Japan Day 1: Yokohama

We arrived in Japan and got our train tickets for the Narita Express to Yokohama Station.  The scenery at the beginning of the ride was beautiful, with acres and acres of verdant rice fields along the way.

train ride from narita to yokohama japan

As we got closer to Tokyo, though, you start to see less and less green and more and more tall buildings.  The Express dove under the city, so we didn’t get to see much of it until we were well past it.  Tokyo would have to wait until another day…


First Things First

It was about 10 am by the time we got to Yokohama Station, and we were famished. There are lots of restaurants all around the station, but most of them seemed to be closed until 11 am. One place, called First Kitchen, was open, though. They seemed to be specializing in pasta dishes, so we got ourselves a plate of spaghetti each: Tarako and Nori, and Bacon and Black Pepper.

tarako and bacon spaghetti plates

Have you ever had tarako spaghetti before? Tarako is cod roe. Yep, fish eggs!  But you have to believe me when I say it makes an AWESOME sauce for spaghetti. Especially when fried in butter! The spaghetti was sooooo good.

Getting Around

After satisfying our cravings, we got back on a local subway to go to our hotel and drop off our bags. Then it was back to Yokohama. Annie’s friend told her about getting an all-day pass to ride public transportation within the Yokohama metro area – only 550 yen!  We used the pass to get on this Yokohama city tour bus, which takes you all around town past different landmarks and attractions.

yokohama city tour bus

One of the places I really wanted to stop at was Yokohama Chinatown.  It is one of the largest Chinatowns in the world, with many large and ornate gates sitting at various intersections.  Though the streets are open to car traffic, it seems like the pedestrians rule the road here. There were so many people there that day, the sidewalks just could not contain them.

yokohama chinatown

There were lots of things to eat, from various stores, shops and restaurants on every street. We got these pan-fried dumplings, hot off the griddle. The dumpling skins were crispy and bready while the filling was appropriately porky.  Served with a light vinegar and soy dressing, they were a nice snack to fill a hungry stroller’s stomach.

pan fried dumplings

One interesting stall that we ran into was this one, run by a man who was making Dragon’s Beard candy:

 

The rest of Chinatown was kind of a wash, though. On every street, you see stores hawking the same things and stalls all selling roasted chestnuts. These stalls all have the same gimmick – a half bag of chestnuts sells for about 1,000 yen.  But if you show interest, the seller will make a big show of pouring another half-bag into it, indicating a 2-for-1 deal.

It seems like a deal, doesn’t it? But really, who would pay roughly USD $10 for a small bag of roasted chestnuts?  Suckers that we were, we did. :-(

After a while, Yokohama Chinatown started to feel kind of boring. So we got back on the city tour bus, went up the hill, and got off at a scenic lookout overlooking the Harbor. Then it was back down to the Yokohama Station. It was getting toward the late afternoon, and we wanted to head over to nearby Shin-Yokohama, to go see (and eat at) the Yokohama Raumen Museum.

Which we will talk about in our next post. Stay tuned!

Aloha, Nate

15 Comments Post a Comment
  1. borneoboy says:

    Hi Nate and Annie. Happy traveling ! Borneoboy

  2. Ellen says:

    Please, please, please, if you get to Kyoto, post from Nishiki Market! I’d love to visit again, if only vicariously.

  3. Delya says:

    Wohhh!! The man who was making Dragon’s Beard candy is great!!!! he said “quite simple” I don´’t think so….. Happy traveling Annie and Nate!!

  4. javapot says:

    i love japan so enjoying your post. can’t believe u go all the way to see ‘chinatown’ in a foreign country! missing home oredi?

  5. lila scott says:

    Thanks for this great post. Gorgeous pictures as usual! Now, I am dreaming of going to Japan too! ;-)

  6. The torako spaghetti does sound interesting, even though the photo looks like it’s just strips of nori on top. And I didn’t think there would be Chinatown in Japan. I guess they’re every where! :)

    • Nate says:

      The lighting doesn’t do the photo justice. Next time when we make tarako spaghetti, I’ll take better pictures! :-)

      I never thought there would be a Chinatown in Oakland, much less San Jose. But you’re right: the Chinese are everywhere heheheh

  7. How fun to see the dragon beard candy threads actually being made! My one box from a friend was such a treat. I am hoarding it. ;)
    And what’s this? $10 for a bag of chestnuts? Yowza!!!

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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