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If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
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Yokohama Family Friendly Guide - PART 1 [UPDATED 30/6/21]

My latest #47prefecturemission has brought me to Yokohama city of Kanagawa prefecture, but before I share with you guys the details of my itinerary would like to go slightly off topic abit lol. How many of you have heard of Yokohama or at least seen it being featured in animes and manga over the years especially its iconic Ferris wheel (Cosmo Clock 21) overlooking the bay. If you have watched Honey & Clover series, you will probably remember the dating scene with the wheel behind them on the background lol.

I remember briefly going around Minato Mirai area about 2 years ago when I visited an old friend who’s currently living in Kamakura now but we decided to meet halfway in Yokohama. Most of our time was spent catching up over dinner and before we knew it everywhere was almost closing, luckily we got to sit the Cosmo Clock 21 Ferris wheel & took some nostalgic purikura photos lol! Kinda regretted not coming much earlier in the day to explore around especially the Noodle cup museum because I really wanted to make my own cup noodles!! Okay, I sound like a kid now but heck from all the postings online, it looks pretty cool!


I keep on telling myself that I’ll come back here again eventually, just not sure when and lo the universe (or more like Japan’s forces) sent be back to Yokohama right after CNY lol (just got back from Malaysia too), so it was busy unpacking & packing again before I headed out on my next journey. Not complaining as I love my job a lot, and feel blessed that it gives me the opportunity to explore parts of Japan J One of the perks is that I usually take these work trips as a family survey as well, see whether it’s suitable to bring #lilpenguin next time when she’s slightly older.

Japan’s forces works in mysterious ways (usually good outcome), it’s constantly drawing you to her making you want to come back here for travels. Even after living her for 9 months (yay) I still can’t get enough of it, I still look forward for trips around Japan. All my previous attempts to visit various prefectures few years ago which kinda ended up half baked (aka failed), Japan is now giving me a 2nd chance to fix it; Thank you Japan!!

Cosmo World!

Here are some examples of prefectures I’ve stopped by & didn’t managed to explore, but recently covered it:

  • Okayama: Ended up here because of my failed planning to go to Tottori, became a 1 day trip but didn’t see much, ended up exploring so many cities around Okayama last November!
  • Tottori: Wanted to see the sand dunes so badly but couldn’t figure out how to go there & managed to see it last year with tips on how to get there too
  • Mie: Always wanted to make a trip down but wasn’t sure when, and it came true last December though it was a last minute plan
  • Yokohama: Previous short visit didn’t allow me to explore much, ended up here again in Feb 2019
  • Fukuoka: Let’s hope I get to explore more of Fukuoka next lol, only stayed 1 night here last summer & didn’t manage to explore much either.

So if you feel bummed out that you couldn’t cramp in everything in your current trip, chin up because you’ll never know what the Japan has in plan for you! Go with the flow, and you’ll definitely be in for a great surprise.

Okay, still reading? Thank you for still staying with me passed this out of topic paragraph lol, now back to the main topic which is about Yokohama. After coming back from there, with confidence I would label this city as a great place for families with young children that isn’t too far from Tokyo. There’s just so many family friendly activities to do and its a place rich in history that may make your travels not only fun but also educational as well. I myself as an adult learned so much from our local guide, and here is a fun info:

Do you know the meaning behind the city’s name “Yokohama” (横浜)?

In Japanese “Yoko” means horizontal while “Tate” means vertical, so the name “Yokohama” literally translates to Horizontal Beach.

Japan is filled with many interesting and direct namesake places, like how I recently found out that Kamogawa (鴨川) literally translates to “Duck River” lol, not so romantic anymore eh? Haha!
To those who can read kanji/ Chinese characters probably this information isn’t something new to them but for English speakers like me, it’s mind-blowing lol.

