Yokohama is the second-largest city in Japan, with a population of over 3.6 million people. The city has been influenced by western culture since its origins in 1859, as it was one of the first places in Japan to allow foreign trade.
In fact, Yokohama was the gateway through which Japan first accepted trade goods like beer, beef, and other Western dishes. This makes Yokohama the birthplaces of Japanese ice cream, napolitan (naporitan), rice casserole, and pudding alamode.
The local gourmet foods of Yokohama have played an integral role in modern Japan. One of the representative cuisines is Gyunabe, a beef hotpot dish that is made with thinly sliced beef, simmered with tofu and vegetables in a soy sauce soup, then dipped in raw beaten egg before eating for a creamier flavour.
Yokohama Ramen is known locally as “Ie-kei ramen”. With its thick noodles in a soy flavoured pork broth, it includes several toppings such as roasted pork, boiled spinach, sheets of nori(seaweed) and green onions. Needless to say, it’s very popular!
If you want to taste other regional ramen, the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, near Shin-Yokohama station, offers samples of ramen dishes from many different regions. The museum is stylised to resemble old times, and includes a gift shop as well as restaurants.
Yokohama is also the gateway through which Japan first welcomed western cultures like beer, cocktails, and jazz music. Even today there are plenty of authentic hangouts and bars that centre around these cultures, especially around the areas of “Yoshidamachi”, “Noge” and the “Yokohama station area.”