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Things to Do in Yokohama Japan With Kids: The Ultimate Guide

Updated: Feb 8

Upon arriving in Yokohama, I felt a very sneaky relation to Washington D.C.'s business-centric areas like Crystal City and Arlington. It didn't seem very tourist friendly. Tall office buildings with corner shop cafes towered over very organized streets, where commuters patiently crossed crosswalks and early to risers made their way up the stairs of metro stops.


The area seemed stark, and I was concerned that we had booked three nights at the Westin Yokohama. Where would we walk to eat? Was Yokohama even worth visiting? Luckily, with an abundance of great food and dining options, unique tourist attractions and great shopping we were pleasantly surprised and happy to spend a few days in Yokohama. More than being known just for business and Yokohama tires, this large and bustling city has a lot to offer families, too.


In this article you will find:


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Activities and Things to Do in Yokohama With Kids


Yokohama Chinatown with Kids


Arrive a little before lunch time, and hungry, because Yokohama's Chinatown is full of great street food. From adorable little bao buns that look like pandas to candied strawberries on sticks, your kids will be screaming "kawaii!" at all the cuteness.


colorful bao buns shaped to look like panda bears

Stroll some shops before eventually sitting down to a big Peking Duck lunch to close out your visit.


red neon chinatown signs clutter the building facades

Go back at night to see the town lit up with red lanterns and couples walking the pedestrian friendly streets for a late night snack.



Yokohama Sky Cabin


Adjacent to a mall and train station, this clever mode of transportation takes tired travelers across the water to the Cup of Noodles museum, shopping, and amusement rides. For a bit of a steep price you can get a round trip ticket, but it is worth every penny not to make the walk with kids.


large grey and black gondola cars operate around a turnstile

Enjoy beautiful views from your sky cabin gondola and take in a relaxing moment before heading deeper into entertainment fun land!


Get tickets in advance here.



Cup of Noodles Museum


What a fun and stupid way to spend an hour or two. Upon arriving you will be attacked by choices that must be paid for in advance. For instance, if you want to 'create your own noodles', you can do that. There is a little factory area where you not only design your cup (with markers and such), but you can choose your type of noodles and type of toppings to include.


round tables with red stools, people making their ramen noodles package design

The whole thing is then vacuum sealed in a take home bag that kind of looks like when Nemo's friends jumped into the ocean in bags. It's big and absurd but a cool souvenir I guess!


If you choose not to purchase that at the door, there are also "make your own noodles" options that run at certain times and days.


Then there is the food court, called the bazaar, which is also confusing because it mentions admission being a half-size portion of noodles. What I found in the bazaar instead was a come and go as you please food court full of adorable options for your noodz.


No admission required, just walk up to the vending machine of your choice (it's always vending machines in Japan!) and wait for your noodles to be served up within a minute or two at the counter.


a colorful food court is the backdrop for a woman happily eating ramen noodles
Enjoying the OG Original Chicken Ramen

From Italian to Indonesian, the food court is meant to resemble the destinations that Mr. Cup of Noodles (founder Momofuku Ando) visited in search of the perfect noodle.


What he came up with became the foundation of the museum. The kids will love the animated film (all in Japanese) explaining Momofuku's story, and will be interested in seeing the replica home where he came up with the idea.


Different exhibits include a room of wall to wall ramen containers, a psychedelic photo op room, and an interactive touch and play room for kids to hear and see different things come to life on the wall. Kids can even play in an indoor playground that is of course, Cup of Noodles themed (for an added fee).


metal slides pop out from under boxes and boxes of cardboard cup of noodles crates

All in all, come for the vibes but stay for the noodles.



The Yokohama Port Museum


a white sailing vessel with four tall masts

Located next to the Yokohama Landmark Tower and Minato Mirai, a popular waterfront shopping area, find the delightfully restored Nippon Maru ship at the Yokohama Port Museum.


This super cool museum offers two types of tickets: one just for the outside ship and one for the ship and the inside museum. Outside, the training ship can be boarded and explored.


Inside the Nippon Maru, Japan's 1930's sailing vessel, children will enjoy seeing the old bunk rooms, the kitchen where they made hoards of rice, miso soup and tempura for its crew, and how the captains lived and worked.


a little girl holds the steering wheel of a 1930s ship

You'll see the two bridges, the training room where its crew learned on the sea, and learn about the history of the ship. This is a highly enjoyable tour for all, but beware there are steep climbs up and down narrow stairwells, so it is best to leave your strollers on the dock by the ship. Kids should be able to walk to visit this site, or prepare to carry them!



