Yokohama Journals

Yokohama and Kamakura: Twin Draws from Tokyo

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A March 2007 trip to Yokohama by dackelynn

Travel Photo by IgoUgo memberMore Photos
Quote: Kamakura is famous for its temples while Yokohama has a cosmopolitan flair; they're about 10 minutes apart by train. I recommend taking a weekend trip (or if you can, go on a weekday and avoid the crowds) here in order to catch some of the sights.

Yokohama and Kamakura: Twin Draws from Tokyo

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Overview

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Hundreds of years ago, Kamakura was a central city in the Japanese shogunate. Now, it draws countless Japanese and foreign tourists alike. Many are intent on exploring the dozens of temples that dot the city. The highlights include The Great Buddha and Hase-dera, a Kannon temple. There's also an interesting hike that winds through the mountains where the famous money-washing temple can be found. If you want to see anything other than fascinating religious sites then you should head over to nearby Yokohama. Yokohama is just north of the place where commodore Perry arrived in 1853. It's now famous for being a foreigner hub. Most Japanese tourists will come here to eat in Chinatown, which is crowd...Read More

Yokohama Hostel Village

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Hotel

Quote:
Yokohama Hostel Village has cheap rooms available for those wishing to spend the night in downtown Yokohama. Singles run from 3,000 yen and doubles are 4,500 yen. The rooms are sized at 3 tatami mats (extremely small), but are private and contain air-conditioning, heating, and a TV. Linens aren't included but the showers are hot and free. There are discounts available for those who spend more than a week there.The staff at the hostel are very friendly and speak decent English. I asked for directions to a restaurant they had never heard of, but they were kind enough to look it up on the computer and give me the best directions they could find. The hostel is located in an area...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 13, 2007

Yokohama Hostel Village
Sanwa Building 1F
Yokohama, Japan
+81-45-663-3696

Al Ain

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Restaurant

Quote:
Oftentimes in Japan, I find that the presentation of the food is far better than the quality and taste of the food. Tableware is selected for its quality and appropriateness to the season and food is lovingly served with incredibly flair and style. The presentation of a dish can leave you breathless but the taste of the food is often lacking. Al Ain is different.Al Ain, a middle-eastern restaurant, has the best-tasting food I've ever had in Japan. It's also the most expensive place I've ever eaten but it was worth every single yen. There are only three choices for the meals; two meat courses and a vegetarian option. Each set meal includes an appetizer, fresh bread, salad, la...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 13, 2007

Al Ain
Stalk Tower Odori Koen I Bldg.
Yokohama, Japan
+81(0)45 251 6199

IKEA Kohoku

Attraction

Quote:
If you're an expat in Japan and long for standard Western furniture and fantastic decorations at an unbeatable price then you may feel the pull to go to IKEA. The one in Yokohama, accessible by the free shuttle bus outside of Shin-Yokohama station (look for large signs; the bus stop can be found down the street, across from the Fuji-View Hotel) was opened just last year and it's just as popular as its Western counterparts. Fortunately, all the signage has English on it. You can check their product line and inventory at the Yokohama store by using their website, in English, at www.ikea.com/ms/en_JP/local_home/kohoku.html. It's the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 13, 2007

IKEA Kohoku

Yokohama, Japan

Hase-dera Temple (Kannon)

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Attraction | "The Great Buddha of Hase"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
The Great Buddha, or 'Daibatsu', can be found close to Hase station, just outside of Kamakura, at Kotoku-in temple. The bronze statue of a seated Buddha is over 13 meters tall. It's actually the second largest Buddha in Japan. The statue was originally made in the 13th century. It used to have a place in a temple but the temple was destroyed by a tsunami in the 15th century. Entrance to see the statue is 300 yen for adults. There isn't much at the grounds aside from the large Buddha and, next to the smoking area, his oversized sandals. On the weekends, this site is very crowded. You can pay extra to view the area underneath the Great Buddha, but I don't recommend this because there isn't m...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 14, 2007

Hase-dera Temple (Kannon)
3-11-2 Hase
Kamakura, Japan
+81 (0)467 22 6300

Hase-dera Temple (Kannon)

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Attraction | "Hase-dera, the Temple for Kannon"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Near the Great Buddha, Hase-dera, a large temple complex for the god/goddess Kannon can be found. Kannon is a Bodhisattva of compassion. Here you can see her many forms and become mesmerized by a large statue. Entrance costs 300 yen for adults. The grounds of this temple are beautiful and there's a lot of area to explore. There's little gardens with small, meandering paths. Spring would be an excellent time to visit because there are many cherry trees. After climbing the steps near the entrance, you'll find a large shrine to Jizo. Jizo helps stillborn, miscarried babies, or children who died very early towards the afterlife by hiding them in his robes and saving them from their fa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 14, 2007

Hase-dera Temple (Kannon)
3-11-2 Hase
Kamakura, Japan
+81 (0)467 22 6300

Chinatown

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Attraction | "Yokohama's Chinatown"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Yokohama is home to one of the few Chinatowns in Japan. Oddly enough, the place seems stripped of its true history and culture and is now an overcrowded gastronomic destination for tourists from Tokyo. According to Wikipedia, there are over 200 restaurants in Chinatown! Despite being over-crowded and tourist-oriented, Chinatown is a great place for a morning stroll because of its unique architecture. The Chinatown area encompasses a multi-block area near Yamashita Park and Ishikawa-cho station. This area was originally populated by Chinese merchants who first began arriving with Westerners in the middle of the 1800s. Oddly enough, all the remains of their culture is the food. Most of t...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 14, 2007

Chinatown
Chinatown
Yokohama City, Japan 231-0023
+81(0)45 662 1252

Survival Japanese

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Story/Tip

Quote:
With a few correct words in Japanese, you have a good chance at effectively communicating with a non-English speaker. When I arrived in Japan, I was surprised at how few people spoke a basic level of English. If someone appears flustered when you speak in English, then you should know that they're not being shy or trying to get rid of you - they really can't speak English. If you only learn one word of Japanese, make it 'daijobu'. This means 'OK' and you can also make it 'Is it okay?' by inflecting your voice at the end. So if someone is telling you something in Japanese and there's no way for you to understand but you think it's just a small detail (i.e., a shopkeeper asking if she should...Read More

About the Writer

dackelynn

dackelynn
Misaka, Japan

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