A Winter Tour of
Yokohama and Miura Peninsula
from PROSTYLE Ryokan

I just love visiting port cities in Japan. When Japan opened up to the outside world, it had five ports of particular importance, from north to south: Hakodate, Niigata, Yokohama, Kobe and Nagasaki—I’ve visited them all! The most popular of these ports is Yokohama. It’s close to Tokyo, and has been open to the outside world for exactly 160 years in 2019.

Day 1 - 11:00AM Bashamichi Jubankan

The PROSTYLE Ryokan in Bashamichi, Yokohama, is a newly designed ryokan just 40 minutes from Shibuya on the Tokyu Toyoko Line or Minato Mirai Line. It’s super convenient! In the little alley next to the PROSTYLE Ryokan Bashamichi you'll find Bashamichi Jubankan, a red brick building that evokes the period of cultural enlightenment in Japan. At the entrance, there's a water tank that formerly served as a drinking trough for horses. “Biscuit” traditional Western cookies are available here as a souvenir.

11:30AM Exploring Bashamichi street

Bashamichi is a brick road that originally provided a path from the city to Yokohama’s port. Both sides of the road are lined with well-preserved examples of Western-style architecture. Some must-see historical buildings in the area include the Kanagawa Prefectural History Museum, which used to be the Yokohama Specie Bank, and the YCC Yokohama Creative City Center, formerly the Yokohama branch of the Daiichi Bank.


Cafe OMNIBUS is on first floor of triangular building—the YCC Yokohama Creative City Center—near the exit of Bashamichi Station. I highly recommend having a coffee in this building, which was formerly the Yokohama branch of the Daiichi Bank. The classic design of this Western-style building has a 90-year history, with a balcony supported by a pillar in the Toscana order style from the days of ancient Rome. The lobby boasts no less than eight pillars, creating a majestic atmosphere.

1:00PM Lunch at Peanuts Diner

Crossing the bridge, I headed towards the Marine & Walk Yokohama shopping mall. My destination? The highly popular Peanuts Diner! Following the Peanuts Cafe in Nakameguro, Snoopy's second restaurant is now open here in Yokohama. There's an all-you-can-eat Snoopy-themed menu, as well as American West Coast-style merchandise. Even adults forget that they’re grown up here, and you'll hear cheers of “Kawaii!!” (“Cute!!”) all around.

3:00PM Checking in to PROSTYLE Ryokan Yokohama Bashamichi

The PROSTYLE Ryokan Yokohama Bashamichi opened in August 2018, and just as you'd expect from a ryokan in this area, it blends together elements from Japan and the West—a design concept that fuses Japanese spirit with Western intellect. It's an elegant, calm and mature space that imparts the unique charm of the city of Yokohama. The lighting within the ryokan is subdued, creating a pale atmosphere reminiscent of the gas lamps that once lined Bashamichi. The interior design is also based on dark, smoky colors, further evoking days gone by.

The lobby features a long, bar-style counter, darkly shaded bookshelves on the wall, jazz records evoking Yokohama nightlife and neatly arranged photo albums. There is also a tablet exclusively used to stream music. Jazz was floating through the space, welcoming visitors, including an elegantly dressed gentleman on the barstool next to me.

I was more than pleasantly surprised by even the standard rooms, which have names reminiscent of the moon, moodily lit interiors and black wallpaper. The subtle light coming through the latticework windows brings to mind moonlight, and returning here feels like coming home after a long day. The entrance, paper sliding doors and lattice windows are all traditional Japanese furnishings; low Japanese beds rest on tatami mats. There are Handy smartphones next to each bedside, along with JBL Bluetooth speakers and an alarm clock. The bedside cabinet also includes a USB charger.

The top floor has guest rooms named after night-blooming flowers, like gekka bijin (queen of the night), gekka ko (tuberose), Yakoboku (night-blooming Jasmine) and ieraishan (Chinese violet). The spacious rooms are given a modest yet modern feel through accents including leather-bound trunks, large metallic lighting, photos of flowers and other still life works. The rooms are tailor-made for stylish visitors, with capsule espresso machines, sweets, modern chairs and two-person bathrooms.

