Category Archives: Naka-ku

Exploring Japan: Honmoku, Yokohama – August 2, 2009

On August 2, I met a friend of mine and he suggested going to Sankeien.  Neither of us had been there before.  So, to get there, we went to Negishi station and took a bus to Honmoku.  This post is dedicated to the Honmoku neighbourhood, and Sankeien will follow.  Honmoku is a rather high class area that also has many American style houses.  It’s near Yamate, about halfway between Yamate and Negishi.  The first thing we saw in Honmoku was a very interesting vegetable shop.  Take a look at the pictures!

A school bus?  This bus was converted into a vegetable shop.

A school bus? This bus was converted into a vegetable shop.

This is a main road going through Honmoku.

This is a main road going through Honmoku.

This is where I was, Honmoku Sakuramichi.

This is where I was, Honmoku Sakuramichi.

A look down Honmoku Sakuramichi.

A look down Honmoku Sakuramichi.

This is one really big house!  Honmoku has a lot of large, expensive houses.  Very rich neighbourhood.

This is one really big house! Honmoku has a lot of large, expensive houses. Very rich neighbourhood.

This is a quaint European-looking shop.  I believe it was a bakery.

This is a quaint European-looking shop. I believe it was a bakery.

Sankeien is only 300 metres away!  That's why I was in Honmoku.

Sankeien is only 300 metres away! That's why I was in Honmoku.

These are American style houses.  Actually, this area was home to many Americans, which is why there are a lot of American style houses.  This group of houses is in a gated community, where you can only enter if you're invited.

These are American style houses. Actually, this area was home to many Americans, which is why there are a lot of American style houses. This group of houses is in a gated community, where you can only enter if you're invited.

A more Japanese style home in Honmoku.  It seems to have a nice garden.

A more Japanese style home in Honmoku. It seems to have a nice garden.

That’s it for Honmoku.  As I promised, I’m going to start using Google Maps in posts.  So, here’s the map for Honmoku!

Next time will be Sankeien!

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Exploring Japan: Naka Ward, Yokohama Part 5 – Zou-no-Hana Park, Aka Renga and more!

Here it is, the final part of this long walk.  This time, it’s a variety of things.  First, it’s Zou-no-Hana Koen, which means Elephant’s Trunk Park.  There’s a breakwater portion that’s shaped like an elephant’s trunk.  The park was created to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Yokohama Port’s opening.  In the process, they discovered some old railway tracks under an old building.  After Zou-no-Hana, it’s Aka Renga, the Red Brick Warehouse.  I’ve already shown pictures of this area from the Y150 expo, but there are more pictures here!  This includes La Machine, though from a distance.  And finally, a walk past World Porters (big shopping centre) and Cosmo World (amusement park).  So, here are the pictures!

This area used to be an old building, but is now part of Zou-no-Hana Park.

This area used to be an old building, but is now part of Zou-no-Hana Park.

The breakwater part (the elephant trunk) of Zou-no-Hana Park and Osanbashi Pier.

The breakwater part (the elephant trunk) of Zou-no-Hana Park and Osanbashi Pier.

More Zou-no-Hana Park with Minato Mirai behind it.

More Zou-no-Hana Park with Minato Mirai behind it.

Artwork by Zou-no-Hana Park, showing a historical view of the area.

Artwork by Zou-no-Hana Park, showing a historical view of the area.

Dragon Boat, a Chinese themed sightseeing boat at Zou-no-Hana Park.

Dragon Boat, a Chinese themed sightseeing boat at Zou-no-Hana Park.

More Zou-no-Hana Park.

More Zou-no-Hana Park.

A large open space in Zou-no-Hana Park.  There's a historic spot in the middle.  Let's take a look!

A large open space in Zou-no-Hana Park. There's a historic spot in the middle. Let's take a look!

Looking down through the glass, there are old railway tracks that were used after the port opened 150 years ago.  They were rediscovered when the building here was demolished.

Looking down through the glass, there are old railway tracks that were used after the port opened 150 years ago. They were rediscovered when the building here was demolished.

Another view of the railway tracks.

Another view of the railway tracks.

A view of Osanbashi Pier from Zou-no-Hana Park.

A view of Osanbashi Pier from Zou-no-Hana Park.

This is trick art in Zou-no-Hana Park in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the opening of the port.

This is trick art in Zou-no-Hana Park in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the opening of the port.

A sideways view of the artwork.  It looks odd this way.

