Overview of YokohamaDid you know that Yokohama is the second-largest city in Japan by population? It’s located south of Tokyo, within the Kanagawa Prefecture. It is best known for having one of Japan’s largest ports with strong historical significance - it’s opening in the mid-19th century basically opened Japan up to the world through foreign trade 😮
Getting thereFor most travellers to Japan, Yokohama is accessible through Tokyo, with transportation easily available from both of Tokyo’s major airports, Narita International Airport as well as Haneda Airport. However, it’s worth noting that Haneda Airport is a lot closer to Yokohama (about 25 - 30 minutes drive away) as compared to Narita (about 1.5 hours drive away), so for those heading directly to Yokohama, it may make more sense to land in Haneda Airport.
Where to stayOne of my favourite things about Yokohama is how compact it is, in the sense that a lot of the main attractions are within walking distance from one another, or at the very most just a short train ride away. A number of key attractions such as Yokohama Cosmo World, Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, and the CUPNOODLES Museum are clustered within the area of Minato Mirai 21. If you’re visiting Yokohama for the first time and will likely be visiting these main attractions, it makes sense to stay within or around the vicinity of Minato Mirai. A lot of Yokohama’s hotels are clustered around a few locations in and around Minato Mirai, which we’ll cover below.
Minato Mirai 21
KannaiAnother cluster of hotels is around the Kannai area, particularly around Kannai station. This area is within walking distance to many of the same attractions in the Minato Mirai 21 area, and it’s often a popular choice with tourists given the cheaper prices of the hotels, which are more mid-range.
Yamashita Park & Chinatown
Around Yokohama Station
Our recommendationAssuming that it’s your first time to the city and you’ll be exploring many of the main attractions Yokohama is known for, it makes sense to stay somewhere closer to the Minato Mirai area. Given that the hotels in Minato Mirai itself may be quite pricey, a hotel somewhere nearer to either the Sakuragicho or Kannai stations would be your best bet, as they tend to be cheaper while still being within walking proximity to the attractions. In addition, Amir and I found the more quiet and mellow vibe of the Kannai area where we stayed to be very enjoyable.
Getting around YokohamaIt should come as no surprise that Yokohama has a very thorough and efficient public transport system, which makes getting around the city easy. However, as with Tokyo, the sheer number of different train lines can sometimes be a little confusing (especially for first-timers to Japan), so a little research before your trip can be helpful to know what to expect. Here are some of the main things you need to know:
From the airport to YokohamaIf you’re heading from either airport in Tokyo straight to Yokohama, two of the most common (and cheapest!) methods are by taking either the airport limousine bus or the train. Narita Airport to Yokohama Station There’s a bus that goes from Narita Airport to Yokohama City Air Terminal (YCAT) - you can see the full schedule for bus timings here. Tickets cost 3,700 yen per adult and 1,850 yen per child. It takes about 1.5 hours to reach YCAT, and from there you can take the train to the station closest to your hotel. If opting for the train, you can take the Narita Express, or N’EX, direct to Yokohama Station. Tickets cost 4,290 yen per person for ordinary cars or 5,380 yen for Green cars (i.e. First Class cars). The journey takes around 1 hour 20 minutes. However, an awesome option is the N’EX Tokyo Round Trip Ticket , a special pass targeted for foreign visitors where you get a round trip on the N’EX (for ordinary seats) between Narita Airport to select stations in the Tokyo metropolitan area for only 4,000 yen for adults and 2,000 yen for children! The applicable stations include Yokohama station, so it’s a super convenient and one of the most affordable options to get from Narita Airport to Yokohama. Read more about the ticket here. Haneda Airport to Yokohama Station or Minato Mirai
From Tokyo to YokohamaTrains are the most common option to get from Tokyo to Yokohama, with several train lines servicing routes between the cities. Depending on which station you depart from in Tokyo (there are routes available from Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Shinagawa stations, to name a few), the journey takes around 20 - 30 minutes and can cost anywhere between 200 - 500 yen.
Around YokohamaPublic transport
Must-visit attractionsFor first-timers to Yokohama, here are some of the attractions you can’t miss!
Nippon Maru & Yokohama Port Museum
- Single ticket (for either Nippon Maru or the museum): 400 yen (adult); 200 yen (child)
- Combo ticket (for both Nippon Maru and the museum): 600 yen (adult); 300 yen (child)