Visiting the profound parts of port town Yokohama!


From the world sea route, Yokohama flourished as the gateway to Japan. The city is full of life, and since it used to be the station for foreigners, it has exotic cityscapes, a large China Town, and beautiful parks. On the other hand, there is a shopping district with a nostalgic fragrance, and a restaurant quarter crowded with about 500 small eateries that seems like time stood still. We enjoyed shopping and eating in the profound parts of Yokohama.

Yanagi Dori Street and its Noge Tabemono Yokocho

Isezakicho was one of the largest downtown areas along with Tokyo's Asakusa during early Taisho era (Naka-ku, Yokohama)

The Kannai Station of Isezakicho is 30 minutes from Tokyo Station by using the JR Tokaido Line, and less than 30 minutes from Haneda Airport by using Keihin Kyuko Line, then transferring from Yokohama Station, and getting off at the second stop. Isezakicho was established in the early Meiji era, starting in a site that used to be a red-light district, and there are still many well-established shops founded in the Meiji era. In Meiji 44 (1911), Japan's first movie theater for first-run foreign films called the Odeon-za opened, and by early Taisho era, Isezakicho, along with Tokyo's Asakusa and Osaka's Sennichimae, became one of the largest downtown areas.

Their manju look just like Yokohama's famous shumai “Minoya Honten” (Naka-ku, Yokohama)

If you go from Kannai Station, as soon as you enter Isezaki Mall, which is a pedestrians' paradise all year, you will find “Minoya Honten,” a well-established Japanese confectionary shop that was founded in Meiji 43 (1910). It is well-known as Kanagawa's designated famous confectionary, “Neriyokan (jellied dessert)” which was awarded the highest “Zennihon Sho (all-Japan prize)” in the national Yokan competitive exhibition, but recently, it is popular for its manju (steamed sweet bun) that looks just like a shumai (steamed Chinese dumpling). Not only does it look like the shumai that is famous in China Town, its white bean paste with walnuts kneaded in is refined and delicious. It makes a great souvenir.

Manju that looks like a shumai

Aside from their neriyokan, they have a wide variety of seasonal Japanese confectionaries

Established in Showa 8 (1933), have an old-fashioned Western meal at “Grill Momoyama” (Naka-ku, Yokohama)

We had lunch at the well-known Western-style restaurant near the entrance of Isezaki Mall's main street. They use special ingredients such as Nagasaki's Iki Wagyu (Iki Japanese beef), which goes without saying, but also homemade sauces that are time-consuming to make like their mayonnaise, tartar sauce, and demi-glace sauce. Somehow, at here, there is a nostalgic atmosphere, and being able to have great Western-style cuisines.

You can taste their Wagyu beef stew, seafood doria, 100 % Wagyu hamburger, and Nagasaki Wagyu (Iki Wagyu) sirloin or fillet steak

Flourished as a traffic point connecting Edo and Yokohama Port — Noge (Naka-ku, Yokohama)

Next, we headed to Nogecho, which is quite close from JR Sakuragicho Station. In the late Edo period, Nogecho was the key point of “Yokohama-michi Street" which connected Edo and Yokohama Port. After WWII, Isezakicho and Kannai which were taken over by the U.S. military were close-by, Nogecho has been flourishing as a black market where “you can find anything you need.” Today, you will find about 500 restaurants lining the streets. The shopping districts in Yokocho and along Ookawagawa River are especially popular for their old-fashioned ambiance of Japan.

Their big Dorayaki with the motif of a gong which signals the departure of ship – “Momiji” (Naka-ku, Yokohama)

We discovered another Yokohama specialty at “Momiji,” established in Showa 21 (1946), which is a large Dorayaki (bean-jam pancake). Since Yokohama is a port city, they have created their Dorayaki with a picture of the dora (gong) on it, and the size is larger than normal. It is designated as Kanagawa's famous confectionary. They have carefully hand-picked their ingredients. Their “gold” coarse bean-jam is made from Dainagon-brand adzuki beans, and their “silver” bean-jam is made from white lupine beans. The flour, eggs, and honey they use are of the highest grade, so the dough is soft and moist.

The large Dorayaki is sure to be satisfying

Packed with high-quality coarse bean-jam

Eat stand-up sushi at “Noge Tabemono Yokocho” which opened in 2013 (Naka-ku, Yokohama)

A new Yokocho (side street) has opened in the historic dining street, and there are 7 restaurants such as sushi shop, horumonyaki (grilled internal organs of pigs or cows) shop, and bistro. You can go restaurant-hopping and enjoy various food because each shop is of a different category. Among them is the popular “Tachi-gui Zushi Manbo (stand-up sushi shop Manbo).” You can casually eat great sushi made by sushi chefs at a reasonable price. They have VIP tatami seats on the second floor.

Even alone, a woman can feel comfortable here. Miyakobashi Market's “Kokkodo” (Naka-ku, Yokohama)

Along the Ookagawa River, is the Miyakobashi Shopping District which stands in an arch-like form. Its atmosphere is especially profound even in Noge. Until recently, women hesitated to go there, but many shops where women can casually stop by have opened. One of those shops is “Kokkodo.” It is a stand-up bar that is so small, only 8 people can fit in. The Yakitori (grilled chicken) are all charcoal grilled, and they use fresh Yamanashi Shingen-dori chicken, allowing you to also taste rare white meat and liver. At the owner's parents' home, they make various fruit jam, which are used in the “sour” cocktail they serve.

Enjoy a glass of persimmon jam “sour” cocktail with liver, white meat, skin, and wing of their Yakitori, and also the beautiful neon signs on the other side of the river.

“Minoya Honten”
●1-3, Isezakicho, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture
●Irregular holidays
“Grill Momoyama”
●2-9-3, Isezakicho, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture
●11:00-14:30、17:00-20:45 (LO)
●Closed on Wednesdays

●2-64, Nogecho, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture
●10:00-21:00、closes at 17:00 on Sundays and national holidays
●Closed on the 3rd Wednesday of each month

“Tachi-gui Zushi Manbo”
●2-74-1, Nogecho, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture
●irregular holidays

●Phone number not released
●Miyako-bashi Market Room 122, 1-1, Miyagawacho, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture
●18:00-24:00 (LO 23:00)
●Closed on Sundays and irregular weekdays

*The above information was last updated December 15,2017. For further information, please contact the facilities directly.

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