Yokohama World Porters Shopping Mall


It's kind of amazing how malls in Japan are seamless. Meaning, the stores are open like a market, with no walls or borders really separating spaces. This mall is a huge indoor treasure trove for unique clothing, souvenirs, and a Seria - one of my favorite 100 yen shops.


Located at the base of the sky cabin, you'll definitely find yourself there at some point. Kids will enjoy a McDonald's downstairs (also helpful for Dad's to keep them busy while mom shops), and its food court had some seriously good looking options as well, like a conveyor belt sushi joint!


The Cup of Noodles museum is just next door as well as a decent sized amusement park with a ferris wheel, rides and more.





Gundham Factory


Nerds rejoice! Practically a Yokohama landmark, there is a lifesize Gundham to visit in Yokohama. Leave ample time to visit and be sure to look up the times for the "show" where he moves and speaks.



Nissan Global Showroom


Get ready to entertain Dad! This free showroom has vintage and futuristic cars and offers car loving kids a chance to see (and get into) some of the hottest Nissan cars on the line right now.


a black futuristic car with winged doors and a piano in the back!

Directly connected to the Yokohama station area, this is a nice stop before a cafe break and a trip on the train line. There is also a Starbucks in the showroom if you are obsessed with Starbucks!


The free showroom takes about 45 minutes to an hour to explore and has a children's area with books and coloring tables to entertain them while you look around.



Kirin Distillery Tour


Take a brewery factory tour along with tastings at the Kirin Distillery. About 1.5 hrs, this tour must be reserved in advance online. Kids will enjoy seeing the interactive exhibits and parents will enjoy the tasting room treats!





Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum


Unfortunately for this museum, the Cup of Noodles museum takes the spotlight due its fame and proximity to other tourist attractions. But frankly, this museum has the cuter food court and is dripping of charm. Great for photo ops and delicious noodz, this place should be on your list if you are near the Shin-Yokohama station. You can find more information about the museum at their website here.




Day Trip To Kamakura and Enoshima Island


Easily accessible by train, Kamakura and Enoshima are nearby coast towns full of great options for tourists and locals alike. Often overlooked by tourists, these two destinations have been favorite day trips from Yokohama for a long time for locals.



Kamakura


Most popular for its giant Buddha statue and many temples, Kamakura town is full of shops and pedestrian friendly lanes. Get there from Yokohama Station in under 40 minutes and take buses or taxis as needed once you arrive.



Houkokuji Temple


Enjoy the tea house at Houkokuji bamboo forest in Kamakura for 30 minutes at most before heading to lunch by taxi or bus.


At the forest, enjoy a short stroll around a small bamboo forest, and be sure to purchase the temple + tea ticket so that you may enjoy freshly whipped matcha tea with a treat in their tea house.

whipped green tea with bamboo forest in the background

A worthwhile stop, parents will enjoy the tranquility and photo ops, but keep in mind it may take more effort to get there than you end up spending there.



Chayakado Restaurant for Nagashi Somen


A hit with parents and children alike, you will want to seek out and sample nagashi somen (if you missed it in Kyoto) at Chayakado restaurant.


Nagashi somen is a simple meal of prepared noodles that are sent down a water slide for diners to catch and eat by dipping the noodles into a bowl first.


a woman waits by two bamboo water slides with cooked noodles in hand

Chayakado is one of the few restaurants that offers this unique style of Japanese dining, and it's a great treat on a hot day. Kids will love trying to grab the noodles from the bamboo slide and parents will also enjoy a set meal, which includes lovely tempura vegetables as well.


noodles slide down a bamboo slide while a little girl goes to grab them with chopsticks happily

Although a little out of town, this restaurant with its interactive and fun feast has great service to match. Definitely a hidden gem to discover.



Kamakura Pig Park


Surely you have seen cat cafes, even hedgehog and owl cafes, but never a pig park, eh?



Enoshima Island


Enoshima Island from the beach with a view of the overwater bridge connecting land to the island

From Kamakura, it is only 15 minutes to Enoshima Station, taking the historic Enoden train along the waterfront route.


The green and cream vintage train cars of the Enoden train line

Once you get to Enoshima Island, tour around, see the Iwaya cave by candlelight, and then grab some black vanilla ice cream to finish the afternoon.


