In July 2018, the Scottish Government and the City of Yokohama declared their intentions to collaborate on the areas of culture and tourism, marine and subsea industries, sports and education.
Working under the principle that the two bodies could grow together, this declaration made Yokohama the first Japanese local government to formally collaborate with Scotland.
Since The Rugby World Cup 2019™, the people of Yokohama have become more familiar with Scotland. The event is still fresh in viewers’ memories, and through the exciting games and interactions between both teams, a sporting relationship developed.
Indeed, Japan is looking forward to hosting the Tokyo 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Games, where they hope to further enhance said relationship.
Looking towards the future, Yokohama City is eager to reignite its affiliation with Scotland, and is eagerly preparing for Caledonian visitors.
An introduction to Yokohama City
Yokohama is located a mere 30 minute train ride from the capital city of Tokyo or Haneda airport.
It is one of the largest cities in Japan with a population of over 3.74 million.
Since opening its port in 1859, Yokohama has grown into a vibrant international city with a history of economic and cultural exchange, and is often considered a gateway to the rest of the world.
There are still many places in the city that tell the history of the port’s opening, and it remains a port town with an air of openness where many foreign cruise ships come and go.
You can see the ever-changing, developing aspect of this city through the Minato Mirai 21 area that accommodates cutting-edge experience-based facilities and is the Research and Development Hub of global companies.
Yokohama welcomes you to its exciting city, charmed not only with a sophisticated urban waterfront and an elegant suburban backdrop, but with lush, natural greenery and a refreshing view of the countryside.
Popular tourist attractions of Yokohama
The City of Yokohama is one rich in culture, beauty and modern values, but what does it offer in terms of tourist attraction?
Unrivalled night views
Depending on your vantage point, the views of Yokohama at night are awe-inspiring. When its futuristic building are lit up against the midnight sky, it is an incredible site to behold.
The Yokohama Landmark Tower, the Yokohama Sky Cruise and the Osanbashi Pier are just some of the spectacular places from which observe in the skyline of Yokohama at night.
Sankeien Japanese Garden
Sankeien is a 175,000 square meter Japanese garden designated as a national place of scenic beauty.
It was built as a private residence in Yokohama by Sankei Hara, an industrialist who made a fortune in the raw silk trade in the first half of the 20th century, and was later opened to the public.
The garden has 17 historical buildings, including 10 important cultural properties relocated from Kyoto and Kamakura, and boasts a beautiful harmony of nature, flowers, and trees from season to season.
Kakushoukaku, the former residence of Sankei Hara, was a place to nurture and support young artists, and produced works by some of the most famous modern Japanese painters.
The garden is popular for pre-wedding photo shoots, and if you come here, you may meet the bride and groom in their traditional Japanese wedding attire.
After a stroll in the garden, enjoy a traditional cup of green tea.
Enjoy a truly diverse culinary experience in Yokohama.
Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, which features the history of Japan’s world-class ramen culture and many popular ramen shops, is a tribute to Japanese cuisine, while the Noge area retains the retro drinking culture of Yokohama of a bygone era.
Yokohama is also home to Japan’s largest Chinatown.
Newly opened, stylish hotels
New hotels are springing up all across the city of Yokohama.
Gundam Factory Yokohama
Located at Yokohama’s Yamashita Pier, and standing at 59ft tall, the Gundam project was in the works since 2014, and was finally completed in December of last year.
The magnificent world view held in the story of Gundam spurs, inspires, and moves the imagination and passion of many people involved in the project.
For more information on the Gundam Factory, visit the website.
Coronavirus measures and restrictions
In Yokohama City, as in other parts of Japan, thorough measures are continually taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include temperature checks, enforced mask-wearing, social-distancing, regular hand washing and gargling.
But Yokohama isn’t stopping there.
At Shofukumon in Yokohama Chinatown, a demonstration experiment is underway to introduce T5 (manufactured by KeenOn Robotics), an AI-based non-contact automatic food delivery robot, as a measure to prevent infectious diseases on the restaurant’s all-you-can-eat Hong Kong dim sum floor.
There are a number of all-you-can-eat restaurants in Yokohama Chinatown, but this restaurant will be the first to use an automatic meal delivery robot when it goes into operation.
For more information, view the official visitors’ guide to Yokohama.
Like the rest of the world, Yokohama hopes that travel and tourism will pick up again 2021. The city hopes to welcome you in the near future, and is looking forward to even more programs of exchange.
This article is sponsored by City of Yokohama and in collaboration with Scottish Development International.