A sideways view of the artwork. It looks odd this way.

Upside-down, the artwork looks really strange.

Upside-down, the artwork looks really strange.

Sailing ships docked at Osanbashi Pier.

Sailing ships docked at Osanbashi Pier.

Here's the grassy area of Zou-no-Hana Park.

Here's the grassy area of Zou-no-Hana Park.

Zou-no-Hana Park with Landmark Tower in the background.

Zou-no-Hana Park with Landmark Tower in the background.

Tanemaru, the mascot of the Y150 Expo.

Tanemaru, the mascot of the Y150 Expo.

This is where La Machine is kept near Aka Renga.

This is where La Machine is kept near Aka Renga.

Here's Aka Renga, the Red Brick Warehouse.

Here's Aka Renga, the Red Brick Warehouse.

There's La Machine!  I saw this in September up close, but this was the first time I saw it back in July.

There's La Machine! I saw this in September up close, but this was the first time I saw it back in July.

La Machine is alive!

La Machine is alive!

Here's the big globe that gets lit up at night at Y150.

Here's the big globe that gets lit up at night at Y150.

La Machine keeps moving.

La Machine keeps moving.

La Machine's putting on a show.

La Machine's putting on a show.

In this picture, you can see Y150, Aka Renga, Osanbashi Pier with the sailing ships and Yokohama Bay Bridge.

In this picture, you can see Y150, Aka Renga, Osanbashi Pier with the sailing ships and Yokohama Bay Bridge.

I guess Americans are lazy?  This store is in World Porters.

I guess Americans are lazy? This store is in World Porters.

The big ferris wheel at Cosmo World.

The big ferris wheel at Cosmo World.

And that’s it for that day’s walk in Naka Ward.  Coming soon will be some pictures from Tokyo.

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Exploring Japan: Naka Ward, Yokohama Part 4 – Yamashita Park and Osanbashi Pier

This series of pictures will be longer than 4 parts.  Actually, it’ll be 5 parts.  But here’s part 4, Yamashita Koen (Yamashita Park) and Osanbashi Pier.  Yamashita Park is a very popular place for Yokohama residents to go, and is one of the best waterfront areas (without a beach) in the Kanto region.  At the northern end of the park is Osanbashi Pier, which is where cruise ships dock, as well as any other international ships.  Enjoy the pictures!

Crossing the river to go to Yamashita Park.  You can see Marine Tower.

Crossing the river to go to Yamashita Park. You can see Marine Tower.

The entrance to Yamashita Park is through there.  On the right is the Yokohama Doll Museum.

The entrance to Yamashita Park is through there. On the right is the Yokohama Doll Museum.

This is a statue outside the Yokohama Doll Museum.

This is a statue outside the Yokohama Doll Museum.

The entrance to Yamashita Park!

The entrance to Yamashita Park!

And here's the southern end of Yamashita Park.

And here's the southern end of Yamashita Park.

Same place as the previous picture, but showing Minato Mirai in the background.

Same place as the previous picture, but showing Minato Mirai in the background.

There's Marine Tower, the world's tallest lighthouse.

There's Marine Tower, the world's tallest lighthouse.

You can take sightseeing boats from here in the park.

You can take sightseeing boats from here in the park.

This is Hikawa-maru, a boat that was used to transport passengers between Japan and Seattle.

This is Hikawa-maru, a boat that was used to transport passengers between Japan and Seattle.

Yamashita Park has a very western design.

Yamashita Park has a very western design.

There are some trees, too.

There are some trees, too.

This is the main promenade along the waterfront in Yamashita Park.

This is the main promenade along the waterfront in Yamashita Park.

I seem to like taking pictures of Minato Mirai, don't I?

I seem to like taking pictures of Minato Mirai, don't I?

This is Osanbashi Pier, the international terminal.  Cruise ships often stop here.

This is Osanbashi Pier, the international terminal. Cruise ships often stop here.

A closer look at Osanbashi Pier

A closer look at Osanbashi Pier

The fifth and final part will include Zou-no-hana Park, and move on towards Cosmo World.

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Exploring Japan: Naka Ward, Yokohama Part 3 – Minato-no-Mieru Oka Koen

Welcome to part 3 of my Naka Ward walk.  This time, it’s Minato-no-Mieru Oka Koen, or Harbour View Park.  It’s in Yamate, and has the best view of Yokohama Bay Bridge.  At the time, not many flowers were blooming.  I’ve read that spring and fall are the best times to see flowers.  So, here are the pictures!