6:00PM Noge

Where to dine in Yokohama? There are many shopping malls and restaurants in the city center, but in the area around the PROSTYLE Ryokan Yokohama Bashamichi, I recommend the bars in the Noge area, which is about 10 minutes by foot. Noge is an entertainment district with a classic Showa era atmosphere. It's quiet during the day but packed with carousing businessmen by night. They say there are 500–600 food and drink establishments in Noge, including Japanese and Chinese joints, in addition to bars. If you're hesitant to enter one of the old-school Japanese establishments, there are many relatively modern restaurants and bars, too. I chose one of these, a place called Noge Shokudoraku. It's a two-story building with a fashionable interior and home to six small shops. This place could be ideal for travelers in a group, as you're sure to find something for everyone.

8:00PM Jazz Cafe "Chigusa"

Noge is home to the oldest jazz café in Japan, named Chigusa. I absolutely love it—the perfect place to take in some jazz with a glass of whiskey.

Day 2 - 8:00AM Breakfast at Restaurant "Kotakino"

On the first floor of PROSTYLE Ryokan Yokohama Bashamichi, breakfast is served at the restaurant Nikuan Kotakino. You can choose from Western-style and Japanese-style breakfasts, but I naturally chose the Japanese option—I’m visiting Japan, after all! I got a surprise when my meal arrived: three slices of beef tongue in a small stone pot! There's nothing quite like starting your day with a bit of beef tongue.

10:00AM Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Modern Art

After breakfast, I decided to rent a car. I left my luggage at the hotel and headed out with an art-centric journey to Miura Peninsula in mind. My first stop was Hayama Pavilion at the Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Modern Art. The Hayama Pavilion is near the Imperial House (a separate house of the imperial family) and has been renovated into a museum of modern art. The masterpieces of sculpture exhibited outdoors are all by well-known artists, and in the courtyard, there is a captivating piece by master artist Isamu Noguchi. There are also works by Mitsuaki Sora, Lee U-Fan and the British artist Antony Gormley on display.

It was a nice surprise to find a café on site, shaped like an elongated glass box affording an unrivaled ocean view of Sagami Bay on all sides. Mt. Fuji is also visible from here, like something out of a Japanese painting. I honestly didn’t want to leave.

0:00PM Lunch at "Yamanoue Bakery"

Back in my car, and off to the east—my next destination is a mountain-top bakery, a popular little shop near Yokosuka city visited by people from far and wide. The nearest railway station is Kenritsudaigaku Station, which is a stop on the Keikyu Main Line. The bakery, which sits atop a hill, is a remodeled 100-year-old wooden house, and homemade bread is baked here daily. The round, generous “mountain buns” are particularly popular, and lunch options available are accompanied by an assortment of daily offerings. I enjoyed a quiet moment here, a space filled with the fragrance of wheat and firewood.

2:00PM Sankei-en Garden

On the way back to Yokohama, I stopped by the Sankei-en Garden, a Japanese garden laid out in 1906 by a Yokohama businessman who made his fortune in the yarn industry. The spacious garden is a reminder of the prosperity of Yokohama at the beginning of the 20th century, and the 17 buildings—including important cultural properties such as the inner garden and the outer garden—are all distinctly Japanese in style. Quiet, mirror-like ponds reflect the scenery of the four seasons, including pine trees and reeds, spring cherry blossoms and autumn leaves. This is my number-one healing hideout.

4:00PM Motomachi and Chinatown

In Motomachi and Chinatown—the shopping areas that best represent Yokohama—I must, as a diehard coffee fan, recommend two cafés that roast their own beans. At Mi Cafeto in Motomachi, the quality of coffee beans is so high that household-name companies such as Japan Airlines and Hoshino Resorts seek their services. Tsukikoya Beans Shop in Chinatown offers over 10 types of roasted coffee beans harvested on farms in Africa and Latin America. I love this place so much, I went back three times.

4:00PM At the conclusion of my trip

Insatiable as I am, right before sunset I rushed to Koganecho Art Book Bazaar, an old art-themed bookstore created by remodeling the area under the elevated railway tracks of Koganecho Station.