Japan 2015: Yokohama Reminiscence Part 1

Start of my holiday entries. This time round, it will be more of a photo-based highlight series rather than a detailed day to day break-down which I did for my previous Japan trip back in year 2013.

1st third of the trip (Days 1 to 3) were spent in Yokohama, if you were to count Day 1 (arrived in Yokohama in the evening) and Day 3 (where we did a day trip out to Enoshima and Kamakura).

Flight touched down at Narita in early afternoon, around 1415Hrs Japan Time (Note: Japan is 1 hour ahead of Singapore). Going towards the mid to tail end of autumn, Japan is already on daylight savings mode, thus sunset is around 1630 to 1700 Hrs …… which means a limited amount of daylight. By the time we cleared customs, activated our JR passes etc. – we reached Yokohama well into the evening (around 6pm!).

Thanks to Tripadvisor, we found a great deal at Yokohama Garden Hotel – which is to be our ‘home’ for the next 3 nights! It may be a small, not really well known business hotel. But service was really impeccable, and more important the room was really comfortable!

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The other nice touch was that there was a humidifier in the room. The humidifier came in really handy as the air was pretty dry, and we were pretty much sneezing non-stop without it 😛

Moreover the great location (just a 5 min walk down the road from the JR Kannai Station), and it being right beside Yokohama Stadium! Not to mention, our room was facing the stadium as well.

Really hungry after a full day of travelling (Singapore to Narita to Yokohama). No lunch served on board our ANA flight to Tokyo. So here’s our 1st proper meal of the day (Dinner) at Katsuretsu An.

I 1st came across this restaurant in my 1st Japan trip back in Winter 2012 (December). Didn’t manage to visit it in my 2nd trip in year 2013 …… and so I made it a point to go back again this time round. Katsuretsu An is a well known ‘old school’ Yokohama tonkatsu restaurant, very highly rated by the locals. We got a seat on level 2 this time round. Very nice, home style Japanese restaurant, with friendly aunties serving us.

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1 classic tonkatsu set + another mixed seafood (prawn, scallop, some japanese vegetable set) ….. and both rice and cabbage are free flow. Was soooo hungry that I had 2 servings of rice 😛 …… All in all a great meal!

Another highlight – Smart Illumination Yokohama 2015.

This is an illumination event held in various parts of Yokohama, but mainly concentrated around the Zou no Hana Park area in Minato Mirai itself.  Co-incidentally, 3rd Nov was also the last night for the event. A pretty small-ish event, but I thought the image of the lady imposed onto the Yokohama Customs Museum gave it a somewhat alluring and mysterious feel.

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Next up, Day 2! 1st highlight was taking the subway down to Shin-Yokohama to visit the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum. The place was slightly difficult to locate as it was located in a side street around the corner from the Shin-Yokohama Station (Subway) …… but we managed to locate it after spotting a small quene.

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Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum is a food amusement park / museum that is all about RAMEN! The interior is decorated in 1950s style, as 1958 is the year where instant noodles were first invented in Japan. There is a bar right in the centre of the open area, while the ramen stalls / mini restaurants selling ramen from various regions/prefectures in Japan are located on both levels.

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Apart having Ramen from various regions/prefectures in Japan, there is also a souvenir shop at the basement level of the museum. The ramen sold in the stalls/mini restaurants on levels 1 and 2 are also available as takeaway packs for you to go back to cook (or to bring home as a sounvenir/omiyage). Decided against buying any due to the short expiry dates (we are leaving Japan only on the 13th of November).

After going 1 round the museum, the last thing to do is to get an early lunch (around 1130 Hrs) before the lunch crowd comes in. It was a close choice between Ryu Shanghai Honten and Casa Luca (Italian Style Tonkotsu Ramen) …… and Ryu Shanghai Honten won out in the end.

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Ryu Shanghai Honten’s speciality is their seafood based spicy miso ramen. The broth itself is very rich (and a tad on the salty side) as it is boiled using a mixture of seafood, pork and chicken bone …… with the spicy miso to give an extra kick.

Unlike most ramen shops, in order to let you try as many types of ramen as possible, all the shops have either half-size or full size. Sis elected for half size while I had a full size one. Not such a great idea in the end …… as the full size portion was really HUGE. Am really stuffed after lunch 😛

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Nothing else really interesting in Shin-Yokohama (apart from the Nissan Stadium maybe) as Shin-Yokohama is more of a district cum transportation hub (The Shinkansen stops at Shin-Yokohama) …… and so it was back to the main Yokohama city area after lunch.

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