama to the International Stadium Yokohama, the main lines you’ll need to know are the Subway Blue Line, and the JR Yokohama Line. Both stop at Shin-Yokohama Station, from where it’s about a 14-minute walk. A trip from station to station on the Blue Line takes 25 minutes and costs ¥240 each way. In terms of affordability, the JR Line is your best option, taking the same amount of time but only costing ¥170. If you have a JR Pass you can use it on this line too
The smaller Kozukue Station is a 7-minute walk, but this route takes you to around the back of the stadium. Kozukue is only served by the JR Yokohama Line.
The underground Minatomirai Line will take you to many of the city’s main points of interest including Yokohama Station and the Motomachi-Chukagai (Chinatown) area.
For sightseeing; look out for the red “Akai Kutsu” city loop bus. Departing from Sakuragicho station, it takes guests around main sightseeing spots like Minato Mirai, Chinatown, Yamashita Park, and along the harbor.
The Yokohama Seabass offers another hop-on hop-off sightseeing route from the water, cruising along from Yokohama Station East Exit all the way to Yamashita Park.