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Best Hidden Gems in Yokohama

By: Cityseeker
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Yokohama Customs Museum

In the early port years, the Kanagawa Magistrate's office (of which the custom house was a part) wielded power not only over the export and import duties levied, but also over foreign matters. The Great Yokohama Fire of 1866 eliminated the Kanagawa Maritime Transportation Office, the forerunner of the Yokohama Custom House, as it has been called since 1872. The present building was built in 1936 and is fondly known as "the Queen," because of its landmark domed mosque-like tower. An exhibit of contraband items includes faux name brand handbags, watches, etc. Ingenious methods for sidestepping customs that were tried and failed are exhibited. (NBW)

Admission: Free

1-1 Kaigandori, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Japan, 231-0002
Silk Museum

The Silk Museum is a delightful museum that portrays the role that silk has played in the history of Yokohama. In the years after Japan opened its doors to the world, silk was its major export, and Yokohama was the primary port for the silk shipping industry. In addition to explaining the role that silk has played in Yokohama's past, the Silk Museum houses a wonderful collection of silk kimonos and antique costumes fashioned from silk. It also houses a library of Japanese books and a movie theater. For those interested in the history of Japanese costumes, and those enraptured by the unique beauty of flowing silk kimonos, the Silk Museum is a rare treat.

No. 1, Yamashita-cho, Yokohama, Japan, 231-0023
Blue Blue Yokohama

Near Osanbashi Pier is a small shop with interesting interior décor that sells clothing (with a nautical look) and souvenirs such as mugs, key chains, scarves, bags and jewelry. Quirky clocks and signs adorn the outside of the building. Inside, the small first room has old wooden floors that creak alarmingly. The back room has been decorated like a ship or warehouse with decorative objects such as old diving gear dotted about. Clothing includes T-shirts, sweaters, trousers and jeans. -AH

1-1 Kaigandori, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Japan, 231-0023
K-Cube Aveda

K-Cube Aveda is a haven for your tresses. You could drop in for a relaxing hair-spa, for which they use their home product Aveda, made of natural ingredients, which brings out a lustrous sheen to your hair. You could also get some hair-styling done after the spa; short hair or long, they have trendy hairstyles and hair colors for a chic look. K-Cube Aveda is a one-stop center to cover complete hair-care.

158-1 Yamashita-cho, Park Holmes, 1F, Yokohama, Japan, 231-0861
Japanese Overseas Migration Museum

This museum charts the history of Japanese migration overseas, primarily to the Americas and Hawaii. Scenes depict the early migrants to Hawaii who worked in the sugar industry, the next wave of migrants who went as settlers to countries such as Peru and Brazil, and then the post World War II migrants who went in search of a better life. Each part of the exhibition has English and Japanese explanations and there are documents, videos (with subtitles) photographs and artifacts. The journeys of the migrants are explored and scenes from their new life are recreated in the museum. A huge amount of material has been collected for this museum; much of it is displayed on video or computers. It is closed Mondays. -AH

2-3-1 Shinko, Yokohama International Centre, Yokohama, Japan, 231-0001
SPA Bay Window

Bay Window Spa is a rejuvenating experience, but in a luxurious milieu. The plush ambiance, elite interiors and the elaborate menu of rich and revitalizing treatments are a blissful experience. There are detoxifying processes that use seaweed, saltwater, and conclude with a milk bath. Face massages are exceptional, and the mineral-rich products and aroma therapy refresh your skin oh-so-delightfully. You cannot miss the exotic Rose Benediction treatment, that uses rose extracts for facials and massages, and brings out a glowing skin. And the Bridal Spa Package ensures a ravishing luster for your wedding. Revive your beautiful self, here at Spa Bay Window.

1-1-1 Minatomirai, Pacifico Yokohama, InterContinental Yokohama Grand, Yokohama, Japan, 200-8522
Negishi Forest Park and Track

Negishi Shinrin or literally Negishi Forest, is also known by several names that celebrate its past and present status as a place for play, enjoyment and relaxation. In 1866, the Yokohama Race Club chose Negishi as the first permanent Western-style horse racing track. Hence, another of the park's names is Negishi Keiba Kinen Koen or the Negishi Memorial Race Track Park. Racing continued here until 1943. You can still see the distinctive oval shape with the old blackened concrete stands on the side. After the war the Americans turned the area into a golf course. And, today it is one of the largest expanses of green space in Yokohama, and a prime spot for picnics and touch football games.

Negishi-dai 1-3, Yokohama, Japan, 231-0853
Sogo Museum of Art

Sogo Museum of Art aims to contribute to Japan's cultural development, with the amazing collection of paintings that it displays. The mediums are multifaceted, and the beautifully expressive paintings revoke emotions out of the viewers that were otherwise veiled. Sogo Museum should be visited to glance at the wondrous world of fine art, and to experience its effect on you.

2-18-1 Takashima, SOGO Department Store, 6F, Yokohama, Japan, 220-8510
M Slash

M Slash exudes elegance and refinement, throughout its services. They keep up with the latest hairstyles, and make sure you get a chic hair-do. There is also nail-styling done, so if you want to get some glamorous nail finishes, M Slash is your deal. You could also go in there for some rejuvenating spa services, and try the Mio Therapy (massage to relax the face muscles), yoga and body massages. The ambiance is sleek and plush, and a major feel-good element of the place, along with a smart and passionate staff. M Slash is perfect to get that amazing look, or a makeover altogether.

9-1 Honmokuhara, Yokohama, Japan, 231-0821
Total Salon Pirka

Pirka literally means 'beautiful', in the Ainu language of Japan, and the Salon ensures you feel that way throughout. They believe that not only outer, but also inner beauty, that of the mind and soul, is necessary for a joyful living. They have massages to heal and rejuvenate the body, relax the muscles, and refresh the mind. There are also facial treatments to detoxify, cleanse, massage and then conclude with soda face packs (used for oxidising the skin). Bridal packages are available, for a ravishing look on the D-day. Total Salon Pirka invigorates your senses with its stress-busting menu.

1-2-4 Tsuruyacho, Kamiya Building, Suite 403, Yokohama, Japan, 221-0835
Taya Caves

Taya Caves are adjacent to Josen-ji Temple and are located on the side of a hill. One story regarding the history of the caves is that the Hojo family excavated them in the mid-twelfth century for safekeeping of their possessions. It is believed that some members of the Shingon-sect had the caves expanded so that they could practice their esoteric/mystical rituals. Note the Buddhist drawings on the walls and ceiling which include some characters in Sanskrit. The dimensions of the caves are width one meter, length 1.5 kilometers and height two meters.

1501 Taya-cho, Sakae-ku, Yokohama, Japan, 244-0844
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