Yokohama is the 2nd largest city in Japan with Tokyo (obviously) being the 1st and it has a long history of being a port city that first open its waters to foreigners and trading businesses in the 1880s that helped flourish Japan to be the modern country it is today. A city filled historical monuments such as the Red brick warehouse, Osanbashi Pier, and many more. It reminded me very much of my hometown Malacca because it was once a trading port and now known as a “The Historic State” in Malaysia.

Also another fun fact, did you know that Yokohama is the first city in Japan to import in gas lighting in 1872 that can be still seen today on their streets (probably converted to electricity by now)

Who else loves history? We definitely can be friends haha.

So this round I spent 3 days 2 nights in Yokohama, managed to compile quite a number of fun things to do especially for first timers who are clueless of what Yokohama has to offer or looking for a nearby side trip from Tokyo! Yokohama is easily accessible from Tokyo, taking only 30 mins+ by train and the view here is 100 times better in my own personal opinion, modern skyscrapers with a sea view. It’s actually not fair to use Tokyo to compare with Yokohama because it’s like comparing a duck & a chicken both not of the same species haha, both have their own unique points.

I arrived via shinkansen from Kyoto, stopped at Shin Yokohama station and my first location was their ramen museum! When in Yokohama you must eat their ramen, this city is popular for Chinese dishes which dated way back when traders from China first set foot here; hence introducing their culture and food to Japan and yes ramen is actually a Japanese-Chinese style dish in case you guys didn’t know that lol.

Ramen Museum

Walking distance from Shin Yokohama station, if you reach by lunchtime you should head over here for a gastronomical experience. Get transported back to the 1960s and enjoy various kinds of ramen like how the locals once did, the nostalgic atmosphere embraces you in open arms like an old friend & tempting delicious ramen scent lingers around the room that is too hard to resists.

It’s seriously an instagenic (sorry millennial term for photogenic, but meant for Instagram) location, every corner you photograph at makes you look like you are in some high fashion shoot or something lol.

Old school style camera store

Yes pay phones can be found here as well haha

Different kinds of ramen style from all over Japan

Intensive ramen history lesson lol

You will get to explore, learn everything about ramen history in its original form. I recently learned that Menma (bamboo shoots) was created 100 years ago for the purpose of serving with ramen!

There are tasting session at the information booth 

About Menma, it is a lactic fermented food

Menma samples

Even the entrance staff is dressed exactly how they do back in the 60s, you can take a photo with them, just make sure to ask permission before photographing them. They’ll give you a big smile J

They served all sorts of ramen from different prefectures here, and the best part it comes in half portion. So if you come with friends each of you can order different flavours in half size to try, considered it like ramen buffet session haha. Must try for all ramen lovers!

 Kumamoto style ramen

Lines might be abit long at some stores, but it’s quick moving because people just eat and go instead of hanging out.

My stomach is so small that one half bowl serving of ramen and I’m already full, best to not come with a friend like me haha; go with those who are foodies and have blackholes for a stomach.

What to order next?

Skyduck Tour

Had so many of you guys asking me about this particular tour on Instagram! Didn’t know it’s that popular and after riding it, I can finally understand why. It’s an interesting sightseeing experience for both adults and children because their tour bus is rather special, it not only rides on land; it is also able to float on water as well like a motorboat! That is super cool, my first time riding on one!

Under the bus!

Reminds me of those cool cars in fiction books/ shows that allows people to travel both on land and under water in the most dramatic manner (remember Lucy Wilde’s car from Despicable Me 2?). I doubt that is possible with the sky duck bus la but close enough lol.

The pick up point of the Sky Duck tour isn’t too far from Yokohama Royal Park Hotel; in fact, it’s walking distance to Nihon Maru Memorial Park. The 50 mins ride per adult costs 3,500yen & 1,700 yen for children. You can check their operation schedule on their official website: https://www.skybus.jp/course

If you have time to go for this, just do it!!

Old style boats by the ports

 Sunset view

Seats with belts that's needed during the road tour, you can unbuckle it once the skyduck is on water

During the tour, there is a guide who will explain about the route and basic history about the buildings surrounding it. If you managed to spot these 3 landmarks “King, Queen & Jack” together, it’s said your wish will come true so make sure to keep a look out for it and have your wishes ready!

