Until recently, I had no expectations on Yokohama, I am going on a regular basis for work and find the city busy, very business focused and with a lot of malls. I knew it was o the seaside but never found anything special about it until I went on a Sunday and stayed overnight, that changed my view 100%
At night, the city changes drastically, the lights give a special atmosphere to it, there is a lot to visit in Yokohama, the European area, as it was one of the first cities to open in Japan, the Chinese quarter, the largest in Japan, the warehouse, a brick building very unusual here, Minato Mirai and the attractions, I loved it, I will go again
It is one hour away from Tokyo with a local train or 20mn in express train from Shibuya, has a lot to offer and I am sure most people (like I did) forget about it. Go and enjoy the real life!!
This year, in Japan, the trend is all about fluffy pancakes!! you will see them in the typical consumist areas, the young crowd districts like Harajuku, but also Ebisu, Daikanyama, etc
Fluffy pancakes are pancakes prepared as souffle, so 25mn waiting time after order is the norm + Japanese people love to queue anyway so that had to be a hit
In the end, I like it, it is tasty, light, it is fun and of course, you may enjoy with coffee design!
What I like about the place?
the landscape, the hiking, the food, every tried Momiji Manju? it is a treat.
these are biscuits stuffed with red bean paste, and their shape is a tree leave, so once the biscuit is baked, it gives a golden color that reminds autumn leave, hence the name Momiji (autumn leave in Japanese). At the end of the main shopping street, on the right, there is a shop that sells all sorts of flavoured momiji but they also have a spot where they baked the manju on the spot for you, go there, enjoy!! a lovely treat on the way back to the boat
Miyajima also provides a lot of coffee shops, dont ask me why but they have very good coffee there!!
In fact, the island is called Itsukushima and the shrine Miyajima!!
Why go there
- the famous dori inside the sea that you can enjoy on high sea and low sea
- the shrine, a beauty
- the nature, take the cable car to the top of the mountain and walk to the very top, about 1h30 one way, quiet steep and admire the islands around, on a nice day, you will see Shikoku on the other side
- Momiji manju, the delicious red bean paste stuffed biscuits that you can eat fresh from the baker alongside the street
- Oysters, typical from Hiroshima, you will see the farms from the boat and the top of the mountains, those are my favourites, in Japan, we buy oysters by the piece as they are big and full of flavour, one is enough really
all in all, it is a full day of visits and expeditions, if you leave with the 1st boat at 10h00 and come back with the one before last at 17h00, you will have done a lot!!
Miyajima is one of the World Heritage Sites of Japan and one of my top 5 personal favourites, although you need to choose your timing to go and make the most of it as it can become very crowded at times
I have so far been there in September, February and April.
- September is still hot, around 28, very sunny and bright. If you deal with the heat, then, it is a great time, although this is still typhoon season and you can end up with nothing at all
- February is chilly, around 10, and I got rain, you dont enjoy the landscape but get a lot of space as many tourists simply skip the place
- April is packed, usually with nice weather, sunny, blue sky with 20, but loads of groups, mostly Europeans, but from Greater China as well.
Access – so far, I always used the boat that leaves from the Memorial site, 100m away from the A-dome, boats operates from 10h00 to 17h30. you get your ticket from a machine that accepts credit card, you buy return, and exchange your return upon reaching the island, that will guarantee your seat on the boat of your choice for the return,
make sure you are ready 10mn before boarding each way. My recommendation is to seat on the same side of the boat on each travel. one way, you will see the size of Hiroshima and the industries that created the disaster (Mitsubishi, Mazda, Boeing, etc) . on the return, you will enjoy the sea, the islands, the scenery. both equally interesting