Guide to Yokohama

Yokohama, Japan

Named one of Trip Advisor’s top Japan destinations for 2018, Yokohama is the starting point of the Tokyo Ramen Crash Course and, according to the Yokohama Ramen Museum, home of the first speciality ramen restaurant. Besides a hands-on learning experience at a ramen academy, we’ll also visit two famous ramen museums in Yokohama. The Yokohama Ramen Museum for a little history, tasting and shopping, and then over to the CupNoodles Musuem to learn about the invention of instant noodles.

Yokohama is Japan’s second largest city, and is only 30 minutes from Tokyo. An early port for trade, it remains an international city and is home to a historic European quarter and the largest Chinatown in Japan. Besides ramen, there’s plenty to see, so let’s take a look at a few popular attractions in Yokohama.

7 Things to Do in Yokohama

Cup of Noodles Musuem

1. Yokohama Cup Noodles Museum

One of the stops during the Tokyo Ramen Crash Course , where we will immerse ourselves in invention of instant chicken ramen. This spacious, interactive museum is a crowd favorite and learning about the persistence and tenacity of Momofuku Ando is an inspiration for young and old. If you’re a noodle fan, this is a must see.

Address
Yokohamashi Naka-ku Shinkou 2-3-4

Hours
10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Yokohama Ramen Museum

2. Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum

As part of the core curriculum of the Tokyo Ramen Crash Course , we’ll be making a stop at the Ramen Museum for history, tasting, and shopping. On the top floor there is a gallery covering the history of ramen, and in the basement there is a themed food (ramen) hall set in the 1950’s – the golden age of ramen. Here you can sample all kinds of ramen from famous chefs throughout Japan.

Address
Shin-Yokohama, Kohoku-ku 2-14-21

Hours
11:00 am to 10:00 pm

3. Yokohama Cosmoworld

A family-friendly amusement park with an iconic ferris wheel in the heart of the business district of Minato Mirai.  This amusement park has no entrance fee and is divided into 3 areas based on age. For thrill seekers, there is the Wonder Amuse Zone, and for kids and families Burano Street Zone and the Kids Carnival Zone. The giant Ferris Wheel has 60 seats and takes about 20 minutes to ride. In the evening, it lights up the Yokohama skyline. Cosmoworld is conveniently located in the central district of Minato Mirai.

Address
Yokohamashi Naka-ku Shinkou 2-8-1

Hours
Weekdays: 11:00am – 9:00pm
Weekends: 11:00am – 10:00pm
Closed on Thursdays

4. Kirin Yokohama Beer Village

Yokohama is also home to the beer giant Kirin. The brewery has a storied history with its founding as Spring Valley Brewery by a Norwegian-American in 1885. Spring Valley had a short life and was eventually purchased by investors, including influential Nagasaki resident Thomas Glover, and the Kirin brand was launch in 1888. Recently, the Spring Valley brand has been revived as craft beer line. Besides seeing the brewing process, you’ll get a chance to watch 2000 cans beer being filled every minute on the packaging line – something you won’t see at a smaller scale brewery.

Brewery tours are free, but are in Japanese. They last about 80 minutes and are available from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily, except for Mondays. Reservations are recommended.

Address
1-17-1 Namamugi, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama 230-8628

Chinatown, Yokohama, Japan

5. Yokohama Chinatown

Yokohama was one of the first ports open for foreign trade in Japan and developed a large Chinatown as traders and merchants from China settled in the city, This tourist friendly district is a short distance from Minato Mirai and is home to colorful temples and gates. The main attraction in Chinatown are its popular shops and restaurants.

Address
Yokohamashi Naka-ku Yamashitachou

Red Brick Warehosue, Yokohama

6. Red Brick Warehouse

A historic Meiji era (186-1912) government warehouse used for trading that has been fully restored and is now home to numerous shops and restaurants. From the warehouse plaza you can see Yokohama port and Minato Mirai. The Red Brick Warehouse, with its orange illumination, is especially scenic at night.

Hours
11:00 am to 10:00 pm

Address
Yokohamamashi Naka-ku Shinkou 1-1

Yamate, Yokohama, Japan

7. Yamate & Motomachi

Western merchants and traders also settled in Yokohama and made their homes along a bluff in Yamate. Here you’ll find historic homes with blends of European and Japanese architecture. There are a number parks in the area such as Harbor View Park, Motomachi Park, Yamate Park and the Foreigners Cemetery

Just below the bluffs of Yamate, the street of Motomachi has a European flair and is a popular shopping destination.

Minatonomieruoka Park (Harbor View Park)
114 Yamatechō, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken 231-0862, Japan.

Motomachi Shopping Street
1 Chome-1 Motomachi, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken 231-0861, Japan

TanpopoStudio June Update

Tanpopo Studio Team in Suwa
Kai and Koshiki Taking a Break in Suwa

Happy June

I’m just about to start the June, Culinary Guide to Japan tour, and very excited about the trip. While I have a few moments, I wanted to share with you some of the good things happening at TanpopoStudio.

We have a new video! from the Spring Culinary Guide to Japan tour. This short film showcases the trip and what it’s all about. A big thanks to Jakfoto Films for making this possible!

Culinary Guide to Japan Tour, October 2018

October marks the beginning of the harvest season and this is a great time to visit Japan. Enjoy a fall walk in the Kiso Valley, relax in a hot spring and savor a regional Kaiseki dinner. If you are interested in joining us, you can register online or send me an email. Hope to see you in Japan.

Japan Art + Culture Tour, Spring 2019

If you’d like to learn more about the upcoming Art and Culture Tour this spring, please join us at Wet Paint Art at the end of month for another meetup (with tea and crackers). We’ll be posting the exact date as soon as possible. If you’re interested in attending, let me know and I will update you. We’ve received some great feedback during our last meeting, and a few spaces have already been reserved. So if you’re interested, don’t miss your chance to see Tokyo, Nagano and Matsumoto. We’ve also added a 3 day optional extension to Kyoto on this tour for those of you who would like to stay longer in Japan.

Tokyo Ramen Crash Course

Private groups of 6-8 are welcome. If you have a group of friends who want to learn ramen making in Japan, we can book this according to your schedule and you’ll receive a group discount as well.

We’ll be announcing Spring tour dates for the Tokyo Ramen Crash Course in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Classes and Workshops

The Sushi Smiths
June 30th at 6pm at Cooks of Crocus Hill, St. Paul
Sake it To Me!
July 21st at 6pm at Cooks of Crocus Hill, St. Paul

Happy Travels,
Koshiki and Benjamin Smith