City Guides, Kanto, Tokyo

What to Do in Yokohama: A Day Trip from Tokyo

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Yokohama is a port city just a little south of Tokyo. Due to its proximity to Tokyo, it became a popular area for those who work in Tokyo but do not want to deal with the cost of living in a metropolitan city like Tokyo.

But the city is rich in history too. Yokohama was one of the first ports in Japan to be opened to foreign trade in 1859, just 5 years after the first port in Hakodate was opened.

Yokohama Nihon Odori Street
Ginkgo street at Nihon Odori Street

How to get to Yokohama from Tokyo

Yokohama is very close to Tokyo and convenient to visit. It takes under an hour by train to reach Yokohama station, the downtown area of Yokohama.

There are many options for how you can get to Yokohama via local train:

Shonan-Shinjuku line – From Shinjuku or Shibuya station, take the Shonan-Shinjuku line. It takes only 30-40 minutes to reach Yokohama station depending on where you’re coming from.

Toyoko line – You can also take this line from Shibuya to reach Yokohama station. It takes around 30 minutes.

Ueno-Tokyo Line – From Tokyo station it takes around 25 minutes to reach Yokohama station

Rent a car and drive from Tokyo – If you have an international driver’s license and are comfortable with driving in a foreign country, this is the most convenient and easy option since you won’t have to be dependent on local transport when you get to Kamakura. This is the option that I personally went with since I did not want to waste time with public transport. Book a car rental from Tokyo here, which you can pick up from the airport or in the city:

Yokohama Cosmo Clock 21 Ferris Wheel

How long should I spend in Yokohama?

While there are enough things to do in Yokohama to stretch your time, a day trip while still basing yourself in Tokyo, or even a quick half-day trip, is enough to see Yokohama for most people.

Yamashita Park

How to get around in Yokohama

The area you’d want to go to as visitors in Yokohama is easy enough to do on foot.

But if you want to venture out away from Yokohama station, the city is also quite connected via the local trains or the Yokohama Municipal bus, which you can pay for using the same IC Card you’ve been using all over Japan.

There is a sightseeing bus called Akai Kutsu, which will take you around Yokohama’s most popular sites. They have an unlimited ride option for 550 yen.

What to do in Yokohama

And finally, here is a list of what you can do in Yokohama!

Visiting Yokohama for the CupNoodles Museum? If you’re here mainly to visit the Cup Noodles Museum, I suggest going to the museum first thing to reserve your slot for the Cup Noodles factory. They are very popular and will sell out. You can explore other parts of Yokohama while waiting for your time slot.

1. Yokohama Chinatown (Chukagai)

The Chinatown in Yokohama tells a story of the city’s past. The opening of its port in 1859 brought in Chinese immigrants, who stayed near the port to aid in foreign trades. Back then, the Japanese government created a designated area for foreigners to live. Because of this, the Chinese immigrants formed a community that has now become the Chinatown of Yokohama.

Now, you can find many delicious Chinese food and restaurants in Chinatown. I find it very similar to Kobe, also a port town near Osaka in Kansai.

Yokohama Chinatown
Yokohama Chinatown

2. NYK Hikawa Maru

Admission: 300 yen per adult

This was my favorite thing I did in Yokohama! NYK Hikawa Maru is a luxury cargo-passenger ship that was used to trade raw silk with America from the 1930s to 1960. It ran a regular service between Yokohama, Seattle and Vancouver.

Aside from silk, the ship also carried passengers who wanted to make the journey across the Pacific Ocean, including prominent names such as Charlie Chaplin.

Yokohama NYK Hikawa Maru
NYK Hikawa Maru
Yokohama NYK Hikawa Maru
The view from onboard NYK Hikawa Maru

The ship has retired and converted into a museum and permanently moored at Yamashita Park since 1960. You can see the ship’s art deco-styled amenities, and imagine how it feels like to be a passenger of Hikawa Maru while it was operating.

One of the cabins in NYK Hikawa Maru
One of the cabins in NYK Hikawa Maru

There are other parts of the ship you can explore as well, such as the captain’s quarters and the control room.

Wheelhouse
Wheelhouse

And you can even visit the engine room to see the innerworking of the ship! For a 300 yen admission, I was very pleased with this museum.

Engine room at Hikawa Maru
Engine room at Hikawa Maru

3. Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama

Admission: 500 yen per adult

One of the reasons why I wanted to visit Yokohama was to check out the Cup Noodles Museum. However, I discovered that visiting the museum requires planning because it is very popular. Admissions are easy to get, but if you didn’t secure tickets to the activities, the museum itself was not that exciting. It just has a few exhibits which were mostly in Japanese.

There are a few things you can do at the Cup Noodles Museum. Read on to find out which ones require advanced planning!

Chicken Ramen Factory (Advance Reservation Required)

You can make your own instant chicken ramen from scratch and take it home! This activity costs 600 – 1,000 yen and requires a reservation, which you can make here.

