Day Two – Yokohama

In the end, we decided to go to Akihabara on Sunday afternoon, after I made my previous post.Rainy Day Tokyo Tower

Nothing happened there that would be of much interest (we bought a few things), so that’s all the detail I’ll give.

On Monday, however, we went to Yokohama, with the intention of visiting Yokohama’s Chinatown, which is apparently one of the largest in the world.

At the right, you can get an idea of what the weather was like, based on our view of Tokyo Tower in the morning.

Fortunately, our hotel happened to be close to a line that runs directly to Yokohama, meaning no irksome transfers.

We headed South to Japan’s second largest city, the capital of Kanagawa prefecture, and noticed something interesting along the way: it’s all city. That means that we’ve traveled for 40 minutes East, West, and South of Tokyo station by train (so probably a good 30 km in all of those directions), and it’s all one huge city. It’s no wonder they talk about Tokyo as some mega-metropolis of the future.

Anyways…

We arrived at Yokohama and were quickly pointed in the right direction to get to Chinatown. We hopped on that train, and arrived in short order.

Yokohama’s Chinatown is characterized by several gates, all of which have their own names (none of which we know).

Here are a few of them. Yes, these are all different gates, and no, these are not all of them.

Chinatown Gate 1Chinatown Gate 2Chinatown Gate 3Chinatown Gate 5Chinatown Gate 4Chinatown Gate 6

We spent several hours meandering around the area, though really it just seems like a whole collection of cheap souvenir shops with a few neat things to look at here and there.

There were some ornate decorations on some of the buildings, however, and Amanda was more than willing to take pictures of them.

Chinatown Decoration 1Chinatown Decoration 2Chinatown Decoration 3

Chinatown Decoration 4Chinatown Decoration 5Chinatown Decoration 6

Chinatown Decoration 7Chinatown Decoration 8Chinatown Decoration 9

One may also find a veritable plethora of pandas in Chinatown. The truly shocking thing is that Amanda didn’t buy a single panda themed item. She did take a few pictures of panda things though. The fuzzy looking panda moves, lifting and lowering that rice-steamer lid.

Chinatown Panda 1Chinatown Panda 2

Goma DangoThis is called a “goma dango.” It is mochi (glutinous rice) with sesame seeds on the outside and sweet azuki beans on the inside. They seem to be served hot, and this was Amanda’s first (I had already eaten mine). We promptly bought six more, because they taste great. They’re spherical, if you can’t tell.

The highlights of our Chinatown visit were a pair of Buddhist temples. While we didn’t actually go into either, Amanda took numerous pictures of the buildings’ exteriors.

The first temple was octagonal and had some really nice stonework on the outside. What you see here are only a few samples of the pictures we took, and of the detail we found (on the walls, roof, and ceiling). While we didn’t go in, we could see in well enough to take a couple of interior shots of this building.

First Chinatown Temple 01 First Chinatown Temple 02First Chinatown Temple 03

First Chinatown Temple 04First Chinatown Temple 05First Chinatown Temple 06

First Chinatown Temple 07 First Chinatown Temple 08First Chinatown Temple 09

Sakura and Dragon Amanda is particularly proud of this last image taken at the temple. There was a small pagoda/gazebo in a playground behind the temple, and the sakura were blooming while we were there. In addition, all the lightposts around the temple had these ornate dragons on them. Thus, Amanda took this shot looking over a neighboring wall and we both think it turned out beautifully.

We couldn’t get as close to the second temple, but we don’t think that matters, since the roofwork was more ornate and our camera has a really nice zoom.

Again, these are only a few of the pictures we took (and we’re saving the best for when we can show them in person).

Second Chinatown Temple 01 Second Chinatown Temple 2Second Chinatown Temple 03Second Chinatown Temple 04

That was the Chinatown part of our day in Yokohama, but that’s not all we did.

You see, the train that brought us to Chinatown also stops at an area of Yokohama called Minato Mirai 21.

This area is a major shopping, business, and entertainment center of Yokohama, and also houses the Landmark Tower, which is the tallest building in Japan (#44 in the world, #16 in the world at the time it was built). Naturally, we took some pictures (and Amanda would likely be annoyed at me if I didn’t include at least a few pictures of the blossoming flowers (this was on the last day of March, mind you).

Landmark Tower 01Landmark Tower 02Landmark Tower 3 - Across the street at the Tower’s Base

Blooming Flowers in Yokohama Mar 31, 2008Blooming Sakura in Yokohama Mar. 31/2008

The real reason that we visited this area was the ferris wheel in Cosmo World. While I knew there was little chance of getting Amanda on either of the roller coasters, she had agreed to go on the Ferris Wheel (she has fun on them, except for when we are at the top, at which point she freaks out for a few minutes). The Cosmo Clock 21 is currently the ninth largest ferris wheel in the world (it was the largest when it was built) and is, apparently, the largest clock in the world. Since it does get to a pretty good height, I took a few pictures of the city, though the darkness has made them a bit grainy (I didn’t have a tripod with me).

Cosmo Clock 21Cosmo Clock 21 After DarkMinato Mirai 21 Area

Landmark Tower (as seen from the Cosmo Clock 21)Minato Mirai 21 BuildingsYokohama Skyline 1Yokohama Skyline 2

And here’s proof that I actually got Amanda on the Ferris Wheel.

Amanda on the Ferris Wheel

Finally, we have something we came across as we were walking to the ferris wheel. Yokohama is one of Japan’s oldest Pacific ports, and we came across this compass with the directions for many international ports. Notice which direction Vancouver is?

Yokohama Compass Vancouver’s EAST???

That’s right. When you’re in Japan, you’re so far East, you’re West. Hmm, so from where we are, Moncton is the Far East.

Thus, we’ll be back in the Far East in about a month.

 

 

 

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~ by truth9 on April 3, 2008.

2 Responses to “Day Two – Yokohama”

  1. Interesting! Glad you are enjoying your vacation!

  2. It looks like your having so much fun. There is so much to discover. Looking forward to all your pics and stories. Love ya

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