Yokohama has had many symbols over the years: Chinatown, the sail-shaped InterContinental Yokohama Grand, Landmark Tower (once the tallest building in Japan, soon to be #3) and so much more. It speaks to how vibrant and always-changing the city is, and also to how busy their tourism bureau must be, always having to come up with new promotional campaigns. Well, now it’s time for the moving 18m-tall Gundam statue to represent Japan’s second-largest city, and, as you would expect, Yokohama has rolled out more than a few Gundam-themed attractions.
Eat and Sleep Gundam Style
Located a 5-minute walk from the Gundam statue, the Hotel New Grand is the closest facility from which you can observe the giant RX-78F00 model robot in action. And now, thanks to a collaboration between the New Grand and Gundam Factory Yokohama, you can do it from a special Gundam-themed room. Decorated in original graphics, as well as Earth Federation Space Force motifs and bed throws, the room also comes with a few presents for the diehard Gundam fan: A pair of opera glasses for observing the statue, and an original Gundam clear file not available for sale anywhere. The room will be available until March 31, 2021. For reservations, see here.
For an even more immersive Gundam experience, head on over to the Factory’s Gundam Café Yokohama Satellite for a special themed menu composed by chefs and companies with a connection to Yokohama. Of particular interest are the shrimp chili steamed buns decorated with a silhouette of the giant robot statue, which are produced by Edosei, established in Yokohama in 1894. And for kids, there are original bento boxes decorated with Gundam cut-outs made from nori.
Yokohama in a Can
Yokohama has a rich beer history. It’s here that Japan’s first-ever brewery was founded and where the country’s craft beer revolution truly began. Yokohama Beer has been a part of that scene for more than 20 years now, and through all this time, they only produced bottled beer. Not anymore, though. On December 22, the company has released its first can beer ever, containing their Yokohama Lager. Fans of the drink may not instantly recognize the new logo and packaging but they will instantly recognize the familiar light yet fragrant beer. For now, the canned Lagers will only be available in and around Kanagawa Prefecture.
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Eat with Your Nose at Pie314
The popular saying goes that the Japanese eat with their eyes, but the recently-opened Pie314 (located at Takashimaya Yokohama) decided to throw an additional sense into the mix. The specialty shop serves baked goods that boast both a great taste and enticing fragrances. The secret lies in using a lot of butter in the dough and the perfect ratio of ingredients: three parts lemon powder, one part salt, four parts spices. Or 3-1-4, hence the name of the shop. And that’s just for the pastry itself. Resting atop of them, you will find equally fragrant almond cream (mixed with either cardamon or cloves) topped with strawberry or apple jam. The results are delicious treats that make both great snacks and souvenirs of your time in Yokohama.
Be the First to Get the Eevee-Themed Tokyo Banana
Tokyo Banana is one of the most famous Japanese sweets ever. An individually-packed sponge cake with cream filling, it comes in many different varieties, and this month, one of those varieties will include an Eevee version. This will be a second Pokémon iteration of the Tokyo Banana after the Pikachu one debuted in November, and this one will feature the likeness of what many consider the cutest Pocket Monster ever.
The Eevee Tokyo Banana will consist of a light chocolate sponge with a banana custard and caramel macchiato-inspired filling. It will be available for ¥291 for a pack of two at 7-11 convenience stores, although it’s going to be rolled out gradually. January 2 is actually the date when the treats hit Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa, with the rest of the country getting the products in mid and late January. This will also be a limited Tokyo Banana edition, so if you spot it anywhere in Yokohama, make sure to buy and enjoy it.
For other of Yokohama’s latest trends and updates, see:
- Tokyo Mask Land, Mulabo! and More Masks: What’s New in Yokohama in December 2020
- What’s New in Yokohama this Month: November 2020
Know of anything exciting coming up in Yokohama soon? Anything to add to the list? Send us tips at [email protected]