Chicken Ramen Factory is very popular. It is often booked out 2-3 weeks in advance. Make sure you reserve ahead of time!

My CUPNOODLES Factory (Numbered Ticket Required)

Where you get to customize and design your own cup noodles. It costs 500 yen extra on top of the admission ticket.

Make your own Cup Ramen!

It does not require a reservation, but it requires a numbered ticket which will give you a time slot to visit. Once the ticket for the day has been given away, the exhibit is closed. Check availability here.

This activity is also very popular. The numbered tickets are often given away for the day very quickly, so I suggest coming to Cup Noodles Museum to get your timeslot, then you can explore other parts of Yokohama until it’s your time. Check availability here.

The Momofuku Ando Story

Momofuku Ando is credited as the father of instant noodles. He was the founder of Nissin, the Japanese company that makes Cup Noodles. He also invented the flash-frying method to preserve noodles for later consumption, thus making ramen more accessible to the entire world.

The place where Momofuku Ando started making ramen

At the museum, you can follow along with his life story. However, the exhibit is only in Japanese so be ready to whip out your Google Translate!

Cup Ramen art

Instant Noodles History Cube

Probably one of the most visually appealing exhibits in the Cup Noodles Museum, this cube tells a history of how the concept of instant noodles made its way around the world.

Cup Ramen through the years

I was very thrilled to spot two of my favorite instant noodles: Shin Ramyun and Indomie!

Cup Ramen Exhibition
Cup Ramen through the years

Noodles Bazaar

At the top floor of the museum, you’ll find a small food court that serves instant noodles from all over the world. It is styled like an open air food market that you can find in South East Asia, but it isn’t actually outside – it’s still inside the building!

Instant Ramen Market
Instant Ramen Market

Most of the noodles are very cheap, ranging from 400-600 yen. There was an Indomie Mi Goreng stall as well!

Indomie stall at the Instant Ramen Market
Indomie stall at the Instant Ramen Market

But the item that caught my eyes are the cup noodles ice cream, which is exactly what it sounds like – ice cream flavored like cup noodle. There are two flavors: soy and curry. I was really curious what it would taste like, so I got both to share with my friend.

Cup Noodle ramen Ice Cream
Cup Noodle ramen Ice Cream

And uh… I’m not sure if I could recommend this. I don’t know what I was expecting. They did not lie about it being cup noodle ice cream, because the ice cream tasted exactly like, well, cup noodles. It’s salty yet a little sweet at the same time, and you could definitely taste the cup noodles flavors. I found it very… unappealing to be honest but we finished the entire anyway so it wasn’t completely inedible. But hey, you’ve got to try something at least once!

CUPNOODLES Marble Coaster

This exhibit is located outside of the Cup Noodles Museum building, at it entertained my son for a good 20 minutes.

4. Gundam Factory (Closed by 31 March 2024)

Save when you buy a combo ticket for Gundam Factory and Yokohama Marine Tower Observation via Klook

If you’re a fan of Gundam, the Gundam Factory is a must-visit. They have a giant Gundam which will actually move and perform acts! You could see the Gundam in action from across the bay, but you won’t get as good of a view compared to going inside the exhibit.

Unfortunately, the temporary exhibition is scheduled to end on 31 March 2024 after multiple extensions.

5. Red Brick Warehouse (Aka-renga Soko)

Aka-renga Soko used to be the customs building for the port, where inspections and shipping activities were happening. Now, the warehouse has been converted into a hang out spot. There are plenty of restaurants and shops you can find inside. They might also have an outdoor market! When I was there, they had a christmas market outside with plenty of food stalls.

Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse

6. Yokohama Port Museum and Nippon Maru Sailing Ship

Admission: 800 yen for adults for a combo ticket of both Nippon Maru and the museum (Buy ticket here)

If you’re interested in learning more about Yokohama and its role as a trading port city, this museum is the place to go. Next to it is the Nippon Maru sailing ship. Like NYK Hikawa Maru, you can explore the sailing ship while learning about its inner workings.

The museum was recently re-opened in 2022 following a renovation, so everything is still brand new!

Buy the tickets online for easier entry. Learn more about Yokohama Port Museum here

7. Yamate

Back in the early days of foreign trading, Yamate was one of the areas designated as a compound for foreigner to reside in. As such, there are a few former residences that are built in western style. They are now open for public for visitation at Harbor View Park.

While you’re in the area, you can also visit Motomachi Shopping Street, which used to be where the foreign residents would shop for their daily needs. Now, the 500m long street houses high end boutiques and restaurants.

And that’s how you can spend a day in Yokohama! I hope this was useful for your travel planning.

Until next time.

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Filed under: City Guides, Kanto, Tokyo

Written by Melissa

Hi there! 👋🏻 I'm the "Girl" in Girl Eat World. I love eating, traveling and sharing my travel experiences in this blog. During the day, I work as a designer in tech. More about me →

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