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Japan, Day 2: Yokohama

May 16, 2009

Today was a short train ride to Yokohama, where I was born and raised. So many memories!

We started off hanging out around Yokohama station, and met up with a friend from grade school who joined us for lunch, after which we walked towards the East exit I believe (or was it the West??? Opposite from Sogo department store), reminiscing about all the random things from back in the day.

Then we took the Minato Mirai line (this was a work in progress last time I was in Japan!) to Queens building which is close by the Landmark Tower. We went inside, window shopping for a little bit, and of course it was the dessert that caught our eyes like always:

Bakery in Yokohama Landmark Tower

Outside, just across the street, is a small amusement park called Cosmo World:

Yokohama Cosmo World

This whole area used to be undeveloped when I was a kid, and it is impressive how nice things have become. The turning point was an expo held in this location in 1989, after which this area was designated to become “The Port of the Future,” or “Minato Mirai” as it is now called. I remember the expo vividly, and even the mascot which was this cute little creature based on the planet Saturn.

Here is one of my favorite buildings in the world, the Grand Intercontinental Hotel Yokohama, made to look like a sail:

Yokohama Grand Intercontinental Hotel

I believe there is a similar structure in Dubai or something.

We walked through Minato Mirai, with a brief stop at the Red Brick Warehouses which are these historic buildings which were converted mainly into shopping malls. Then over to Yamashita Park:

Yamashita Park

Fountain, Yamashita Park

On the left side of the pics above is the Yokohama Marine Tower which has been a landmark for as long as I can remember.

Eternally docked in Yamashita Park is the Hikawamaru, a former luxury liner.

Hikawamaru at Yamashita Park

Different framing:

Hikawamaru at Yamashita park

We walked over to Motomachi which used to be a hip place to shop; not sure what its status is these days. Had some crepe at this place at the end of Motomachi that has been here FOREVER:

Crepe Don

Then Maryam said why not go visit the old school and the old house etc so we walked up the hill to where St. Joseph International School used to be (it’s now an apartment complex) and walked along the same street I used to walk back for 12 years from school. We went by the old house, we walked down to the bookstore which I used to frequent, and as it was getting late our friend Megumi split off while Maryam, Ehaan, and I trekked back towards Motomachi then Yamashita park for some night shots:)

Entrance to Motomachi:

Entrance to Motomachi

Pompadour, a bakery where my high school buddies and I ate a lot of good stuff back in the day:

Pompadour

Minato Mirai from Yamashita Park:

Minato Mirai

Minato Mirai wide

Back to the Cosmo World area; this ferris wheel I think was the largest in the world for a while when it was built:

Ferris Wheel

Moon through the ferris wheel:

Moon through Ferris Wheel

And finally, a poster for Yatterman:

Yatterman!

WHOA! REALLY? this was one of my favorite cartoon series (the Time Bokan series) when I was a small kid! Apparently there was a revivial with a new movie of the cartoon which I definitely need to watch!

And now, after pretty much a whole day of walking, it was time to head back to Tokyo to get some rest!

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