Flying as far under the radar as Japan's second-biggest city possibly can, only a 30-minute train ride separates Yokohama from Tokyo's metropolis. Sat a little further to the south of the Bay of Tokyo than the Japanese capital, Yokohama is a place to enjoy waterfront strolls and the warmest of welcomes, as you arrive and acclimatise to this city in the bustling heart of Japan.
Step into this ocean of urbanity, where major cities merge and blend together, and it's hard to square Yokohama's fishing village origins with the vast urban sprawl that you encounter today. An outward-looking place, Yokohama was one of the first to open its harbour to international trade, leading to a rapid transformation from village to big city. The opening of the ports drew many Chinese traders to the bay, and Yokohama houses the country's biggest Chinatown - a colourful and historic explosion of Chinese shops and more than 250 eateries.
Landmark Tower is hard to miss, puncturing the sky as Japan's second-largest building, it looks out over the water and rises before the distant loom of Mount Fuji. The towering ferris wheel nearby is one of the world's tallest, and flashes with colour amid the glowing skyline at night. Enjoy breezy strolls along the lively waterfront, with heritage ships, museums and tempting restaurants bordering the sparking bay's waters.
Offering the excitement that only landing on Japanese shores can offer, Yokohama is a great starting point for any adventure to this land of culture, colour and grace. Whether you want to venture onwards to Tokyo's neon-bathed wonders, see Mount Fuji up close, or find peace and tranquillity in Kyoto's majestic temples and shrines, Yokohama opens up the best of Japan's wonders to you.