October 9, 2013 by Terumi
Yokohama is a really neat city. It feels like a big city and business center, but there were so many beautiful areas to walk and see things that it felt really peaceful too. We went there specifically to see the Hikamaru, a ship that brought my mom, my aunt and my grandmother to Canada years ago and we were surprised to find out that Yokohama is actually Vancouver’s “sister-city” and has been for nearly 50 years. I picked a hotel with a view of the Hikawamaru just in case we didn’t make it on the ship and I knew we would be walking distance of the Cup Noodles Museum too!
We also really liked that the room had a fridge. It was really convenient to stop at 711 and other little shops for breakfast the next morning. We found so many neat things to eat and the boys really liked having a leisurely breakfast in our room. (I think sometimes sitting in too many restaurants gets tiring for kids.)
The boys really liked the slippers they were given at the front desk. I love when hotels have little things that make kids feel special.
There is a giant theme-park in the middle of the city called Cosmo World. The boys wanted to ride the Ferris wheel but the park was not open until the day we left-I read later that it was closed on Thursdays. The roller coaster looked pretty amazing too.
We found a shopping mall where the boys saw a dinner plate and decided that this was EXACTLY what they wanted to eat that night.
We walked along the waterfront and had a lovely evening. We were only going to be in the area for 24 hours and we wanted to make the most of it.
We also walked from our hotel to the Cup Noodles Museum in the morning so it was really nice how peaceful and beautiful this bustling city still felt. There was something going on at the Red Brick Warehouses and someone took our picture in front of some Honda cars.
We tried to get Ghibli Museum tickets at the Lawson store in Yokohama but they were sold out.
(If Ghibli is on your list of places to see in Japan-it should be-then make sure you get your tickets before you arrive in Japan. It is pretty impossible to get them if you try the same week and the machines in the Lawson stores are difficult to use if you can’t read Japanese.)
We happened to find a “HAPPY LAWSON” while walking through Yamashita park. This was very happy for us because it had a giant play structure and cafe inside that boys could play on while I tried to figure out the ticket machine. We bought a bunch of candies and snacks while we waited for the Cup Noodles Museum to open and it was great to let the kids just play.
The Cup Noodles Museum was easily done in an hour and a half with our guys. My guys aren’t really into movies and that was the focal point of the first floor and they weren’t old enough to do the noodle making tour that I totally wanted to do, but I think they can next year. Instead we did the noodle cup decorating and it turned out to be really fun.
The guys really liked watching their noodle cups being assembled and the puffy bag they received to put it in. For around 3 dollars USD it was a really amazing souvenir.
They also loved the play area. We finished our noodle cup at 10:30 and went straight to the play area. Everything has ticketed time slots and I think this could get really busy. I think the time slot lasted about 30 minutes and by then the guys were pretty tired.
After our play time we had a noodle snack at the Noodle Bazaar in the museum. The ticketing machines are in Japanese, so they’re a little difficult to navigate but people will help you and the guys appreciated just sitting and eating after running around.
We were on a bit of a tight schedule so after our snack we took a taxi back to see the Hikawamaru and as we walked around the ship I realized how amazing my grandmother was to travel across the Pacific with two young children. The hubby and I chased the two guys around the ship and I can’t imagine doing this all alone.
I really enjoyed our time in Yokohama. There is an aquarium, an Anpan Museum, a Ramen Museum and the Minato Mirai 21 area all there so I think there would be lots to see if we go back. Hotel prices are also more reasonable here than in Tokyo and Tokyo is only about 30 minutes away by train so I think it might be a good place to stay if you’re planning on doing a bunch of side trips outside of Tokyo too. I love when you leave a place and wish you had more time there. I totally hope one day we come back.
Category FAMILY TRAVELS, japan | Tags: cup noodles museum japan, fun japanese playgrounds, hikawa maru, how to get GHIBLI tickets, japan with kids, Lawson stores in Japan, playgrounds in yokohama, side-trips from tokyo wtih kids, things to do with kids in Japan, vancouver sister city, yokohama with kids