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SOLO JAPAN II 14.-28.3.2004.
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Sunday, 21th of March 2004
Tokyo <-> Yokohama

Day Eight:
Yokohama visit

Neighbour Yokohama

The weather made a complete u-turn being warmer and drier than yesterday, so we decided to visit the second biggest city in Japan and a neighbour of Tokyo, Yokohama.

Although I could have used my JR Pass to visit Yokohama for free, the JR Line was inconvenient for Shiho, so we picked a private line that was also faster than the JR line. During the train ride Shiho borrowed my Lonely Planet guide for Tokyo just out of curiosity. She for instance agreed that Roppongi in Tokyo - a part in Tokyo famous for its nightlife full of foreigners - isn't really a part of Japan because of the high gaijin rate in the evenings.

Chinatown + Sunday + fine weather = loads of people

One of Yokohama's clear attractions is Japan's biggest Chinatown. There were a lot of people buzzing around the narrow streets. We visited some shops selling all kinds of goods cheap (well, in the Japanese scale at least). To be frank Chinatown wasn't anything mind blowing, but nonetheless it was a welcomed place to see.

After Chinatown we walked along the harbour area (the first time I've seen the sea this close to Tokyo!). Although Yokohama was one of the first ports to open for foreign trade in 1859 after 250 years of isolation, it could hardly be noticed in the urban landscape it holds today other than a few brick warehouses (now transformed into exhibition halls).

Oddly enough Yokohama had little to offer us other than Chinatown, so after walking around for some time, we returned to Tokyo quite early. Once back there we stopped by the local supermarket before heading back to Shiho's apartment for dinner.

Deciding the future route

Otherwise there is little to write about the evening after dinner. I agreed by e-mail with Mikiko (my Osaka contact) when we should meet tomorrow. Then I started to plan where I should go after one night in Osaka.

After much thinking I finally had to scrap my plan to visit Kagoshima (south of the island of Kyushu) because of the tight schedule and informed my contact there of the sad news by e-mail. I really hoped to see Sakura-jima, the active volcano that is just on the other side of the city, but I didn't want to spend most of the time sitting in a train while in Kyushu ... >_<;

So the plan was to be in Osaka for one night, then go as far as Nagasaki for two nights, then backtrack to Hiroshima for one night before returning to Tokyo for the remaining two nights.

It was getting really late, but I still wanted to pick a hotel in Nagasaki in advance, so I looked through the Mytrip website and chose some decent looking hotel there, wrote down the address and finally went to sleep hoping my hotel pick was good.

back to top | proceed to day nine!

Photo copyright Ude
China town at Yokohama.

Photo copyright Ude
There was a lot of people buzzing around Chinatown.

Photo copyright Ude
The only large Japanese passenger ship to survive World War Two, the MV Hikawa Maru, is permanently docked to the Yokohama bay to attract tourists.

Yokohama - The official website.
Sakura-jima - The more I think this volcano, the more I regret the decision not to see it after all. >_<;
Copyright 2003-2019 © , second edition. Latest minor update 4th of May 2010 (fixed and deleted broken links)