Monday, October 8, 2012

Yokohama 横浜: Day 2 ♡

A long day filled with a lot of walking, sights and shopping! Wanted to go to Yamashita Park early in the morning at like 6am, but the weather looked kind of gloomy so scrapped that idea and went back to lounge in the hotel's super comfy beds^^

 First stop for the day was the Kirin Beer Village Tour! 

There are no admission fees and you get to try up to 3 glasses of beer at the end! Reservations are required, and I made mine the week before. The tours are 70 minutes long and conducted entirely in Japanese, though they give foreigners brochures in English. 

The tour shows and explains the process of how Kirin makes their beer, their factory line, the types of beer they make and their sustainability efforts. Every minute, 2,000 cans of beer are packaged!

At the end of the tour, the tour guide demonstrates how to serve a perfect head. 

 Then everyone gets snacks and up to 3 free glasses of beer! 
If you don't want beer you can also choose from Kirin's non-alcoholic drinks like tea and juice.
FYI their milk tea is delicious!

 Some souvenirs at the souvenir store, sausage and mustard-flavored giant Pretz!
Apparently it "brings out the tastiness of beer"...

Beer cookies, with about 3~4% beer in the cookies. 
Between two layers of cookie is white chocolate, it's kind of similar to Shiroi Koibito

Mini beer! Each one is about 135ml!

After that was off to Iseyama Koutai Jinguu 伊勢山皇大神宮, a shrine.
Built in 1870, Iseyama Koutai Jinguu is a shrine enshrining the Shinto sun goddess.  
I love visiting shrines in Japan, when I went to Kansai in July I visited 8^^

Omikuji, paper fortunes! ♡
200yen each, based on a system of honor. 
There is no one manning the box, but there's a slot for coins to the side.

I got kichi (good luck) ♡
It unravels to a rather long sheet describing your luck in various sectors of life.

There are different types of "luck" you can draw, most places have 7 types. In order of luckiness:
Daikichi - 大吉 - Excellent luck
Kichi - 吉 - Good luck
Chuukichi - 中吉 - Moderate luck 
Shokichi - 小吉 - Small luck
Suekichi - 末吉 - Future luck
Kyou - 凶 - Bad luck
Daikyou - 大凶 - Very bad luck

If you get bad luck don't despair, you can tie the paper to branches in hopes that the bad luck will go away.

Had kitsune udon for lunch, I looove udon! ♡ Especially the smooth chewy kind.

Fun with the mirrors in the restrooms at Colette Mare, a mall in Sakuragicho 桜木町. 

 They have little cubicles, "powder rooms", specifically for women to touch up make up! ♡

Met a friend and headed over to Chinatown 中華街 in the afternoon. Yokohama's Chinatown is the largest in Japan. It's famous for its food, as the streets are filled with a plethora of stands selling snacks, noodles, buns and a wide array of (Japanized) Chinese dishes. It also features a temple, Kanteibyo 関帝廟, and theme park, Daisekai 大世界. 

Chinatown is also a good place to shop for cheap souvenirs, like this cute panda store! 
Tons of adorable panda-themed goodies to buy, and they're not that expensive!

Walked over to Yamashita Park 山下公園, it was sooo breezy! You could really feel the wind pushing you backwards as you walk towards the harbor^^ The park spans 750m along the harbor from Chinatown to Nihon-odori, and is very pleasant to walk along. Apparently, the dim lights at night also make it a popular dating spot. 

At the side of the park near Chinatown, you can find the Hikawamaru 氷川丸, a former passenger ship that has been permanently moored by the park and converted into a museum. Inside, you can see the cabins as they were since the 1930s.

Walked along the harbor to World Porters, a mall; then to Akarenga, another mall; then to yet another mall, Colette Mare and had a tea break (tired feet from walking about 5km since Chinatown!). Then walked back to Akarenga for dinner...though halfway there we got lazy and took a cab. It was only about 1km but cost 700yen!!! 

Some Halloween-themed candles at Colette Mare!

 Beautiful night view from Kokusai-bashi 国際橋. 

The annual Yokohama Oktoberfest kicked off that night, we were there at...830pm but it closed at 9pm^^ So we headed inside the Akarenga Redbrick Warehouse for dinner. Lots of pretty things to buy at Akarenga!

Mojito! (♥´౪`♥) 
The restaurant was roomy and a great place for a casual meal. The tables are spaced far enough from each other that you don't feel cramped, and the ceilings are high. ごちそう様でした!

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