Spotted it and made a wish!

Orbi Yokohama

UPDATE: 30/6/2021

Orbi Yokohama has closed its doors for good in december 2020 after a year of struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic. Like many other businesses throughout Japan, it is unfortunate to see so many good attractions being forced into this decision as a last resort to prevent further losses. Thank you for all the years of making families smile. 

Outside MARKIS feels like winter wonderland with rows and rows of trees been decorated with fairy lights!

During winter or rainy seasons, bringing your kids to the zoo isn’t exactly the best idea but in MARKIS Minatomirai mall there is a mini petting zoo and exhibition called ORBI Yokohama (by SEGA) located on the 5th floor of the building. It’s indoor, cozy, easily accessible to diaper room facilities & filled with food choices under one roof.

Found Timun!! Now where's Pumba?

Look Ma! My first time petting a capybara! 

This parrot "scolded" me for taking its picture lol

Super huge!

Before exiting there is a decent size gift shop with quite a number of cute merchandises!

Naturally i was eyeing the penguins lol

Look at them, so kesian inside the UFO catcher lol

Suitable for young children, as this colourful and interactive place keeps them entertained for hours on end, you can definitely exhaust your kids here while the other adults go shopping or a coffee break before dinner haha! This is called smart parenting strategy lol.

Noge Tegata

If you are curious to try out something different for dinner, you can get these food cash vouchers called “Noge Tegata” to dine in 70 participating diners located all around Noge district! So it’s like a mini food hunt, you can follow the map and walk around the area before deciding which diner you would like to dine at. The vouchers can be bought at NewDays Sakuragicho station or Family Mart Yokohama Noge Nakadori shop. It’s total value combined is 3000 yen (x2 1500 yen vouchers) that can be used as cash in participating diners.

Family Mart Yokohama Noge Nakadori shop

Some diners has their own special “Noge Tegata” set meal prepared for you to use the cash voucher, but there are some which are more flexible in terms of ordering.

For example, the first place we dined at is called Bouillon, an Izakaya that serves a special set menu of sashimi + appetizer+ drink for 1500 yen per head while our 2nd Izakaya location allowed us to order anything from the menu and if it exceeds the voucher’s value (1500 yen), we can just top up with cash. If your meal total is below the voucher value, no cash refunds will be returned.

Our sashimi platter from Bouillin Izakaya had Aburi, Tako, Ika, Maguro & Aji

Our Miso soup had handmade fish ball in it, so yummy & soft!

Finally, could have my beloved Umeshu drink, haha when I’m away from #lilpenguin I get to drink

But why this cash voucher system?

This system was first introduced during the Kamakura period as a method to send money to distant places (similar to postal money) and physical coins in large quantities were to heavy and dangerous to be carried long distance; hence an official system of Ginbi Tegata (cash voucher) & Tsukou Tegata (travel voucher) came about.

So for traveling guests to have a taste of how things were done in the olden days of Japan, Noge Tegata is created for that purpose. Food as motivation to exercise lol sounds about right, just kidding! Have fun exploring around this district.

That’s just a simple chill itinerary for Day 1, we were back in our hotel rooms by 10pm because all of us were exhausted (old liao), hard to believe that I wanted to be on my bed before 12am haha because back when we were younger sleeping at 3am was normal. How many of you can recall those days of partying like the night is still young, now is the total opposite; in my head I’m constantly thinking when is my next sleep lol (signs of age catching up).

My travel buddy this round, Sock Peng from Mylovelybluesky!

I've decided to split my post into 2 parts so that i wouldn't end up too long, pictures alone almost 100 pcs edited and to upload all of it in a single post would take forever to load lol.
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Yours Truly,

1 comment:

  1. Wohoot!!!! Thanks for your entry. Would totally put this part as one of our itineries. Thanks dear!


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