This is the must-stay hotel to enjoy Yokohama and Kamakura!

The romantic port city of Yokohama is known for its open atmosphere and spectacular views, but in a small corner of the city called Bashamichi there is a keen interest in the unfamiliar. I recently stayed in Bashamichi at a hotel that defines this ethos.

Day1 - 11:00AM Nakameguro & Daikanyama

After checking out from my hotel in central Tokyo, I took a walk through the Daikanyama and Nakameguro areas, which I’d heard are home to many chic boutiques. The rumors were true: uber-fashionable clothes shops and intriguing variety stores lined the streets before I hit the upscale Tsutaya Books Daikanyama shop. Here, I lounged and read a book before eating lunch at a nearby Hawaiian restaurant and downing a cup of tea. Before long, I found myself thinking I could easily live in this area.

2:00PM Red Brick Warehouse

I arrived in Yokohama from Daikanyama in just 40 minutes via train. Yokohama is so convenient! The Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse is a historical building that retains a Meiji era charm. Today it’s popular as a date spot and for its many international variety shops and confectioneries. Events are held regularly in the space outside the warehouse—sports cars lined the area during my visit.

2:30PM Marine&Walk

Yokohama is also home to the new sightseeing spot Marine & Walk. Entering from the Red Brick Warehouse side, an inner garden provides direct views of the ocean, which you can take in while enjoying lunch. Subtropical plants—a rarity in Japan—line the garden, giving the space a distinctly west coast American feel.

3:00PM PROSTYLE Ryokan Yokohama Bashamichi

My hotel was just 15 minutes on foot from Marine & Walk. Why did I choose the PROSTYLE Ryokan in Bashamichi? Well that’s easy—the location simply can’t be beat! It’s just a four-minute walk from both Bashamichi and Kannai stations. The surrounding area includes many buildings that have survived from the Meijia era, over 100 years ago. Out on a walk as a family, appreciating these exotic architectural relics was a fantastic respite from daily life.

At PROSTYLE Ryokan, I checked into our “Queen of the Night” suite room. Refurbished Japanese gas lamps provided subdued lighting, recreating the atmosphere of Yokohama when it first opened as an international port. The room was the perfectly soothing for anyone traveling on vacation or business.

The 55m2 room was exceptionally spacious by the standards of the bustling Bashamichi area, and the floor plan neatly separated the suite into a living room and bedroom. The bed was a double-double size, and the tatami mats were pristine—nothing to worry about when my child tumbled onto them.

7:00PM Restaurant Kotakino

For dinner, we chose the ryokan’s first-floor restaurant, Kotakino, which specializes in beef tongue. This establishment first opened in the wealthy Shirokane district of Tokyo. I recommend the beef tongue shabu shabu set menu. It was beyond sublime—my highest compliments to the chef!

9:00PM At the lobby

After dinner, I found a record player on the first floor and became lost in the moment.

Day2 - 08:30AM Kamakura Station

I’d been wanting to visit Kamakura for some time, and after hearing it was only 40 minutes by train from Bashamichi, we decided to head there the following day after a night at PROSTYLE Ryokan.

9:00AM Hokoku-ji Temple

The temple of Hokoku-ji is famous for its bamboo garden in the grounds. Overwhelmed on this my first visit by the thousands of bamboo trees, and fell into a calm, tranquil state of mind that is hard to express in words. In contrast to my daily life in the bustling city of Tokyo, this place truly soothed my soul—and my children loved it too. We played hide-and-go-seek and raced each other. Our laughter echoed through the stands of bamboo and I lost all track of time. Together with its bamboo garden, Hokoku-ji is also known for its rich autumn foliage.

10:00AM Japanese Cafe "Sabo Kirara"

Kamakura is not only a place of historical interest—it’s also a must-visit for anyone with a sweet tooth. The shop we entered had a black and white Japanese theme, and is famous for their delicious giant shiratama dango (glutinous, sweet rice flour dumplings). One of the most popular items is an Uji green tea shiratama cream parfait with anmitsu (red bean jam with sweet syrup). Those who come here on the weekend know they’ll be lining up out the door.

11:00AM Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine

Walking through the fresh autumn air, we find a Japanese traditional craft shop, and after passing through a tunnel with a torii gate, we emerge into a different world. Countless torii gates unfold as far as the eye can see. Only after passing through them all do we reach our goal: a cave called Zeni-arai-mizu. The tradition of washing money here says that your heart will also be washed clean and that your fortune will multiply.

12:00AM Kamakura Matsubara An

Matsubara An is a soba restaurant inside a modern traditional-style Japanese house. The Japanese garden, house interior and hand-cut soba all stimulate the senses, and the aromas make the place come alive. The menu isn’t limited to soba: vegetable and seafood tempura, flash-fried to retain its freshness, is among the recommended appetizers. This was another truly remarkable meal.

1:30PM Yuigahama coast

As we head to Yuihagahama station, the dark green Showa era Enoden train reminds me of reading the manga Slam Dunk as a child. The coastline spread before us on the journey, and my children were transfixed by the rolling ocean waves.

2:00PM Kamakura Komachi Dori Street

Komachi Dori in Kamakura is famous for its excellent food. One of the area’s most popular shops is Sakura Yumeya, famous for its colorful dango dumplings. Some are salty, some are sweet, and they come in many flavors, including mochi, azuki, sakura, matcha and chestnut. On the way home, I managed to find a Kamakura-only limited-edition Shonan edition Coca Cola! Wow! The streets were also filled with nostalgic toy stores and stylish variety shops.