If you haven’t yet visited Yamate mansions near Yokohama Port in Kanagawa then you’re missing out on a nostalgic trip back to the glamourous early 20th century. Yokohama has a unique identity not emulated elsewhere, partly due to the influx of early 19th-century foreign settlement. The Yamate mansions are a series of modern homes that have been preserved to offer visitors a historical insight into the city of Yokohama’s impressive history.
1. Start your morning at the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
As the largest port city in Kanagawa, there are a handful of places that cannot be missed in Yokohama – and Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse is one of them. In order to get the feel of the city and your surroundings, start your trip with a free walk.
2. Wander through Yokohama Port City
Yokohama port city is known for its deep history and many beautiful landmarks and things to see. It is a city of many contrasts – small in size but packed with many great attractions for visitors. While you’re strolling around the city, be sure to take a moment to walk in and out of the many squares and public parks.
3. Visit Minato-no-mieru Oka Park
Minato-no-mieru Oka Park is easily one of the most majestic gardens in Yokohama in every season. Better yet, it is best to visit in the early summer season for manicured rose gardens.
Yamate 111th building – With the Yamate 111th building as your neighbour, step into Spanish luxury and sophistication. This building is a unique mix of Japanese romanticism in the early 20th century, matched with updated interiors and furnishings. If you can picture yourself enjoying afternoon tea with a view of the rose garden at an annex cafe, then you’ll be right at home in this old building.
Yokohama Local Meteorological Observatory – Yokohama Local Meteorological Observatory, just minutes by foot from Yamate 111th building, was designed at the same time as the Yamate 111th building. Yokohama Local Meteorological Observatory is perhaps lesser known but has some of the most stunning examples of art deco architecture in Yokohama.
4. Explore Yokohama Yamate Area
Yokohama Yamate is a residential quarter with seven Western pavilions to explore. If you wander around the area you’ll pass endless western buildings with Japanese flavors.
Yamate Museum – The Yamate Museum will have you feeling as though you’ve been transported to remnant Yokohama. The best time of year to visit is the rose season when the gardens are dotted with nature’s red, pink, yellow and green leaves from the rose trees.
Ehrismann residence – Shimmering in green, pale lemon yellow and having every straight wooden board siding, Ehrismann residence is one of the most celebrated modern pieces of architecture in Yokohama and my personal favourite. With ample light streaming in through the windows throughout the day, this residence is perfect for a spring or summer visit.
Berrick Hall – Berrick Hall is located just opposite Ehrismann residence and is a charming antiquated Spanish design. The elaborate detail of this building is mesmerizing with quatrefoil style windows, chic bathrooms and huge dining room; it has been a dormitory spread over two square kilometers. Despite the grandiose nature of the building, the details are intricate and can leave you perplexed in awe. It was designed by the architect Jay Hill Morgan who also designed Yamate 111th building.
5. Stopoff for Dinner, Lunch and Dessert at Yokohama Chinatown
Chinatown is one of the most vibrant corners of Yokohama and offers much to the eager visitors. This area is regularly frequented by not only tourists but also locals who visit Yokohama for the interesting blend of cultures. Here you will find a changing menu of meat buns, egg tarts, fubao, sesame dumplings, shaved ice and xiaolongbao.