Just south of Tokyo, Yokohama is the second-largest city in Japan! Like its larger neighbour, Yokohama is an ultra-modern city – but comes without the hustle and bustle. This makes it a fantastic destination for anyone wanting to discover contemporary life in Japan without pushing through the crowds of Tokyo.
Nevertheless, Yokohama is still quite a large city – and neighborhoods are sprawled around the harbour. Online mapping services do not label the areas properly, so it’s important to gather your bearings before you arrive.
That’s why we built this guide! We’ve figured out the four best neighborhoods in Yokohama, and categorised them based on who they are best for. Whether you want vibrant nightlife, eclectic cultural highlights or just a bit of peace and quiet away from the city centre – we have you covered.
So let’s get started!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Yokohama
- Where to stay in Yokohama for the first time – Minato Mirai 21
- Where to stay in Yokohama on a budget – Chinatown
- Best neighborhood in Yokohama for families – Kanazawa
- Where to stay in Yokohama for nightlife – Kannai
- Cosmo World Amusement Park is located right on the harbour
- Yokohama Cruising are the main tour company that operates from the harbour – they can take you on trips around the city centre and waterfront
- Yokohama Museum of Art is the only major art gallery in the city, featuring both classic and contemporary artists from across Japan
Table of Contents
- Where to Stay in Yokohama
- Yokohama Neighborhood Guide
- 4 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Yokohama
- #1 Minato Mirai 21 – Where to Stay in Yokohama for Your First Time
- #2 Chinatown – Where to Stay in Yokohama on a Budget
- #3 Kanazawa – Best Neighborhood in Yokohama for Families
- #4 Kannai – Where to Stay in Yokohama for Nightlife
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Yokohama.
Best Hostel in Yokohama: Chillullu Coffee and Hostel
Located right on the edge of Chinatown, this hostel is perfect for backpackers looking to watch their spending in an otherwise expensive city! The on-site café is popular with both locals and guests, and they provide regular social events where you can mingle with other guests and explore the city.VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in Yokohama: Yokohama HouseBar
This huge apartment can sleep up to ten people – however as it is located within a traditional building, the 4 bedroom house can also accept smaller groups! It is located right in the heart of Kannai – on top of the main shopping centre in the area. It is stylish, and the hosts have superhost status.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel in Yokohama: Yokohama Bay Hotel
As the only five star hotel in this guide, Yokohama Bay Hotel is by far the priciest of our top picks – but absolutely worth every penny if you are able to splurge! Located right on the harbour, it has unbeatable views across the entire city – and provides immediate access to all the main attractions.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Yokohama
Minato Mirai 21
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Yokohama has one of the largest expat communities of any Japanese city, so you’ll get plenty of help from locals when trying to get around. Whilst the city is more of a collection of neighborhoods and doesn’t have a generally accepted centre, most of the tourist attractions are located around the harbour region.
This is a coastal city, which has had a massive impact on the local culture!
Minato Mirai 21 is a popular area with experts and tourists alike – and is home to many of the main attractions in the city! As the business hub it can be quite pricey – but it is only a short walk from cheaper neighborhoods, and if you’re using it as a base it is one of the easiest neighborhoods to navigate.
Heading south you will end up in Kannai! This neighborhood, though still fairly modern, is a bit more traditional in terms of architectural styles – even if most of the buildings are relatively new.
This is where the residents of Yokohama come to unwind, and many of the best nightlife and dining options are located within this neighborhood.
Another great area for cuisine is Chinatown! As the name suggests, this area is home to the largest concentration of Chinese expats. It’s a popular place for tourists to visit to grab cheap cuisine and fashion items – and in terms of accommodation most of the budget hotels and hostels are based within walking distance of Chinatown.
Finally, if you head even further south you will end up in Kanazawa. Not to be confused with the west coast city of the same name, Kanazawa is the largest prefecture in Yokohama however has a much lower population than the central district.
This makes it a much more peaceful area. This, alongside the parks and aquariums in the area, makes it a popular choice for families visiting Yokohama!
Still undecided? Read more about each area below!
4 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Yokohama
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the four best neighbourhoods in Yokohama. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
Minato Mirai 21 is the main business district in Yokohama – and also serves as the hub for the tourism industry. For first time visitors, this area will ensure you’re never short of things to do!
It is also well connected to the rest of the city – as well as other destinations in Japan – by the nearby central train station.
