Thursday, 28 March 2013

4 Months To Go: Why Do Guide Books Ignore Yokohama?

So, for any of you that aren't already aware, I'm going to Japan again! In July! That's quite soon! Roughly four months to be exact and I am excited to say the least. Recently I've been doing lots of research into interesting places to visit and things to do when I'm in Japan and one of the places I've looked at is Yokohama. Since I've stayed in Tokyo several times before I thought Yokohama would be a good alternative. It's close enough to the big city so that I can visit whenever I want but it's a new place that I've never been to before. The best of both worlds.

But I discovered, while thumbing through my old guidebooks and investing in a couple of new ones, that Yokohama, the capital of Kanagawa prefecture, isn't given much attention. I couldn't find any books written about Yokohama and most other guidebooks only dedicate a page or two to the city. So does this mean that Japan's second most populated city doesn't have much to offer the visitor? Well, no, if my research is anything to go by that simply isn't true.

After doing a little searching online I discovered that Yokohama is not only home to Japan's biggest Chinatown but also many museums and galleries, modern shopping malls and beautiful waterfront parks.

So, for anyone else thinking about visiting Yokohama and wondering what the city has to offer, here's my round up of the best places online to find out more:

Japan: The Official Guide
First up JNTO, the Japan National Tourism Organisation, has lots of information and downloadable pamphlets about lots of places in Japan including Yokohama and Kanagawa on its website.
You can find the JNTO website here and PDFs about Yokohama and Kanagawa to download here.

Kanagawa Now Japan
The Kanagawa Prefectural Tourist Association has a good website packed full of information about the area including city guides, information about events and more downloadable pamphlets.
You can find the Kanagawa Now Japan website here and brochures about Kanagawa to download here.

Yokohama Visitors' Guide
This website run by one of Yokohama's tourist organisations has lots of information for anyone planning a trip to the city. Along with listings for attractions, events and accommodation it also has travel tips and itinerary suggestions. You can view he website here and you can also read editions of the site's 'Unique Side of Yokohama' feature, a cute guide to some 'off the beaten track' places in Yokohama here.

Japan Tourist
Japan Tourist is a great website filled with articles about all kinds of places in Japan from museums and tourist attractions to bars and restaurants written by a variety of contributors (including me ^_^ ). There are lots of articles about all the great attractions that Yokohama has to offer.
You can read about Yokohama on the website here and there is a special article all about the city here.

Yokohama Seasider
Yokohama Seasider is an online magazine all about life in Yokohama and is filled with recommendations for bars, restaurants, shopping and things to do. It also has lots of articles about cultural events and profiles of people who live in the city. You can visit the website here.

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Wow, your blog is so great! I stumbled upon the new website, through the Tumblr blog of one of their contributors, and there was a link to your blog in the "Cool" section on their site. :) There is so much awesome, & useful info on your blog! Thanks!! :D

This British bar/small rock music venue is one place I want to visit if I ever make it to Yokohama. The bar owner (& bass blayer in the bands Tensaw & Ra:IN) Michiaki Suzuki, started the Yokohama Summer Rock Fest, which happens there in August as well. New Japanese bands & musicians, as well as the some of the most popular old skool Japanese rock bands & musicians play at his rock festival & at his bar regularly. :)


Hi Helen, thank you so much for your kind comments, I'm glad that you're enjoying Itsumo Japan and I was excited to hear that I'd been listed on Japan Lover's directory.

The bar you mentioned in Yokohama sounds fun, it seems that there are so many interesting and varied places to visit in Yokohama. I can't wait to go!

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