Yokohama. It’s a place one often hears about when discussion of Japan starts. The city is best known for its Red Brick Warehouse and Minatomirai area, which holds tons of food and entertainment. There’s also the minor fact that it’s where the Pikachu Outbreak happens every year. Unfortunately for me, there was no outbreak going on the day I went there, but I fully intend ongoing back in August when it takes place, so look forward to that article. I had one reason for my visit, outside of being the American tourist I am, and that was for souvenir shopping, otherwise known as the おみやぎ(Omiyagi) in Japanese.

​My host parents had originally had plans to travel to Yokohama for the day as they’re in the market for an apartment to fix up and rent out to students. If anyone’s interested, you heard it here first, folks. Being the amazing people they are, they offered me a ride to the area, and I accepted. We got up early on Sunday morning to drive the 2 hours to the city. It was a perfect morning. We stopped at Starbucks and picked up their newest Valentines menu items. Heads up, the Chocolate Mouse Latte and White Chocolate Latte are nothing special. I’ll let you know about the frappes when I get around to them.

With coffee in hand we went on our way and it was such a fun and relaxing ride. I’ve always been one for long family road trips. They allow for great bonding time and, in all my experience, they’re always a blast.

​As soon as we got to Yokohama, we went our separate ways since I was on a timeline with dinner plans in the evening and an hour train ride to get there. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I always struggle with souvenir shopping and what to get certain people. This exact problem is why I ended up coming away from Yokohama with one souvenir after 4 hours in the city. A Snoopy mug from the actual Snoopy store. The moment I’d laid eyes on the mug, I knew it was the perfect gift for my best friend’s mom. She loves Snoopy and the entire gang, plus the mug is like the “Been There” collection that Starbucks offers in their stores. The design was nice, and I knew she’d love it.

I dedicated the rest of the time in Yokohama to sightseeing. The sun was shining, and the weather was warm. There’s this enormous area in Minatomirai called the dockyard garden, which is this stone garden area built at the same time as the ports of Yokohama. It was stunning to look at. There weren’t many people in the area when I was there, but I can imagine what it’s like in spring when the weather is nicer.

​There was also a Hard Rock Cafe like the one in Boston. I wanted to try the food, but I was running short on time and unable to, so I took a walk among the lit up trees lining either side of the walkway. This was stunning to look at, even with the sun still in the sky. It was peaceful, beautiful, and with a warm coffee in hand, everything just felt perfect.

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