Most of the attractions in this area are focused around the harbour. Minato Mirai has a very modern feel to it, with skyscrapers and sleek glass structures around every corner!
Hotels in this area can be a little pricier, but there are some cheaper options in nearby neighborhoods for those on a budget.
Things to See and Do in Minato Mirai 21:
– Head to the top of Landmark Tower – the tallest building in Japan, there is the Sky Garden at the top that comes with sweeping views across the city
– Cosmo World Amusement Park is located right on the harbour – popular in the evenings, the big wheel is another great way to get views across the waterfront
– Yokohama Cruising are the main tour company that operates from the harbour – they can take you on trips around the city centre and waterfront
– Yokohama Museum of Art is the only major art gallery in the city, featuring both classic and contemporary artists from across Japan
– Red Brick Warehouse is not only a great shopping destination – they also have a fantastic food court with a variety of local and national vendors
Best Hostel Minato Mirai 21: Guesthouse Futareno
This hostel is housed within a traditional wooden Japanese building – allowing you to experience a little bit of local history! Though technically outside Minato Mirai 21, it is only a short walk away – and is also close to Kannai.
It comes with excellent reviews thanks to the calm yet sociable atmosphere.VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in Minato Mirai 21: Ninja House
As an area purpose-built for businesses and tourists, there aren’t any residential apartments in Minato Mirai 21. This apartment, however, is only a two-minute walk away from the area and is perfect for those looking for some additional privacy!
It is a traditional style apartment, and they also accept pets.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel in Minato Mirai 21: Yokohama Bay Hotel
The Yokohama Bay Hotel is an attraction in its own right – towering above the harbour, it provides some of the best views you can get of the surrounding city! They also have every facility you can think of, from massages to babysitting services.
A complimentary breakfast buffet is included.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Yokohama’s Chinatown is the largest Chinese community in the entire country – making it a culturally vibrant part of the city! Whilst it’s impossible to avoid Japan’s notoriously high prices, the large expat and student population in this area means that prices are kept considerably lower than elsewhere in Yokohama.
Even if the prices weren’t as favourable, Chinatown would be a necessary part of your itinerary for the food alone! Popular with both locals and tourists in Yokohama, the area burst into life around dinner time as everyone grabs a piece of what is considered the best cuisine in the city.
Things to See and Do in Chinatown:
– Simply walking around the area is an attraction in itself – with over 500 restaurants and plenty of retail outlets, you’ll be kept entertained for days
– For those interested in Japanese history in the aftermath of the Second World War, the Japanese Newspaper Museum has excellent exhibits about propaganda
– Another excellent museum is the Yokohama Doll Museum – it contains over 1300 dolls from all over the globe
– Head to Kanagawa Kenmin Hall where you can check out theatre, dance and live music performances from local artists
– If you want to try a typical Chinese tea ceremony whilst in the area, head to Monkey Magic Tea House – they are also very well priced!
Best Hostel Chinatown: Chillullu Coffee and Hostel
Chillullu Coffee and Hostel has an attached coffee shop – offering some of the best breakfasts in the city! Rooms are fully air-conditioned, and even come with televisions and coffee making facilities.
The shared spaces are large, and the communal kitchen is well equipped for those opting to self-cater.VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in Chinatown: Modern Studio
Due to how homes are traditionally designed in Japan, many of the Airbnbs in the city are for larger groups. This apartment, however, is perfect for couples and solo travellers wanting their own apartment in the heart of the city!
It is in a newly constructed apartment complex and comes with basic amenities.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel in Chinatown: Daiwa Roynet Hotel
This three-star hotel is definitely a huge upgrade from staying in a hostel – but their competitive prices make them a great consideration for budget-conscious guests looking for a private room! They offer a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning, and also have laptop hire and massage services.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Kanazawa is a sprawling neighbourhood, however, most of the attractions are based near Hakkeijima Island. As one of the least densely populated districts in the city, Kanazawa has a laid-back atmosphere – perfect for families and couples looking for a calm getaway.
It is well connected to the city centre by fast and efficient public transport.
Despite being so far out of the city, Kanazawa is packed with great attractions to keep you occupied throughout your stay! In particular, the green spaces, aquarium and adventure parks are great for keeping the kids entertained.
It also has some quirky attractions that aren’t frequently visited by tourists.
