The City of Yokohama is the second biggest city in Japan. Located near Tokyo, it is considered to be part of the Greater Tokyo area. Today, the Port of Yokohama is a thriving port city with its own special character and tourist appeal. It is a pleasant change from the hectic lifestyle of Tokyo, and it has a wide range of attractions and amenities that visitors will enjoy. Its tourist-friendly seafront development, Minato Mirai 21, one of the few places in the area where the seashore is not blocked by industrial or harbor development. For details on the many attractions available in the Port of Yokohama, please visit the city's Convention and Visitors Guide.
The Port of Yokohama enjoys clearly distinct seasons and a mild climate. Summers are hot and humid, and winters are mild with only occasional snowfalls. Spring and autumn are the Port of Yokohama's best seasons, with comfortable temperatures ranging from 15 °C (59 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F) and limited rain. Temperatures range from an average high of 29 °C (84 °F) in August to an average low of 3 °C (37 °F) in January and February.
Visitors to the Port of Yokohama will want to check out Chinatown, one of the biggest such neighborhoods in the world. It contains more than 500 restaurants and groceries and streets lined with red and yellow stores that lend an exotic atmosphere to the Port of Yokohama and offer a wide range of affordable goods including cheongsam dresses and jade knick-knacks.
Shoppers will also want to see Motomachi, a shopping district that was opened at the same time as the Port of Yokohama to cater to foreign residents. Motomachi has become a center of fashion for Japan, and it gets quite crowded in February and September during the Charming Sale.
Another popular attraction is Shankei-en Park. Located southeast of the Naka ward, the park is a traditional Teien ("set park") covering some 1.6 hectares and containing many traditional Japanese buildings that have been moved from Kyoto and Kamakura. The park's Outer Garden contains a three-story pagoda from the Tomyoji temple in Kyoto. The Inner Garden used to be the Hara family's private garden, and it includes a historic 17th Century building related to the Kishu branch of the Tokugawa family. Here, you can enjoy a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and learn how to make tea.
While visiting the Port of Yokohama, visitors will enjoy the Yamate Italian Garden (Japanese), part of the old foreign settlement. While most of the houses on the hillside were built after the Great Kanto Earthquake, the City has preserved seven of the old western-style homes and opened them to the public for tours.
From Yamashita Park (Japanese), one can view the entire Port of Yokohama from a beautiful green vantage point. In front of the park sits the historic Hikawa-Maru, "Queen of the Pacific," a cruise ship in service from 1930 to 1960 that carried celebrities like Charles Chaplin. The park also contains the Silk Museum where you can learn about the process of making silk from silkworms and making historic Japanese silk clothing. The Silk Center International Trade and Sightseeing Building is located on the former site of a British trading company.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Yokohama by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.