The second most populous city in Japan after its close neighbour Tokyo, Yokohama is unashamedly tourist-centric. A maritime city with a rich legacy, Yokohama seamlessly blends traditional Japanese culture with a host of modern cosmopolitan touches such as first-class international eating establishments, cool jazz clubs and a wealth of local microbreweries. The main hub of the city is Minato Mirai, a vast urban area with an enviable waterfront location. Its name meaning 'harbour of the future', Minato Mirai is home to an extensive selection of major retail stores, modern hotels, fascinating museums and even an amusement park. Cosmo World boasts a selection of roller coaster rides and carnival attractions but is undoubtedly most famous for the huge Cosmo Ferris Wheel which dominates the city skyline alongside the iconic Landmark Tower.
Much of the city was devastated by an earthquake in 1923, meaning that the majority of Yokohama's historic buildings have been lost forever. However, it is still possible to get a taste of traditional Japanese historic culture here. The beautiful gardens of Sankei-en are a true oasis of peace and tranquillity, offering an escape from the bustle of the city. In addition to intricately landscaped grounds, Sankei-en is one of the few locations in the city where historic structures can still be found; a 500-year old pagoda being the prime example. In complete contrast to the calm of Sankei-en, the city's Chinatown area, the largest of its type in the whole of Japan, is a constant hive of activity and features all the sights and sounds that you would normally associate with Hong Kong.