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Thursday, June 08, 2017

#carmenxjapan Day 4: Rainy Day at Yokohama

Nature, checked. Amusement, checked. Heritage, checked. What else to be experienced? Guess it's time to have a laid back day at a harbor city. Yokohama is a city south of Tokyo which takes around an hour to reach by train. It's one of Japan's major port cities alongside Tokyo and Osaka. Was looking forward to a day under the sun, doing some street photography at the shopping districts and a stroll along the seaside but unfortunately we were met by the worst weather of our entire trip. It's like the sky watched korean drama and kept crying, wasn't able to visit certain places due to the never stopping downpour. But I guess it's good reason to take things slow and relax.

Motomachi Chukagai 中华街
Also known as the Chinatown, which was established in the past where many Chinese immigrants traveled to the port of Yokohama. Now it is known for its Chinese restaurant and Chinese themed shops. To be honest, I wouldn't recommend this as a must-go place in Yokohama unless you really really crave Chinese food. We've been eating Chinese food all our lives so this Chinatown didn't really impress us as much. But from what I saw, there's many Japanese in the area and I believe this is the to-go place for their Chinese food fix.

Honestly almost every restaurant look the same. It was raining heavily outside, so we just randomly picked a restaurant. 

Pan-fried XiaoLongBao 生煎小笼包
Do try this if you are in Yokohama Chinatown. The skin is slightly thicker than the usual xiaolongbao we have at DinTaiFung, but there's abit of crunch since it's pan-fried. Inside, loads of soup and the meat filling has a heavier taste. 

Egg Fried Rice 蛋炒饭
Taste okay and quite a big portion. The soup on the right is shark fin soup which, with my limited eyesight, see no strand of shark fin. 

Pan-fried Dumplings 锅贴
Taste okay too, but nothing impressive. 

On the bright side, it's about time we get a break from all the miso and vinegar rice. 

Motomachi Shopping Street 
With the rain pouring hard, we decided to explore a shopping district nearby Chinatown known as the Motomachi Shopping Street. It may look like just a street full of boutiques but there's a classy and upscale vibe to it. It reminded me of the strip in Bangsar, KL. How I wished it wasn't raining coz with the bright sun, this place will surely be a great background for street photography aka 街拍. We made some attempts anyway!

I guess this is the to-go place for ATAS people. I think this is the first time I see so many international atas brands' boutiques within the same street. (Usually I only see them in malls) But there's also many local brands that were totally fresh and new to us. After all that clothes trying and card swipes, there's many classy cafes and teahouses to enjoy some tai-tai time. So you guessed it, we were just window shopping most of the time haha. 

Honestly, I think the transparent umbrella looks cool haha

Chilulu Coffee
I was praying that the rain would stop but there's no sign that it's gonna happen. With another half of our afternoon to spend, we decided to just relax and have a cup of coffee. Boring it may seem but it was my favorite part of the day. Where we just sit down, talk random stuff, swipe our phones, looking back at the photos in the camera and thinking about the things we've seen together. Most importantly, get some rest for my tired feet haha. Limin have found this cafe online where it is reviewed to be an nice and affordable one. Certainly, the crowd in the cafe was a solid proof to that statement.

Address: 231-0023 Kanagawa, Yokohama, Naka-ku Yamashitacho 188-12, Japan

On top of the cafe is Chilulu's hostel. So if you're looking for a place to stay in Yokohama, you may consider here :D 

warm and cozy interior, love the ambience

Chilulu Hand-Drip Coffee (500yen)
A warm cup of coffee, perfect for the afternoon with rain beating hard outside. But I guess I'm the only one who enjoyed the coffee without any milk or sugar, others find it too bitter.

French Toast (600yen)
Other than the fact that the portion is kinda small given its price, it's actually not bad. Fluffy french loaf coated with a mildly sweet egg crust. 

Pancake (600yen)
Very light pancake, the vanilla ice cream adds the right amount of sweetness. Was secretly wishing there's more butter haha. 

 More photo taking...

Minato Mirai
After the recharging session, we decided to go to somewhere accessible by train since it was still raining. Took the train to Minato Mirai which is also another shopping district along the coastline with many major shopping malls. It is also the urban business hub with many high rise buildings. I was hoping for a leisure stroll along the seaside but the rain ruined it :( Only get to walk around the malls.

Got this view when we were on our way to the train station. Wished I was on the other side. Swear this place would have look awesome without the rain. 

In fact I was hoping to visit the Yokohama Redbrick Warehouse, a once warehouse now shopping mall. This is how the place looks during Christmas: gonna visit again during Christmas haha

Pokemon Centre
Since we're in Japan, gotta check-in at a Pokemon Centre. I'm having a love-hate relationship with this place. There's my favorite Pikachu and friends, there's plush toys, t-shirts and even boxers LOL But...just when I picked up a Pokeball cushion, the price tag gave me a good scare. It's so expensive T T Everything is expensive. So, unless you already prepared money to splurge on Pokemon, don't come to Pokemon Centre. I thought Pokemon Centre will be like a place to experience the life of a Pokemon trainer but in truth, it's just another toy shop :( 

can't leave without a photo with adorable Pikachuuuuuu

Also in the same area is an anime merchandise store and there's also Disney store and Sanrio store. Guess Minato Mirai is where anime and cartoon fans get their stuff. 

Ramen Museum at Shin-Yokohama
What is a trip without visiting a museum, we made our way to an interesting one, where you eat what is exhibited LOL The Ramen Museum in Shin-Yokohama Station is the gathering spot of Ramen's from various city all across Japan and the World, so you could taste every one of them under one roof. To make sure you get to try every ramen, each ramen bar does not only have full size ramen but also sample size ones. Adding on to the experience is the 50s 60s town replica that makes you feel like you have traveled back in time. To be plain honest, I wasn't too impressed by the Ramen but retro set was worth the experience. Admission is 300yen. 

One of the alleys. The detail of all the nostalgic shoplots were amazing. 

They got those old school neon signs and barber lamps right.

went to YUJI ramen which originated in the US!

Their specialty is Tuna-kotsu Ramen, which was very intriguing coz we've only had pork broth ramen most of the time. Not that it taste bad, but the fish broth ramen has a very light and clean taste, so I would prefer the pork broth type haha. The Ramen bowls from this store was 1000yen on average.  

And with a filled tummy, we head back to Shinjuku with prayers for a clear bright tomorrow. Next, it's time to get close with Tokyo. Shop, Eat and Fun, here we come!

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