Saturday, 4 October 2014

Yokohama, City of Gaijin (Fri 19th)

Yokohama is a port town with a unique feeling compared to most cities in Japan. During the Meiji period it was a place that houses foreigners resulting in a China district and European district and was where the British ambassador lived. Even now the China Town and European district are popular tourist destinations and there are still a lot of foreigners living there. It’s also a lot greener than a lot of other Japanese cities I've been to.

When I’d been to Yokohama in the past my friend and I walked all over the place all day. Wes, Gabe and I were absolutely dead from the previous week that we decided to get the train over to the China Town area on the other side of town rather than walking from Yokohama station itself.

China Town is an interesting area with a very different feel to most China Town’s I’ve been to. It’s mostly restaurants or gift shops with lots of nikuman stands outside. It defiantly has a touristy feel to it but you can also tell the behind it all a lot of Chinese people do actually live there. We didn’t spend long in China Town, just enough to try the nikuman and wander through the area a bit.

We then went to the European style district on the other side of the highway. It starts with a highstreet similar to the ones you’d find in the UK. We walked up the hill past the Western style cemetery and checked out the English houses and rose gardens. From up there you can get a great view of Yokohama port and Tokyo in the distance.

I then wanted to go on the ferris wheel but that would have been another 2mile walk so after getting to the bottom of the hill we got the underground over to the nearest station to the fair they have in the middle of the port. The ferris wheel at Yokohama is pretty famous and has a massive clock on the side. It takes you up really high and you can see the whole city even better than the viewpoint on the hill. I think it cost 700yen to go on, which Gabe didn’t go on. He also didn’t go on the bright pink roller coaster afterwards. It’s a cool little park but not worth spending that much time or money on. When we were there it was practically dead apart from a few other people.

It wasn’t even that late at that point in the day so we decided to have sushi in Shijuku and worked our way back to Tokyo. I still don’t get Shinjuku station at all, it’s a very big and confusing station and although Gabe had been there many times we still got lost exiting round the wrong side of the station. But we walked above ground to the front of the station and managed to find the sushi place Wes ad seen before. It was good sushi. It wasn’t a chain like most we’d been to and was a tiny hole in the wall place, but the fish was fresh and good quality. The waitress was being annoying though hovering over our shoulders, but we ignored her as Gabe kept ordering more. The salmon and the eel were fantastic.

Once again we decided to kill time in Shinjuku and Gabe and Wes wanted to check out the Uniqulo and the Biku Camera. I played around with some electric dictionaries but really couldn’t decide on what to get at it turned out the nice ones were a lot more expensive than I’d budgeted for.

I think it got pretty late after that so we just grabbed konbini dinners and headed back to the apartment to start packing for Kyoto!

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