In our continued effort to do more exploring in Japan, last weekend we took a day trip to Yokohama, which is only about 45 minutes southeast of us. It happened to be a holiday celebrating the coming of age of Japan's youth. All twenty-year-old gals donned fancy new kimonos (with fur stoles) and the guys all wear suits and they head to the main center of town for a big ceremony. Here we see a couple of gals on the train en route and a few gals getting their grub on at AM/PM post-ceremony. It is quite rare to see people eating on the street in Japan, so to see these girls doing it in their finest dresses on a busy street was really strange to us.
The Ramen Museum was our first stop in Yokohama. It basically is a large building housing a 1:1 replica of a Tokyo neighborhood from 1958 (the year that instant ramen was invented or first put on the market or something). There are about 8 different working ramen shops inside showcasing the various styles of ramen available in Japan (each region has a specialty). Plus there are just a bunch of antiques (not necessarily related to ramen) thrown in to give it the right ambience.
Then it was down to the waterfront Minato Mirai area, where there are amusement park rides (ferris wheel, roller coaster, log ride and boat swing all occupying the same small chunk of land) and this weird disney-style lane of candy stores and game shops.
At some point during the walk, we decided to cut through a building, inside of which we saw a line forming around this orange kiosk. Pretty much our guiding philosophy here is that if we see a line forming around something selling food, we just get in it. No questions asked.
In this case, Leonard's, which we came to learn was originally a small stand in Hawaii, sells hot, donut-like things rolled in your choice of either sugar or sugar/cinnamon. They were pretty good (I mean, who doesn't like just-fried donuts?) but I don't really think the long line was justified. Perhaps no one else in line knew what they were queueing up for either.
Then we made our way out to the red brick warehouse area (Akarenga Soko) for some shopping and browsing, but no ice skating (though we did stand around reminiscing about skating in central park in our early dating days).After that we walked along the waterfront and headed toward Chinatown behind this guy in his interesting jacket (click to read).
Yokohama's Chinatown is apparently the biggest chinatown in Asia (outside of China of course). Encompassing several densely packed streets, it was home to more restaurants than you can imagine, all of them offering what seemed like exactly the same things. After attempting to find some perfect combination of traits that we wanted, we finally, out of pure exhaustion, just settled on one in a quieter section of town.
For a set price of roughly $30, we just kept ordering small plates of things by number from the rather expansive menu. Here is one of the prettier items, peking duck (really just the skins thereof) with crepes and hoisin sauce.