Friday, July 5, 2019

Head Out of Tokyo and Chow Down at JOINUS Yokohama

The Charming Port City of Yokohama

Plenty of tourists in Japan get stuck spending too much time in Tokyo, but locals know that a trip to Yokohama is a great way to spend a day. Take a quick train ride out of the big city, and you'll get to... another pretty big city (Yokohama isn't small!). But being in Yokohama it's hard to forget how close you are to Tokyo Bay, and it feels like a seaside town, making it popular for family outings, friendly gatherings, and dates with a special someone.

With its famous Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, excellent shopping and restaurants, a big ferris wheel, and more, you can see why Tokyoites might want to make the trip out there once in a while! Get away from the constant crowds and stress of Tokyo, and you'll find that sightseeing in Yokohama is a pretty nice, relaxed time. Take a day to breathe in that ocean air, and you'll find yourself refreshed and ready to see the rest of Japan.

Check Out Everything JOINUS Shopping Center Has to Offer

Love shopping? Then have we got the place for you! This retail wonderland is a great spot for browsing a variety of items, souvenir shopping, and eating to your heart's content. JOINUS is connected directly to the west exit of Yokohama Station, so direct yourself the right way and you'll be there in no time.

Not only does JOINUS have all your favorite shops, they also have Japanese chains that are extremely popular domestically, along with unique shops you might not find anywhere else.

If you're just a visitor in Japan, they also make it super easy to get your duty-free discount. Just spend 5,000 yen or more at any shop, and ask about your tax discount.

➤ Read more on shopping at JOINUS.

Participation Info:
STEP ❶ Present your ⓵JOINUS receipt of a purchase over 1000yen the same day of purchase and ⓶this JAPANKURU JOINUS article to the tax-free counter at JOINUS.
STEP ❷ You'll get the train pass Noriorikun (のりおりくん) at the counter!!
STEP ❸ Use Noriorikun (のりおりくん) and ride the entire Enoden line (from Kamakura St. to Fujisawa St.) the whole day!

Important Notes:
・The number of tickets is limited, and the offer ends once tickets are gone.
Period: 5/1/2018 to 2/28/2020
・ Only 1 ticket per person.
・Regardless of the amount paid, 1 receipt = 1 ticket.

Shop Till You Drop!

Then Rejuvenate Yourself With a Tasty Meal

Whether you're looking for clothes or gifts, or a good place to eat lunch, there are plenty of options. Japanese restaurants of all kinds, casual lunch spots, elegant dinner options, you could go there every day for a week and always find something new and delicious to dig into. So let us tell you about a few of our favorites!

JOINUS YokohamaAddress: 1-5-1 Minamisaiwai, Nishi Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa
Shopping Hours: 10:00 - 21:00 (Restaurant hours vary.)
Access: Directly connected to Yokohama Station!
Official Website (en)

Some Takes on Traditional Japanese Cuisine

1. Misaki Ichiba (三崎市場)

JOINUS, like many major shopping centers in Japan, has a great selection of eateries in the basement. One of these is Misaki Ichiba, where you'll find kaisen-don (海鮮丼), or fish and seafood rice bowls!

All of the fish served here is sure to satisfy, but try their fresh raw maguro (tuna). It's the real specialty here, being caught nearby, purchased from local fish markets, and quickly served to salivating customers. This is the kind of high-quality tuna we're always looking for outside of Japan, so it's a great chance to indulge a little, and savor the thick slices.

Bring home one of their cans of local tuna for a foodie friend. (500 yen)

Misaki Ichiba
JOINUS: Basement 1st Floor
Hours: 11:00 - 23:00
Official Website (jp)

2. Negishi (ねぎし)

The popularity of beef tongue has waned in the west, at least in the past few decades, but it remains a popular dish in Japan. Now it might be called one of Japan's more unusual specialties, and Negishi serves platters of it daily, alongside the standard rice, pickled vegetables, and soup. If you want dinner and entertainment, make sure you sit facing towards the open kitchen and grill, so you can see the chefs expertly preparing your meal.

Beef tongue, being a fairly limited part of the cow, carries a reputation of being a more expensive cut of meat. But don't worry, Negishi makes it easy to try out this uniquely textured dish, offering beef tongue from a reasonable 1,000 yen.

Your meal, made-to-order and plated with care.

Negishi (ねぎし)JOINUS: Basement 1st Floor
Hours: 11:00 - 23:00
Official Website (en)

3. Hakata Tempura Takao (博多天ぷらたかお)

Craving that perfect crisp crunch of well-made tempura? Look no further than this restaurant hailing from Fukuoka, on Japan's southern island of Kyushu.

