Ah, I can’t argue with the fact that breaks are nice. Especially around the holidays (if you’re able to avoid the stress!), some well-deserved time off with friends and family can do wonders for the mind and body. My two-week “reset” really helped fix some of my health issues I have been having, notably regarding my sleep. Though it is likely temporary since I am headed back into the same conditions of barracks living like I have lived for the past year, I’m enjoying the respite from exhaustion and sleep deprivation while it lasts.
As such, I am getting out and photographing even in the cold of winter here in Japan, and while I am still working on photographs from late 2016, new sights aren’t going to see themselves around here! Back on the subject of catching up on 2016, this post contains my first adventure into Yokohama, what some consider as the “little brother” to Tokyo. Easier to access, and a bit more spread out than the megacity many around the world already know, Yokohama is a large but manageable Japanese city on its own that holds many attractions for everyone. Best enjoyed with friends, a day trip to Yokohama (this one in the tail-end of November!) is sure to end with some fun and memorable times.
For my first stop with a couple cohorts, we walked over to the modestly-secluded Shomyoji Temple from Kanazawa-Bunko Station. The light changed quickly during our hour here, going from dappled to overcast to a bright sunset.
With sunlight quickly fading (and an unfortunate overcast beginning to set in) we trained our way towards Yamashita Park, a popular seaside park sharing space with a few tourist ports and commercial vessels.
With the light fading into a nice blue hour, we walked over to the nearby Yokohama Chinatown, the largest in Japan!
At Chinatown’s heart is an extravagant temple decked out in color and style. Without a doubt, Kanteibyo is one of the more eccentric temples I have come across in Japan. From JapanTravel.com: “Kantei-byo enshrines famous Chinese hero “Kanwu”. Kanwu excelled in the areas of power, courage, justice, loyalty, and also business. For all these reasons, the people of Chinatown have chosen to follow Kanwu as their “God of Business”.”
As we only stopped for a couple meat buns in Chinatown, and with late evening fast approaching, it was high-time for some real food. The subway to get to Yokohama Ramen Museum was just a 15-minute walk away through Motomachi Street, so it did not take much convincing for my friends to walk over there.
Inside the museum, visitors can read about the history of ramen, as well as how it has been adapted in other cultures (notably in Italy). On this top floor visitors can also purchase fun ramen trinkets and even play on a massive vintage circuit car track for glory.
Just go down the stairs and the museum opens up into a 1958 street-scape recreation of a Japanese city full of 9 different ramen shops with different flavors from all over Japan. I went with sampling soy ramen and miso ramen. Both were delicious in their own way: the soy sporting a thick and savory broth and a strong salt taste, and the miso ramen staying much more mild with a nice amount of vegetables thrown in.
Often throughout the night, a couple performers came out to entertain the crowd with acrobatics and comedy routines.
With stomachs full of ramen and legs tired from a full day of walking, it was time yet again for the return trip back to Yokosuka. Granted, it’s only about 30 minutes by train to Yokohama instead of the 70 to Tokyo, so for future short day-trips, Yokohama will be on my shortlist just like Kamakura is. That’s all for this post, guys and gals, thanks for dropping by! Looking at my photograph catalog in Lightroom, I have only two more posts to sort through and write up for 2016. Following that, it’s on to the new year in photography, so as always, have a great day!