Minato-no-Mieru Oka Koen in Yamate.

Minato-no-Mieru Oka Koen in Yamate.

It's a flower.

It's a flower.

It's another flower!

It's another flower!

Now, big trees!

Now, big trees!

A fountain in Minato-no-Mieru Oka Koen

A fountain in Minato-no-Mieru Oka Koen

A water feature in the park that goes downhill.

A water feature in the park that goes downhill.

This is the bottom of the water feature.

This is the bottom of the water feature.

A small pavilion in the park.

A small pavilion in the park.

A pond in the park.

A pond in the park.

An open area in the park.  You can see Marine Tower in the distance.

An open area in the park. You can see Marine Tower in the distance.

A view of the port and Yokohama Bay Bridge from the park.

A view of the port and Yokohama Bay Bridge from the park.

Another view of the Yokohama Bay Bridge.

Another view of the Yokohama Bay Bridge.

The position of Yokohama on a sundial in the park.

The position of Yokohama on a sundial in the park.

A view point in the park.

A view point in the park.

Yet another view of the port and bridge.

Yet another view of the port and bridge.

You guessed it, another view of the port and bridge.

You guessed it, another view of the port and bridge.

A bridge going into another part of the park.

A bridge going into another part of the park.

A statue of an adult and two children.

A statue of an adult and two children.

A historical site that was owned by the French.  It was destroyed during the 1923 earthquake.

A historical site that was owned by the French. It was destroyed during the 1923 earthquake.

Inside the ruins of the destroyed French building.

Inside the ruins of the destroyed French building.

The original floor plan of the French building.

The original floor plan of the French building.

Another view of the ruins.

Another view of the ruins.

The northern edge of Minato-no-Mieru Oka Park.

The northern edge of Minato-no-Mieru Oka Park.

Crossing the river to go to Yamashita Park, I noticed these white things in the river.

Crossing the river to go to Yamashita Park, I noticed these white things in the river.

Let's zoom closer.  They're jellyfish!

Let's zoom closer. They're jellyfish!

Yes, jellyfish in the river.  I was surprised.  There were hundreds of them!  Anyway, this is the end of part 3.  Next part will be Yamashita Park (and possibly the rest of the pictures).

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Exploring Japan: Naka Ward, Yokohama Part 2 – Yamate

It’s been a while since I’ve updated with sightseeing pictures.  Well, here is part 2 of my Naka Ward walk back in July.  This time, it’s Yamate.  Yamate is the old Yokohama city centre, and is also where many foreigners lived a century or so ago.  The architecture of the area is very western.  You wouldn’t even know you’re in Japan by the looks of everything.  Many of the buildings are quite big houses.  I was able to visit one and take a look inside.  Yamate is situated at the top of a hill, so it has some great views.  So, let’s take a look at some of Yamate.

First, I went up to Yamate from Motomachi, after visiting Chinatown.

Going up the hill to Yamate

Going up the hill to Yamate

I passed a Mormon temple at the top of this hill, where a group of Mormons were talking with people.  But I wasn’t there for religious discussions, I was sightseeing.  So, I went on, and there were some really big houses in the area.  And Berrick Hall is one of them.  It’s in Motomachi Park.  Let’s take a look.

Berrick Hall in Motomachi Park, Yamate

Berrick Hall in Motomachi Park, Yamate

This is Berrick Hall in Yamate.  It's a big old western style house.

This is Berrick Hall in Yamate. It's a big old western style house.

Inside Berrick Hall, the living room

Inside Berrick Hall, the living room

The son's bedroom in Berrick Hall.

The son's bedroom in Berrick Hall.

A model of Berrick Hall in the husband's bedroom/study.

A model of Berrick Hall in the husband's bedroom/study.

One of the bathrooms in Berrick Hall.

One of the bathrooms in Berrick Hall.

Dining room in Berrick Hall.

Dining room in Berrick Hall.

Small palm trees outside Berrick Hall.

Small palm trees outside Berrick Hall.

After Berrick Hall, I walked down the streets, passed the foreigner’s cemetery, and here are the pictures.

A western style building with a restaurant in Yamate

A western style building with a restaurant in Yamate

A church in Yamate.

A church in Yamate.

A nice view of central Yokohama from Yamate.

A nice view of central Yokohama from Yamate.

Another old western style building in Yamate.

Another old western style building in Yamate.

The foreigner's cemetary in Yamate.

The foreigner's cemetary in Yamate.

