Japan 2012: Day 1 Yokohama

Decided to get started on my travel entries proper after much procrastination … and before January 2013 comes to a close in 1 day’s time! *lol*

Apart from some brief photo updates (via Weekly Challenge) and a few tripadvisor reviews (need to get up to speed on that too b4 the 6 month window period comes to a close) … will go in chronological order for this series of travel entries. Aside from pictures, for this series of travel entries, would like to add in some personal thoughts & accodales as well …..

Day 1: 17 December 2012

Took the early morning flight (0150hrs) & reached Narita at 0930hrs (Japan time). Took the Nex + Suica package and headed straight into Yokohama. Narita Express train (Nex) was barely occupied & got a reserved seat! Smooth journey all the way into Yokohama & reached ahead of schedule (ard 1145hrs) ……

NEX CollageGrabbed some maps & brochures at the tourist information centre. Then walked to my hotel to drop my luggage. The moment I walked out of the train station, brrrrr …… so cold!

Yokohama Station CollageManaged to figure my way to my hotel based on directions from the tourist information centre & passer-bys along the way. The 10 to 15 min walk felt long at 1st, but not so bad in the end as I accustomed myself to the surroundings.

My hotel – Hotel Plumm Cosmo Y. Choose this hotel instead of hotels in Minato Mirai/Chinatown area because of their designer rooms – aka room with funky interiors (pink wall, pop art painting). Room was ready when I reached at 1200hrs (note: Check-in time is usually 2-3pm) …… Spent some time figuring out the power points in the room (not visible to the eye) before heading out for lunch & the rest of the itinerary.

Hotel Plumm Cosmo YOne mediocre lunch (ended up at a ramen joint in the underground mall Sotesu Joinus after spending a good 20 min unsuccessfully locating the Ippudo at the West Exit) ….. Not very satisfied, so took up one of the recommendations on tripadvisor , Katsuretsu-Ann for some authentic Yokohama tonkatsu. Found it after a good 15 min walk from Kannai Station! Check out my tripadvisor review here – pretty self explainatory 😀

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Off for some sight-seeing at Yamate & Motomachi.

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In the following order (left to right, clockwise direction) – View of the Yokohama Bay Bridge outside Yamate Italian Garden …. Diplomat House (front and back), Bluff No. 18, Garden outside of Diplomat House and Motomachi Shopping Street (after walking down the hills of Yamate) …… A very interesting look at the historical side of Yokohama as it was a port city with major western influences back in the late 19th century. Contary to what the map shows, the area is actually very big, so did not cover the whole of Yamate (i.e. the other side of the hill with the tennis museum, cemetery and Harbour View Park) and did not do the full walk down Motomachi as well (cut short the walk to head to Chinatown instead) ……

Yokohama ChinatownManaged to enter from a side gate (after walking back to Ishikawacho Station and not finding the entrance from there) ….. Found the Daiseikai Museum, which turned out to be some shops and a Alive Museum (trick art) which I didn’t have time for, unfortunately. And lots of overpriced Chinese food, and not being able to locate Kocho (recommended for take-away chinese food that I wanted to try i.e. the bao and the dumplings) ….. Far from impressed and so decided rather than waste more time exploring, it might be a wiser choice to head to Yamashita Park ……..

Going to keep this short and continue on Part 2 …….

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