Sure, you could get a quick meal of ten-don (天丼, tempura rice bowl) here and be on your way. You'll certainly enjoy it. But to get the most out of your visit, order your tempura individually. From fresh vegetables to seafood, each piece will arrive at your table fresh out of the kitchen, with the delicate batter still mouth-wateringly crispy. It's a luxury worth trying. Try a variety of ingredients expertly prepared, with meals starting from around 1,000 yen.

Enjoy each morsel one by one, and then pick up some mentaiko (明太子, spicy red pollock roe) to bring home. (1,080+ yen)

Hakata Tempura Takao (博多天ぷらたかお)JOINUS: Basement 2nd Floor
Hours: 11:00 - 23:00
Official Website (en)

4. Yokohama Nakaya (横浜なかや)

Already been in Japan a while, and feeling like you've tried all the basics? Then maybe you'll enjoy a meal at Yokohama Nakaya, where they specialize in miso nikomi udon. These udon noodles come in a bowl of miso-flavored stew, together with a healthy helping of veggies. With the rich miso broth, it's very Japanese, but a little different from what a lot of travelers stick to. (If you only have a few days in Japan, though, we understand the impetus to stick to the basics. They're delicious!) If you want a slightly different flavor, there's also kishimen, a similar dish born in Nagoya.

A bowl of the hearty stew goes for 800 yen, and make it a teishoku (定食, set meal with rice and pickled veggies) for a small additional fee. Intriguingly, they also give you the option to order a raw egg alongside the stew. If that leaves you slightly bewildered, they have a few serving suggestions!

1. Dip each mouthful into the raw egg directly before eating, like you might when eating sukiyaki.
2. Mix it into your warm bowl of rice, making yourself some tamagokake gohan (卵かけご飯), a classic Japanese dish.
3. Plop it right into your bowl! If you prefer your egg well-cooked, the hot broth will do that for you, and the egg will make the soup even more rich and satisfying.

Yokohama Nakaya (横浜なかや)

JOINUS: Basement 2nd Floor
Hours: 11:00 - 23:00
Official Website (jp)

Relaxed Cafe Ambience

5. Wired Cafe (ワイヤードカフェ)

This very chill cafe is clearly a little different from the restaurants we've been talking about up until now. With its gentle lighting and slick retro interior, Wired Cafe is a nice place to hang out a bit when you need a break from souvenir shopping. There's even an array of cocktails to go with the food.

Not only is it a comfortable place to spend time with friends, it's also an easy place to visit on your own. If you're a solo traveler that sometimes has a hard time finding a spot where it's pleasant to sit by yourself for a while, we'd like to recommend Wired Cafe. While you're there you can leaf through the magazines that line the seating area (they're not just there for decoration!), and see what Japanese magazines of all kinds look like. If you'd rather browse through your itinerary options on a phone or laptop, there are numerous outlets spread throughout the space. Plus, listen to the music playing to see what's been popular in Japan lately.

One-plate brunch set + cranberry-grapefruit juice. (1,380 yen)
Wired Cafe
JOINUS: 4th Floor
Hours: 10:00 - 21:00 (Lunch 11:00 - 15:00)
Official Website (en)

6. Nana's Green Tea

Head to the third floor of JOINUS shopping center to find this cute cafe that's all about everything green tea. When you're looking for a lighter lunch, we'd recommend Nana's Ochazuke (お茶漬け), which is a traditional rice dish that you pour hot tea right on top of! Very Japanese, and rarely found overseas.

If you'd prefer something sweet, there's always decadent parfaits, created from layers of various matcha-flavored goodies.

This particular location is also specially themed as a "bamboo forest," so it has very cool bamboo poles scattered throughout the dining area. It feels a little like you're walking through the famous bamboo grove of Arashiyama. Or, well, having lunch in the famous bamboo grove?

Bring a little of the experience home by grabbing a souvenir from their little goods corner. Since most Japanese people give food as souvenirs, alongside tote bags etc. there are cookies and traditional warabi mochi to bring home to your friends.

The shop's most popular item is the Gateau Chocolat Parfait (1,010 yen), but for lunch we recommend the Ochazuke (990+ yen).

Nana's Green Tea
JOINUS: 3rd Floor
Hours: 10:00 - 21:00
Official Website (en)

Spend Some Time Sightseeing, Shopping, and Eating in Yokohama

Tokyo is great, but we all like getting out of that intense city rush sometimes, right? The coastal atmosphere of Yokohama is perfect for that! See the sights along the bay, get your souvenirs taken care of, and eat some good food. There's certainly plenty of options to choose from!

JOINUS Yokohama
Address: 1-5-1 Minamisaiwai, Nishi Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa
Shopping Hours: 10:00 - 21:00 (Restaurant hours vary.)
Access: Directly connected to Yokohama Station.
Official Website (en)

Be sure to look out for more exciting articles every day at JAPANKURU
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