Yokahama, Japan

Yokahama is the port city for Tokyo.  Most people took either the train or tours into Tokyo for the day.  Having been to Tokyo, I decided to stay in Yokahama.  The city was a very pleasant surprise.  As you can see, it is very modern, much of the city having been rebuilt after WW II, and the harbour area having been built on reclaimed land in recent years. 

I started my tour by taking a shuttle bus to the train station which is a mile or so beyond the largest building that you see in the picture.  I then walked back, stopping at the Modern Art Gallery en route. The collection was not large, but I had the opportunity to see the work of modern Japanese artists.  The red brick buildings are former warehouses that have been reborn as restaurants and shops.  I stopped there for lunch and also experienced the famous high tech washrooms.  Each cubicle comes equipped with a large electronic console with dozens of buttons.  I have no idea what they are for.  However the seat was warmed and music was playing so I assume that I could have changed the music.  Apparently in some, you can even have a shower.   I continued on to the Chinatown area where I saw lots of examples of the plastic food on display in restaurant windows.  I then went to an area that still has lots of houses built for “foreigners” in the days when Yokahama was a treaty city open to foreign merchants.  I visited one house built in 1926 by a Swiss businessman.  It was built and furnished in an art deco style.

There are quite number of houses that have been preserved and several are open for visitors.  A few are now private residences or schools.  The city in general is very pretty, extremely clean and quiet.  There was very little traffic for such a large city.  Walking around was very easy and people were pleasant.   Returning to the cruise ship terminal, I took the opportunity to walk up on its roof.  As you can see, the roof has been completed covered in wood and grass and serves as a park area.   The building itself reminds me a bit of the war museum in Ottawa, in that it sort of fades into the landscape.

   All together today I think I walked over 10 kilometres and I would give this port 4 stars.

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