An old building in Yamate with a restaurant inside.

This is Iwasaki Museum.

Next up will be a lot of pictures from Minato-no-mieru Oka Koen (or Harbour View Park) in Yamate.

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Egypt Exhibition and Y150 Expo

Last week, I posted a video of La Machine.  Well, here are the pictures and the report!

First, my friends and I visited the Egypt exhibition, which is called “Egypt’s Sunken Treasures” in English.  It’s in Pacifico Yokohama.  The exhibition was quite good, though it was very crowded.  It constisted of artifacts from the sunken cities of Canopus, Heracleion, and Alexandria.  Sorry, I couldn’t take any pictures inside, but here’s the entrance:

At the entrance of the Egypt exhibition

At the entrance of the Egypt exhibition

After this, we went and had lunch in World Porters.  Then it was off to the 150th Anniversary of the Opening of the Port of Yokohama, or Y150.  It was a hot, sunny day, but it was windy.  Throughout the expo, there was mist being sprayed to cool everyone.  Too bad the wind blew the mist up.  First was La Machine.  You’ve already seen the video, but here are the photos.  You’ll get a much clearer picture of the big spider with these photos.

It's asleep

It's asleep

The pilots are coming out

The pilots are coming out

The pilots are in their seats

The pilots are in their seats

It's moving!

It's moving!

It's terrorising those poor people

It's terrorising those poor people

It's coming this way!

It's coming this way!

It's all curled up now.  Is it sleeping?

It's all curled up now. Is it sleeping?

No, it's still awake!

No, it's still awake!

Now it's spraying venom!  Oh, it's just water

Now it's spraying venom! Oh, it's just water

It's getting even closer now!

It's getting even closer now!

Uh, I think it farted.

Uh, I think it farted.

It's posing for pictures now

It's posing for pictures now

After this, we said goodbye to La Machine, and went through the history of Yokohama Port area.  It was more for kids, I think, though interesting.  Then it was ENEOS Energy Future Pavilion, which even included oil sands from Alberta’s oil sands!  Then it was the Kurofune Trick Art (I’ll have an example of this posted in a future post following my exploration of Yamate).  After that, it was the Futuristic Theatre with an animated movie called “Baton.”  It was done with motion capture, which was interesting.  And then we went to the Nissan Y150 Dream Front and Super Hi-Vision Theatre.  First was a technological display from JAXA and JAMSTEC, and included a full scale mock-up (or was it the real thing?) of a vertical takeoff and landing rocket.  Here it is:

Full scale mock-up of a vertical takeoff and landing rocket

Full scale mock-up of a vertical takeoff and landing rocket

After that, it was into the Super Hi-Vision Theatre.  The screen was a 540 inch ultra hi-definition screen (more than 7000×4000 resolution, which I forgot) and a 22.2 channel sound system.  Wow.  Very high quality picture and sound!  After that, it was on to see the Nissan Pivo2, which is a concept car that has a spherical passenger pod that can rotate 360 degrees, and even the wheels can rotate to the side so you can parallel park very easily.  Here it is:

The cute Nissan Pivo2

The cute Nissan Pivo2

Nissan Pivo2 from the front

Nissan Pivo2 from the front

And then finally, it was into the next room, where you could write a positive message for Earth or the environment, or I guess anything you want.  And then you put the message into one of several giant plastic balls.

You can put your positive environmental message on paper and into these big balls

You can put your positive environmental message on paper and into these big balls

My message is in this one.

My message is in this one.

And that’s it for Y150!  Here are a couple parting shots at night:

Here's Minato Mirai and the big ferris wheel at night

Here's Minato Mirai and the big ferris wheel at night

The Red Brick Warehouse (or Aka-renga) at night, now a shopping centre.

The Red Brick Warehouse (or Aka-renga) at night, now a shopping centre.

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La Machine

On Sunday, I saw La Machine!  I went to the Y150 Expo, or the 150th Anniversary of the Opening of the Port of Yokohama.  I’ll have pictures sometime in the future, but for now, here’s a video.  It’s also my first attempt at using Windows Movie Maker.  La Machine is a machine from France that looks like a spider.  It’s more like a mechanical piece of art than a robot.  It doesn’t walk, it runs on wheels.  The legs don’t move it.  There are 8 pilots for La Machine, moving the legs and operating the water spray.  Toward the end of the video, it was getting close to me and my friends, so I put away my camera so it wouldn’t get wet.  Enjoy the video!

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