Things to See and Do in Kanazawa:
– Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is the largest aquarium in the city – they have plenty of fantastic exhibits, including interactive activities for the kids
– The Bunko Museum is a fascinating collection of artefacts and artworks documenting the influence East Asia has had on the rest of the world
– Take a wander through the Tenen Hiking Trail where you can admire bamboo imported from China as well as indigenous plantlife
– Hakkei Kanazawa is a large section of the city that is known for containing some of the best temples in the metropolitan area
– Chiyomoto is located within Hakkei Kanazawa – it is a unique dining experience that allows you to sample authentic Japanese tradition
Best Airbnb in Kanazawa: Traditional Japanese House
This traditional Japanese house can sleep up to four people – perfect for families visiting the city! As it is an old building, all beds share the same room – however, there are excellent kitchen and bathing facilities within the house.
It is also only a short walk from the nearest train station.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Backpacker Hotel Kanazawa: KITAYA Ryokan
Though there aren’t any hostels in Kanazawa, this budget-friendly ryokan is an excellent alternative! It only has a two-star rating, but the customer reviews are excellent and praise the authenticity of this traditional Japanese accommodation.
They provide an Asian breakfast every morning and have an onsen on-site.View on Booking.com
Best Hotel in Kanazawa: Yokohama Techno Tower
Right in the middle of Kanazawa, Yokohama Techno Tower is only a short train ride away from the Hakkei area and the aquarium! Towering over the rest of the neighborhood, guests in the upper floors are treated to views as far as the city centre.
They provide a complimentary breakfast buffet.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Whilst Mintao Mirai 21 is the corporate hub of Yokohama, Kannai is definitely the cultural hub! This neighborhood is the perfect spot to hop around some bars, enjoy delicious cuisine and shop at local boutiques.
It’s also arguably the most cosmopolitan part of Yokohama, creating a vibrant party atmosphere every night.
During the day Kannai calms down a little bit – with most of the attractions based along the waterfront! This is where many of the best cafes in the city are based, and there is a gorgeous waterfront park that is popular with joggers and cyclists.
Kannai has two sides, giving you a great overview of life in Japan.
Things to See and Do in Kannai:
– Yamashita Park is a beautiful green space located along the waterfront – it has gorgeous landscaping, as well as a few quaint cafés
– The main strip running through the area is the heart of the city’s nightlife scene – clubs and bars regularly change in this neighborhood, so be sure to check before heading out
– Silk weaving is an important artisanal craft in Japanese culture, and the Silk Museum is a great way to learn about this ancient art
– Cat cafés are growing in popularity across the world but did you know the idea first started in Yokohama? Head to NEKO-Café, the oldest in the world!
– Bashamichi Shopping Avenue is the retail heart of Kannai, with plenty of vendors offering a variety of fashion and electronic goods
Best Hostel Kannai: Yokohama Central Hostel
Right in the heart of Kannai, and only a short walk from both Chinatown and Minato Mirai 21, this hostel is perfectly located for exploring the best of everything the city has to offer! The kitchen is basic, but has enough equipment to get you through a short stay.
Rooms are fully air conditioned.VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in Kannai: Yokohama HouseBar
This stylish apartment is designed to reflect a typical American bar. It is also well located on top of the Kannai Isezaki Mall – ensuring you’re only a short walk away from all the main attractions of the area!
The owner encourages parties, so this is a great pick if you are arriving as a large group.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel in Kannai: Pasela-no-Mori
This hotel is pretty basic, but well priced if you want to stay centrally on a budget! They offer Italian and Asian breakfast options every morning, and have free parking facilities for guests arriving with a car.
Rooms are fitted with cable television and local streaming services.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Yokohama
Yokohama is a modern and cosmopolitan city with a lot to offer the average tourist! The city carefully blends old and new to create an ultra-modern metropolis that is still rooted in the traditions of the past.
The gorgeous waterfront area is the highlight, but there are plenty of unique cultural attractions across the city.
For the best area, we’re going to go with Kannai! Technically Chinatown is located entirely within this area, and it is also within easy walking distance of Minato Mirai 21. It doesn’t have the same modern sheen as Minato Mirai 21, but it does have an infectiously vibrant atmosphere.
Nevertheless, each area in this guide has its own charms and we hope we have helped you better plan your upcoming trip to Yokohama!
Did we miss anything? Let us know!
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Writer and Editor, Ana Pereira is a California native, inspired by Earth exploration and introspection. Recently, she spent several months exploring Africa and South Asia. She spends most of her “down-time” out in the wilderness, climbing, hiking, and beyond, and is feverishly passionate about travel and health.