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July 26, 2019 – – from RUGBY JAPAN TODAY:
Host to not only some incredible rugby fixtures, including the final, this port city’s cosmopolitan shores also offer plenty of chances to experience the best of Japan in between.
One of the Rugby World Cup’s main host cities, the laid-back port-side city of Yokohama is a wonderful vacation destination and an ideal base from which to discover and experience Japan.
Despite being situated just over 30 minutes (or 15 miles/24 kilometers) from Shibuya, Tokyo, and technically classified as part of the capital metropolis, Yokohama is a bustling city with its own very distinct flavor. From the European architecture by the bay, the American-influenced shopping and dining outlets, to the biggest Chinatown in Asia, the city is a mixing pot of different cultures, and home to one of the most diverse populations in Japan. No matter where you’re from you’ll surely feel at home.
The International Stadium Yokohama (locally known as the Nissan Stadium) is where the main Rugby World Cup events will be held. Officially the biggest stadium in Japan, in its 20-year life span it’s hosted an impressive roster of events, including the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The stadium is located about a 14-minute walk from Shin-Yokohama station or a 7-minute walk from Kozukue Station.
When it comes to Yokohama’s tourist attractions, one name you’ll see pop up time and time again is Minato Mirai, and with good reason. Spread along the bayfront, this glittering heart of the city is home to world class shopping and entertainment outlets like the Yokohama Landmark Tower, the Yokohama Cosmo World amusement park and the stylish Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse commercial and art complex.
A little lesser known fact about Yokohama is that the city has quite a penchant for novel food and drink related museums. In Minato Mirai, you’ll find the Cup Noodles Museum, a love letter in museum form to the world-conquering cult of instant ramen. If you’re hungry for more noodle-related attractions, Shin-Yokohama is home to the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, where the highlight lies in its 1:1 scale replica 1950s food court which serves ramen from different regions of Japan. Finally there’s the World Beer Museum also in the Minato Mirai area. Technically more a beer hall than gallery space, it’s a great place to celebrate (or maybe commiserate) all the events of the tournament.
Kannai is also one area of the city you can’t miss. Located right near Yokohama Stadium, the home ground of the much loved local DeNA Baystars baseball team, the neighborhood is home to a cluster of sports bars which will no doubt be getting into the rugby-related festivities. Bars like Yokohama Bay Brewing, Three Monkeys Cafe and Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! are well practiced at hosting games and a whole load of sloshed sports fans.
Arguably one of the best places to eat in all of Japan, Yokohama is home to an incredibly eclectic food scene. The picturesque style-cobblestone roads of the European-influenced Motomachi area are home to some serious high-end dining experiences; think multi-course French fare and cosy, dimly-lit wine bars.
If you’re hunting for something a little livelier, Chinatown (known to the locals as “Chukagai”) sits just next door. Home to countless street stalls serving nikuman (steamed pork buns), all-you-can-eat buffets as well as more luxurious offerings, it’s a haven for Chinese cuisine for all budgets and tastes.
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Norio Hayakawa’s CIVILIAN INTELLIGENCE NEWS SERVICE
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