Living in Tokyo as students, we were looking for a change of pace. The famous nearby city, Yokohama, grabbed our interest when we saw the 'big O', Yokohama's Ferris Wheel, advertised on a large poster in a busy Tokyo subway station.
Our interest was peaked, and we jumped on a train the next morning to check it out.Tokyo is busy, hot is described as the most congested city in the world. Yokohama was a refreshing change; still a city, but calmer, quieter, with a more relaxed pace and more space in general.We walked down a quiet concrete lane, watching a bird as it circled above a nearby field.
The skyscrapers around us towered in their magnificence, each window perfectly polished, seeming just out of reach of our fingertips.
We watched ships float lazily by on the bay, including a gigantic patrol ship labelled SEA PATROL JAPAN. The sky was hazy on the horizon but we could see a huge bridge leading along the ocean to the next bay; it must have been a hundred miles long. We marvelled at mankind's achievements before wandering towards the nearby theme park.
The big 'O' was there, a digital clock in the middle of it showing the time. The theme park was almost empty; on that Wednesday morning nearly everyone was working or at school. We rode a rollercoaster for 700 yen (around £4.20) and screamed in delight as it looped around the park. The men in charge even gave us a second go for free.
One of the wonderful things about Yokohama was the skyscrapers that seemed to touch the sky. We ate Mexican food on the 47th floor of a shopping mall tower, admiring the view of strange buildings and towers we didn't know the names of. I drank my first Corona beer there, and enjoyed a burrito before heading back to the city centre, where we found a Toyota car museum exhibition, where we looked at different sports cars and models of engines.
As always, there are hidden treasures of history and culture anywhere in Japan. We came across a small statue of a Japanese girl, holding her hand out as if to shake hands.
StatueWe found a children's park accompanied with charming trees and well-trimmed hedges, and enjoyed a creamy hot chocolate at a nearby cafe. After that, we headed back on the night-train, trying hard not to fall asleep and smiling at the relaxing day we'd had before returning to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo life.
It was a wonderful day out I won't forget in a hurry, and we will definitely be visiting Yokohama on our next trip to Japan.
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