Prior to coming to Japan I was always excited about visiting Tokyo yet had no knowledge of Yokohama other than it was the venue, close to Tokyo, for some of the tournaments rugby matches. Well today was a day for discovering Yokohama and finding out what it was all about….
With a detailed map in hand Lisa and I headed off on foot to the port where we were immediately greeted by a beautiful clean immaculately turned out promenade full of restaurants and bars overlooking Yokohama’s stunning skyline of skyscrapers which are home to many of the worlds leading banks and hotels. In port was a cruise ship and a Russian billionaires super yacht.
Also in port was our first stop – a museum dedicated to the sinking of a North Korean spy ship in 2001. Bit of an odd one this. We were greeted by a perfectly turned out member of the Japanese coast guard who pointed out a sign that said no photography yet seconds later showed me an image on the floor (see pic) of where I should place my feet to take a photo of the bullet riddled ship. A brief free tour of a bizarre exhibition followed – I kind of loved it mainly due to the passion exhibited by the coast guard and some of the rather stating the obvious signage.
Pot noodle heaven...
We then went via some gardens to the Red Brick Warehouse which is an old building in sharp contrast to the modern skyscrapers behind. The warehouse was full of shops selling local wears and restaurants although with the sun shining we wanted to be outside so this was a brief stop.
Next up was one of the more bizarre moments of my entire trip. We visited Yokohama’s Cup Noodle museum. This is an enormous Tate gallery esque homage to that dirty late night snack we have all endured at some stage in our lives! Lots of people were queuing to get in and the museum shop was full of books, quirky merchandise and of course pot noodles to take away. I sustained my first injury of the trip while here when posing with a large pot noodle which fell on my head….. overall though I bloody loved this place as it’s completely bonkers!
We continued to explore this wonderful relaxed, quiet city and made our way past the ferris wheel and some roller coasters before once again reaching Noge Alley and it’s dusty grungy streets however the majority were closed as it seems on weekdays it only comes alive at night.
Noge Alley & New Friends...
In the evening we hit the local Irish bar to catch the Wales New Zealand match and witnessed a father who had a baby spark out with huge headphones on in a cradle around his body (see pic) and numerous Yokohama businessmen again all dressed in their dark suits holding brief cases and watching the rugby without really understanding it while eating nachos with chop sticks.
We headed back to wonderful Noge alley for dinner and chose a tapas style restaurant and which came with a chefs surprise. Unfortunately the surprise was conger eel, yam, boiled quails eggs and something that to this day remains unknown. Both Lisa and I were feeling a little dicky after our own version of the bush tucker trial and were about to leave when two ladies, both called Koulu…pronounced Cow Loo (apt I thought) decided to buy us some deep fried tofu. No idea why they did this but we could not be rude and reject the offer despite the fact it tasted like polystyrene. They were lovely ladies and like all Japanese so kind and sweet.
On the way home I remembered that after 24 days away my deoderent needed replacing so I needed to buy a new spray. In the local mini market after performing a demonstration as to what I needed to a rather confused lady I was sold a pack of body sheets…. 🤦♂️