Located about 40 minutes south of downtown Tokyo, Yokohama — with its rich cultural program that ranges from noh theater to contemporary jazz — has grown to be a favorite weekend getaway destination among locals and expats alike. Just 30 minutes from all the action is Hotel Associa Shin-Yokohama, a relaxing accommodation that sits right on top of Shin-Yokohama Station. Offering a convenient access to the neighborhood, comfortable rooms and reasonable plans for global travelers, the hotel is the perfect location to base yourself at while exploring the extreme south of the Kanto region.
Day 1: Arrival and Shopping
The first day of any trip should be about finding a routine in your travel. Take your time to relax as you arrive at Hotel Associa Shin-Yokohama — you will be pleasantly welcomed by the friendly bilingual staff at the hotel’s recently renovated lobby. Get last-minute travel inspiration ideas in the new digital display-equipped information area, where guests can browse travel brochures and check the latest in national news and hotel information. If you’re traveling with particularly bulky luggage, the hotel’s cloakroom has been repurposed as storage for large suitcases and other parcels so that they aren’t in the way of your ins and outs.
Up in your room and ready to explore, it’s time to check the view — and the comfortable bed. Hotel Associa Shin-Yokohama prides itself in offering some of the best views of the city (and beyond) from each of its spacious and comfortable rooms. From your window, you can probably see the Minato Mirai area in Yokohama and — if you’re blessed with fine weather — even Mt. Fuji. Enjoy that for a moment before you move on the next agenda: shopping and coffee.
Shin-Yokohama Station offers convenient access to Cubic Plaza, a shopping center with lifestyle, fashion and electronic stores, as well as a number of cafes and restaurants. On the 3rd and 4th floors, you can pick up various Japanese food items and even unique Yokohama sweets at Mutekiro. From the station, you can also take a direct shuttle bus to Ikea. While it might not seem like the first place travelers want to see, for those living in Japan and just re-exploring the area, this could be a wonderful opportunity to spot something new for your home or office. Or just stop by for their hotdogs and ice cream cones.
If you prefer to keep shopping for day two, take this first stay in Shin-Yokohama as an opportunity to relax. And what better way to do so than soak in a hot spring spa? Taking a short bus ride from the station will get you to Kohoku no Yu, a spa with indoor and outdoor baths and a lounging area for those wanting to take it slow and rejuvenate after a long trip to Yokohama. The spa is located right across the street from Ikea so there’s really no good reason not to hit both.
Back at the hotel, those who would like to keep up with their workout regime even while traveling, can do so in the fitness room, which is currently open per reservation.
Day 2: Yokohama and Sakuragicho Stations
A good day starts with a good breakfast. Hotel Associa Shin-Yokohama’s popularity is partially attributed to its delicious buffet-style breakfast catering to a variety of diets, served in the partner restaurant Royal Host on the 10th floor. Unfortunately, the buffet is temporarily unavailable as part of the hotel’s preventative measures against Covid-19, but guests can enjoy an equally special menu for their first meal of the day — a choice of a Japanese-style or Western-style set course. Choose between tamagoyaki (sweet Japanese omelet), scrambled eggs, a traditional omelet or pancakes.
During the day, the buffet functions as a sit-down restaurant, currently offering a variety of take-out options (in addition to its extensive regular menu) so that even guests arriving in the afternoon aren’t stranded for a delicious and welcoming meal.
Once you’re full enough and ready for your next adventure, take the JR Yokohama Line to Yokohama Station for a day of shopping and a taste of the sea-side life.
Right outside the train gates, you’ll find a handful of shopping malls, including a brand new Newoman, to soothe all of your shopping needs. Those seeking more exciting activities might want to head straight for Asobuild, a 4-story building meant to encourage visitors to experience something new, whether it’s trying your own jewelry or decorating sugar cookies. Sign up for one of the cultural workshops or their colorful cafes before making your way to Minato Mirai.
Minato Mirai is a Yokohama must-visit, whether you’ve lived in the Tokyo metropolitan area for years or are just visiting. There’s always something new to see here. Along the coast of Yokohama Bay, there are endless possibilities for afternoon and evening activities. The recently opened Hammerhead is a new shopping and restaurant complex with a focus on fresh seafood and confectionaries. Stop by Kurumicco Factory to make your own walnut treat or at Vanillabeans to soothe your sweet tooth. Alternatively, you can hit the Redbrick Warehouse, a regional landmark known for its niche shops and cool nightlife. For more thrills, head over to CosmoWorld after hours to live or relive the charming and romantic atmosphere of a small theme park by the water.
Day 3: Around Shin-Yokohama Station
On the last day of your stay, take the time to explore the small but quaint area around Shin-Yokohama Station.
Only a few blocks away, take a stroll through Shin-Yokohama Park, home to the Nissan Stadium and the Yokohama F-Marinos soccer team. In the spring, it is a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing, but the park truly shines as a multipurpose outdoor space in the summer. Runners can complete their daily jog, kids can play at a variety of sports, from baseball to basketball and even skateboard. If you’re planning on spending the day soaking in the sun, don’t forget to pick up a lunch box at Komeyoshi. This popular bento place is a local favorite famous for its seafood-centric meals perfect for on-the-go.
True foodies might prefer to spend the afternoon learning about one of Japan’s most iconic dishes: ramen. The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum is a must-visit for fans of all things noodles. At this quirky attraction, visitors can learn about the different varieties of ramen scattered throughout the country, minus the extensive traveling. Inside the museum, discover the different noodle types, toppings and broths that make Japanese ramen so different from prefecture to prefecture. Of course, visitors can also taste the difference at one (or two) of seven ramen restaurants on site.
For travelers making their way down south, Shin-Yokohama is an ideal station to spend a couple of relaxing days. Historic Odawara and onsen destination Atami are only a bullet train ride away. Outdoor enthusiasts can also head to Mt. Fuji easily and if you’re keen to explore Kansai, the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen will take you all the way to Osaka.
For more information about the hotel:
Hotel Associa Shin-Yokohama
Address: 2-100-45 Shinyokohama, Kohoku Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa
To get to Shin-Yokohama Station:
- From Ikebukuro, Shinjuku or Shibuya, take the Toyoko Line bound for Motomachi-Chukagai. At Yokohama Station, transfer to the JR Yokohama Line.
- From Ueno, Tokyo, Shimbashi and Shinagawa, take the JR Ueno-Tokyo or Keihin-Tohoku Lines bound for Ofuna or Sakuragicho. At Yokohama Station, transfer to the JR Yokohama Line.
- From Haneda Airport, take the Keikyu Main Line bound for Zushi-Hayama. At Yokohama Station, transfer to the JR Yokohama Line.
Places mentioned in this article:
- Cubic Plaza (///panic.cooking.nests)
- Ikea, Kohoku location (///tend.uptown.cabinet)
- Kohoku no Yu (///chilling.bright.fonts)
- Newoman (///language.require.robots)
- Asobuild (///credible.trains.copes)
- Hammerhead (///porch.pursuit.uptake)
- CosmoWorld (///maple.hook.canines)
- Shin-Yokohama Park (///qualified.boost.engages)
- Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum (///kings.revived.effort)