Note that we had the stroller (with a sleeping 3 year old in it), so we never made it to the caves, which requires traversing many steps. The climb up the hillside is a rough one, so my advice if your children are asleep or not willing to walk at this point in your day to simply visit the shops and take in some street food.


Entering the pedestrian area on Enoshima Island, many people and a green torii gate

One popular snack was a flat and crispy wafer containing whole shrimp or squid. Honestly they looked pretty gross, but people were lining up like crazy!


Enoshima island snack of squid wafers

We opted to try a "clam chowder croquette", which literally tasted like chowder - delicious! Just don't look down at your croquette, because about 30 little pairs of eyes from tiny fish will be staring back at you. I think I missed the "boiled shirasu" part of the sign.


a Japanese sign for clam chowder croquettes


All in all, about a one hour return trip, Enoshima Island is worth a visit if you are in Yokohama with kids. Take the convenient bus on the island before crossing back over the main overwater bridge. This will take you on to Fujisawa station, directly back to Yokohama.



Tours Around Kamakura and Enoshima


I am always an advocate for DIY, but sometimes (especially in the land of the rising sun) it is simply easier to take a packaged tour. Try one of these great full day options on for size:




Where to Eat With Kids: Food in Yokohama


Yokohama Chinatown


This is a clear winner if you are into Chinese food. From street food to Peking Duck, there's something for everyone.



Yokohama Station Dining


With limited options for standalone restaurants, it is common to find the nearest transportation hub. Yokohama station offers a huge variety of options from pizza to cafes and even a "specialty pancake restaurant". Try a beef curry doughnut in any cafe you can find it in. Trust me!

a fried doughnut with a sign reading beef curry

Minatomirai Tokyu Square/Queens Square Dining


Part mall, part train station, this populous spot is great for seeking out an evening meal with family. Offering everything from "Garlic Jo's" to chain Ramen spot "Ippudo", there's plenty of options for dinner out.


The mall isn't much of a mall and offers just 2 or 3 stores on each level, so focus on dining with perhaps a stop at the Daiso afterwards. Gotta love those 100 yen shops.



Try Sukiyaki Yokohama Style at Araiya


This popular restaurant offers an intimate and upscale dining experience featuring the sukiyaki born in Yokohama called gyunabe. The hot pot is the main course, bubbling meat and vegetables on a tabletop grill in front of you, but the meal is a multi-course extravaganza best booked online in advance.


beautifully marbled raw and red beef accompanied by fresh green herbs and tofu

Bring entertainment for the kiddos, because you'll want them to be well behaved. The food is not really for kids unless you have an adventurous eater like we do, so bring snacks or ask politely for a bowl of rice as needed.


thick udon noodles simmering on a hot plate

Kids will, however, enjoy the slippery and slurpy udon noodle course, which comes near the end if they can sit through the first several courses catering to adults.



Go To Motomachi For Omakase Sushi and Upscale Shopping


It's all in the title. Motomachi is a great pedestrian area for upscale shopping (or window shopping), and be sure to stop in to Saburo Sushi for their set course omakase dinner.


Run by the cutest couple, these two have been in business for most of their lives, and they are 80! Through Google translate we shared conversation about children, grandchildren, and their dreams. They fell in love with our daughter and we had the place to ourselves.


The menu was a set course - so only four prices were listed on a sheet of paper as the menu. Choosing the two highest prices for the highest grade sushi, we were treated to a wonderful meal. Cozy, it has only seven or eight counter seats and one table.


nigiri and sushi, full of color and variety

This is an intimate and lovely experience for the whole family, and they will be sure to find something like plum sushi for your children to eat.



Zauo Fishing Restaurant


With several locations across Tokyo, Zauo also holds a place in the Yokohama area as well. Their schtick is that you get to fish for your dinner! With a nautical theme, these restaurants offer nets and fishing poles to diners who want to feast on shrimp, shellfish and other fresh fish.


Once caught, your meal can be prepared to your choosing - grilled, sashimi, or other options. Pricing is based on what you catch.


Kids will absolutely love the atmosphere and excitement of catching their own dinner. It may not be the best meal ever, but the gimmick is worth the smiles from the whole family.




Where To Stay In Yokohama With Kids


The Westin Yokohama was not only beautiful, but offered the most amazing views I've ever seen at check-in before - on the 23rd floor!


Pink flowers against a backdrop of the sign for The Westin Yokohama hotel

With free ice cream for children each day (if you are a Marriott Bonvoy member) and delicious cocktails in the lounge for mom and dad, this was a great stop for us as a family of three.