Yokohama

September 14th

Yokohama. Definitely the prettiest place I’ve ever been to [so far]. The buildings are round and organic and blue and so pleasant. It’s less crowded and busy than Tokyo. I could live there.

Yokohama Landmark Tower

Yokohama Landmark Tower

I made plans with Keini, who lives in Yokohama, to visit (since I had no idea where else to go). It was the first time I had to take a train out of Hiyoshi on my own. Obviously, I was super scared – and I’m not really one to ask strangers for help. So thank god for my international data plan. I can LINE people all I want. I arrived at Minato Mirai at about 1:45 p.m. and waited a few minutes for Keini to arrive. Once he did, we went out to the Landmark Tower (so pretty!) and into the mall at the bottom. AND THEY HAD A POKEMON CENTER. I WASN’T EVEN LOOKING FOR ONE BUT THEY HAD IT. So I was super excited when we got to the store. It was, however, filled with little children and I felt kind of out of place. Especially toting my huge Nikon around and taking pictures.

The Pokemon Center was filled with goodies and a whole wall of stuffed animals. They were so adorable! I

The hero looks taller on the pillow than in game illustrations...

The hero looks taller on the pillow than in game illustrations…

just wanted to buy all of them! But the only thing I could really afford were keychains. I didn’t buy anything, though, since I still have so much time left in the year. I was, however, stopped by an employee in the back of the building who was soliciting customers for a photo shoot. I guess there was a Halloween event going on and she wanted customers to dress up in a Pikachu hoodie and hold a Gourgeist while standing in front of “Pokemon Spooky Party.” Keini and I were both too embarrassed to do it, but, after some deliberation, I decided to do it. I’m only in Japan once.

Yep. So that happened. It was embarrassing (not even the little kids were doing it), but I did it. And have the picture to prove it.

I'm too embarrassed to post it so enjoy this picture of the free sticker I got instead

I’m too embarrassed to post it so enjoy this picture of the free sticker I got instead

The Shonen Jump Store was right across the way, so we headed there next. Now, I’m not a huge fan of shonen jump, but I do like Shojo Beat (both are under the VIZ Media label back home). I recognized a few things, like Chopper from One Piece, Kuroko no Basket, and Soul Eater. There was a whole wall of manga, too.

Now for the obligatory pictures, because, you know, I take millions of them and they look good (just kidding).

Chopper Plushies

Chopper Plushies

DSC_0170

Shonen Jump Store

The mall was really nice though. Actually, the outside of it was, too. There was a live play or something going on outside, and inside, there was a band playing music for the children. It was really nice and made for a great atmosphere. If only they would do that at Southpoint! On the way out of the store, I saw a flyer for the Prince of Tennis Musical. LOL Oh I would want to see it for the laughs.

Outside was the Yokohama Art Museum. It’s a pretty building with fountains in front of it and a statue of what I think was like, a vehicle? The Mark 15 Mall across the street also had a cool architectural design.

Yokohama Art Museum

Yokohama Art Museum

Mark 15 Mall

Mark 15 Mall

Since I needed a frying pan and mirror for my dorm, we headed for Nitori, a cheap furniture/homegoods store. Got a frying pan and spatula for like $6 ish. It was pretty good. But full length mirrors are sadly about $20 (¥2000). I will have to find one another day – if I can find anything cheaper. My ability to coordinate outfits will have to wait….argh. Can’t catch up to the fashionable Tokyo ladies.

Next, we walked to Yokohama Bay/Park. The convention center made me think of the Sydney Opera House. Inside, there were people doing yoga. I don’t know how people can do it when the walls are glass and completely see through :/ I’m super self-conscious, so I wouldn’t be able to. Outside in the park, though, was an area FILLED with people all doing yoga. It was really funny. A yoga festival was going on and everyone in the area was following an MC doing like radio exercises and yoga moves. I guess they enjoy yoga in Japan.

Yoga Festival at Yokohama Bay Park

Yoga Festival at Yokohama Bay Park

We walked around the bay area – which is gorgeous by the way, saw the giant ferris wheel, and then went into the Grand Hotel. It has three floors just for the lobby/leisure area, including a restaurant and little boutiques. Apparently, it’s a popular wedding venue, and I saw a purple bride in the lobby.

I also needed to buy a cell phone, so we went to an electronics store in another mall nearby. Unfortunately, they had no prepaid phones and didn’t sell just SIM cards. I did not get my phone that day. Instead, we ate an early dinner ish snack thing at MOS Cafe. I heard about MOS Burger before and really wanted to try it. Luckily, it was nearby. Also, my pronunciation sucks and the lady behind the counter handed me an English menu. It was good, but the size was smaller than burgers in America, and the meat is all from Japan. The patties aren’t as firm or big as you would see the US, and the consistency of the meat is fairly soft.

The Special Burger at MOS Cafe

The Special Burger at MOS Cafe

Keini and I chatted for a bit after snacktime because we had been walking for quite a while. Then we headed off to Pompadour, a bakery nearby. The breads and pastries looked appetizing, but I just didn’t want to spend the extra money. Instead, I spent it at Pearl Lady to buy a regular sized Coffee Bubble Tea. It’s unfortunately half the size you would get in Taiwan and more expensive. But it was good! The tapioca pearls were the perfect consistency. I was tempted to buy the crepes at Pearl Lady, too, but I really needed to save money.

My Coffee Bubble Tea from Pearl Lady

My Coffee Bubble Tea from Pearl Lady

Definitely check out Pearl Lady if you’re in Japan, though, Gotta love that bubble tea!

I was about the head out back to the train station afterwards, since we were reaching about 5 or 6 p.m. and it was getting dark. However, Keini mentioned how nice Yokohama Bay is at night so I just had to go. Totally don’t regret it. It was breathtaking. Well, actually, rather than breathtaking, it was really relaxing. You can just sit there by the bay side and stare out into space for hours.

Yokohama Bay at Night. Also my cover photo.

Yokohama Bay at Night. Also my cover photo.

It’s something you really have to experience for yourself.

 

I am so going to Yokohama again.

 

Oh, but just a warning, it turns out Minato Mirai is actually a well-known couples city. LOL. Oops.

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