About 30 minutes from Yokohama City by train, the coastal town of Kamakura is one of the true great historical and religious sites in the Tokyo vicinity.
About 1,000 years ago, Kamakura was governed by the first shogun, Minamoto no Yoritomo. Today, Kamakura is gaining popularity amongst those who seek out the footsteps of famous samurai. Kamakura is home to numerous temples, shrines and other historical monuments and national treasures.
The second largest Buddha statue in Japan is found in Kamakura’s Kotoku-in Temple. When planning a trip to the city, the Great Buddha of Kamakura is a must see! Unlike the larger Buddha in Nara, Kamakura’s statue is located outside, allowing you to shoot some of what may become your most treasured photos of Japan.
Upon arriving in Kamakura, take a long walk down the approach to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. Founded by the first shogun, it is the most important shrine in Kamakura. This shrine serves as a symbol of Kamakura, and the samurai society of the Medieval Period is revived three times a year here! At Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, you can see yabusame (horseback archery) performed at the track in the precinct extending from east to west. Yabusame is performed every year in mid-April, mid-September and early October.
Kamakura is blessed with beautiful natural sceneries all year around. In June, visitors can enjoy more than 40 kinds of hydrangeas while walking up the hills to the Hasedera Temple. From the top of the hill, a marvelous view of the ocean spreads out before you.
From the middle of November, the autumn colours are in full bloom in the Kamakura area.Fortunately, the Rugby World Cup 2019 will occur at this time, so why not make your way down from Yokohama stadium and visit Kamakura.
Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture prides itself as one of the most famous hot spring resorts in Japan. As it is quite close to Yokohama, a hosting city of the Rugby World Cup 2019, it would make a great side trip from the matches. Hakone is both popular amongst Japanese and foreign sightseers alike, due to the majestic natural beauty and serenity of Hakone’s luscious Lake Ashi, and the surrounding Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.
Lake Ashi is a water filled volcano crater on the top of Mt. Hakone. From the lake visitors can enjoy a gorgeous view of Mount Fuji. Near the top of Mt. Hakone visitors can witness the volcanic gasses being released by the volcano, and eat a tasty egg that has been cooked in the heat.
Along the shores of Lake Ashi, The huge red torii gate of Hakone Shrine in the lake can be seen. The main shrine can also be spied, hidden in the dense forest sitting peacefully among the tall trees.
There are numerous ryokans and hotels in the Hakone Onsen area. Hotel de Yama is a charming hotel in the style of an old European chateau. It holds extensive gardens that offer glorious views over both Lake Ashi and Mt. Fuji, and thousands of azaleas bloom around May. In the cherry blooming season in April, it is popular to visit the riverside of Miyagino Hayakawa. Situated in the mountains of Hakone, here lines of cherry trees extend for around 600m.
Kanagawa Prefecture has a wide variety of outdoor activities available to enjoy, such as golfing in Hakone or Kawana, cycling through Yokohama City, trekking over a variety of courses of varying difficulty level, fishing by the seaside or riverside, and much more!
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.”
Within 30 minutes by train from Tokyo, Yokohama City is Japan's second most populous city. The cities origin is as the first port of Japan to be opened to foreign trade, in the 1850’s. Yokohama City is a host for the Rugby World Cup 2019.
Many relics from its origin as a port town still stand in Yokohama City, and you can witness these buildings that pioneered Japans modernization. Buildings such as the red brick warehouses by the harbor, which used to function as a place for foreign trade, now serve as shopping and restaurant complexes. These gets very busy on the weekends because they often hold several fun events.
Nowadays, the harbor area is named Minato Mirai 21, which means “harbor of the future”. It offers many entertainment attractions including an amusement park and facilities, sightseeing helicopter rides, boat cruises and the amphibious bus.
The Cosmo World amusement park has a handful of roller coaster rides, a kid's carnival zone and a large Ferris wheel that doubles as a clock. “Orbi Yokohama” combines the innovative technologies of SEGA with BBC Earth’s nature expertise to create a unique visitor attraction. Around sunset time, Osanbashi Yokohama International Passenger Terminal radiates an orange coloured panoramic view of the whole Minato Mirai landscape. During the evening from The Sky Garden Observatory in the Landmark Tower, the illuminated views of the surrounding area are impressive to behold.
In the southern part of Yokohama, you will find a beautifully constructed Japanese garden that you cannot miss. The garden, known as Sankeien Garden captures the whole essence of Japan over more than 175,000 square-metres. It houses 17 unique and historical buildings, scattered around the grounds.
Further south, Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is a perfect leisure land surrounded by nature. Here we can visit an aquarium and an entertainment park with plenty of shops, restaurants, and also a hotel.