Yokohama is Japan’s second-largest city, but that’s only if you’re counting the people. When it comes to things to do and see, it has long been a contender for the number one spot. Every day, Yokohama offers visitors to the city something new to get excited about, and Tokyo Weekender will start documenting all of them in our brand-new monthly feature “What’s New In.”

Here are a few reasons to visit Yokohama this month.

Shofukumon’s New Sesame Balls Are Creepily Delicious

The sesame ball (jian dui/goma dango) is one of the best foods to enjoy on the go in Yokohama’s Chinatown. A rice pastry coated with sesame, it’s a classic, crispy and chewy Chinese snack that’s easy to handle and easy to innovate, as the Shofukumon restaurant has just proven. Until November 30, they are offering their own take on the sesame ball that combines Chinese tradition with Yokohama’s international charm and a little bit of a ghostly spirit.

Photo courtesy of Shofukumon/招福門

The Gomamon (ごまモン) snack is made from two black sesame balls sandwiching a rich Mont Blanc chestnut filling balanced out by a dollop of sweet-and-sour blackcurrant cream. You can also pretend that the blackcurrants are blood as you look into Gomamon’s edible eyes and bite into his delicious pastry flesh. A bit morbid but the subtle balance of flavors and a pleasant smell that comes from the use of Shaoxing wine in the Mont Blanc cream are more than worth it. Gomamon sells for ¥300 apiece.

Workman Continues Its Venture into Fashion with the Opening of Workman Girl

One of the greatest apparel success stories in Japan starts with pregnant women in chef’s shoes. Originally, Workman was a shop catering almost exclusively to blue-collar workers, offering everything from gloves to durable cargo pants that were praised by manual laborers for their durability and breathability. Then, Workman’s slip-resistant Fine Grip Shoes meant that restaurant workers became a hit with expecting mothers. The company started to expand its inventory to include inexpensive and functional everyday apparel as Workman Plus. Workman Girl, the first store of its kind which opened on October 16 in Yokohama’s Colette Mare, is the natural end-result of that trend.

Despite the name, Workman Girl isn’t offering just apparel for women. In fact, 40% of its sale space is dedicated to menswear, but a lot of effort has been put into making the shopping experience at Workman Girl more pleasant for women. This includes everything from the interior design to upping the number of female mannequins in the store. In the end, though, anyone looking for affordable and durable clothing for any and all occasions will find it at Workman Girl.

Get a Yokohama Station Sign Cover for Your Tissue Box Because It’s Awesome

In Japan, covers for tissue boxes are a whole art genre in themselves. There are so many designs available that it’s hard to get excited whenever a new one comes out. But Yokohama found a way. Thanks to a collaboration between the JR Tokaido Line and Heming’s, you can now decorate your tissue box with a cover made to look like the Yokohama Station sign.

Called the “tente Yokohama Eki,” the cover reproduces the Tokaido Line Yokohama Station sign very faithfully, creating a one-of-a-kind souvenir that’s made all the more singular because you can only get it at Yokohama (either at JOINUS Yokohama’s Yurindo or through Concierge.) 

Late November in Yokohama is Going to Be Lit

After the reopening of Japan in the 19th century, Yokohama became the country’s gateway to the world, welcoming people and ideas from all over the world, and it is this sort of merging of worlds that’s the theme of an upcoming illumination event in the center of the city. Called “Yorunoyo – Yokohama Cross Night Illumination,” the project will consist of different sound-and-light installations set throughout the Shinko Central Square and the surrounding waterfront area.

There will be 20 installations in total, including two lit up domes simulating a sort of changing forest of light, an otherworldly light portal, and bicycles circling the Yamashita Park area with projection mapping equipment. Yokohama Cross Night Illumination will start at 6:00 PM and end at 9:05 PM every day between November 20 and December 26.

Have you heard of anything exciting coming up in Yokohama soon? Anything to add to the list? Send us tips at [email protected]