As we enter the second month of 2021, Japan’s second largest city is having second thoughts about all the things it had planned for February. Due to the ongoing state of emergency, a lot of events in Yokohama have been canceled, but that doesn’t mean that the city has ground to a halt. Here’s what’s new in Yokohama this month:
Gondolas Over Minato Mirai
Yokohama might be a port city but it always seems to be looking up towards the sky. For years, its Landmark Tower and Cosmo Clock 21 were Japan’s tallest building and Ferris Wheel, respectively, and soon there’ll be another place that gives you a bird’s eye view of the city.
As of now, Yokohama is in the middle of constructing a cable car service that will ferry passengers over the central Minato Mirai area. Called the Yokohama Air Cabin, the cable cars will travel 630m from Sakuragicho Station towards Canal Park, close to Yokohama World Porters. A one-way trip will reportedly take 5 minutes and cost 1,000 yen for adults and 500 yen for Children. A total of 8 people will be allowed in one gondola at a time, so lines are to be expected as people queue up to admire Minato Mirai from 40m up in the air. There’s no reason to go save your place in line now, though, since the Yokohama Air Cabin will only be available to the public from April 22.
However, cable car tests are being conducted right now, and those familiar with Yokohama’s central business and entertainment area will scarcely recognize it with the addition of the ropeway towers and gondolas gently making their way above them. Even from a distance, they really are quite a sight.
Limited Valentine’s Day Goods
You didn’t forget about Valentine’s Day, did you? Actually, if you’re a guy, you don’t have to worry about it because, according to Japanese tradition, February 14 is when men receive chocolates from women (men reciprocate on March 14, called White Day.) Ladies, on the other hand, may want to check out the limited-edition sweets that’ll be available and new in Yokohama in February.
For example, the butter sandwich specialty shop Press Butter Sand has teamed up with the Vietnamese chocolate brand Marou to create a special chocolate butter sandwich cookie in time for Valentine’s Day, which is also when the Marou Chocolate will stop being available at Yokohama Takashimaya. If that’s not your cup of cocoa, Yokohama Takashimaya is also currently in the middle of the Amour du Chocolat campaign, during which they introduce hundreds of exciting luxury chocolate brands that you have never even heard of before. The campaign is actually held at all Takashimaya locations throughout the Kanto region so if you’re looking for something with a more exclusive Yokohama twist, you may be interested in what Yokohama Caramellabo has to offer.
A creamy caramel candy specialty shop, Caramellabo’s idea for a Valentine’s Day gift is, unsurprisingly, a box of caramel candy. The caramel in their special Valentine Box (which contains vanilla and chocolate-flavored varieties) are made with Swiss chocolate, specially-selected Hokkaido cream, and butter from New Zealand. And, like the other limited-edition sweets, it’s available online.
Yokohama Kiyoken’s Special Shumai Swag
Yokohama’s Kiyoken is one of Japan’s most popular producers of lunch boxes. Although their specialty is shumai dumplings, they offer a total of 20 different sides in their bento. And Kiyoken wants to know which ones are your favorite. In collaboration with the Yokohama Marine Tower (billed “the tallest lighthouse in the world” because, as we’ve already established, Japan has a thing for heights), the company has organized a campaign where you can share your favorite bento sides with the world and win original prizes in the process.
All you have to do is follow the Marine Tower on Twitter and tweet about your favorite Kiyoken bento sides using the #あなた好みのお弁当を崎陽軒がつくります hashtag (which translates to “Kiyoken will create your perfect bento.”) You can find the list of the sides with their appropriate hashtags here. Please follow the instructions carefully if you want a shot at the prizes. The Kiyoken gift cards are nice and all, but you can also win an original Kiyoken festival-style short coat or a Kiyoken-branded haramaki (stomach band that keeps your torso warm.) The campaign ends on February 23 so get tweeting fast.
Know of anything exciting coming up in Yokohama soon? Anything to add to the list? Send us tips at [email protected]
Here’s what else is new in Yokohama and Tokyo: