Friday, June 4—Yokohama
As Advertised: Breakfast at Novotel (as described earlier). Unfortunately, Chie and I are both busy at school all day until late afternoon.
At last we were ready to start really exploring Yokohama. In one of his several travel guides, “Four Perfect Days in Yokohama,” Glenn had written:
Four days indeed didn’t seem like much, but we tried to pack in as much as we could. At the time, after a couple of weeks of highly structured and tightly scheduled activities, our self-directed days in Yokohama seemed very lazy, and that was quite pleasant. Looking back, I am surprised to see how much we actually did.
This day (like all those that were to follow) started with breakfast at Denny’s, which we had ascertained was a much more reasonable option than the ¥2,200 “discount” breakfast at the Novotel.
At some point after breakfast, Barney and I, accompanied by Sam and Debby, walked the short distance from the Novotel to the Yokohama Archives of History. Sam and Debby did not stay long, but Barney and I browsed for a couple of hours, paying for our gift shop purchases right about noon.
After leaving the museum, we walked a few blocks farther toward downtown to find a bank where I could get an additional $100 changed into yen. We settled for a branch of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, where the exchange was handled smoothly following an extremely methodical procedure conducted entirely through gestures.
returned to Yamashita Park with just time to buy more chocolate mint ice cream bars
from FamilyMart before
joining the rest of the party (except for Dad) for a one-hour
harbor cruise on the Marine
Rouge. Here we all are on the Sky Deck waiting for the departure of
the boat. Left to right: Tom, Joan, Barney, Debby, Sam, Matthew, and Chris
(click to enlarge).
When Tom returned, about 6:40, we headed out to explore Chinatown and find a cheap-but-good restaurant. Glenn had written:
If any of us had read this at the time, we had forgotten it or just ignored it. We ended up at a restaurant-cum-bakery that was less than a block long and had no neon (but a fair amount of illumination, as shown below) for an adventure that was fun and tasty and, for Yokohama, apparently pretty cheap (¥4,858 for two). Although I have a receipt from the restaurant, it is all in Japanese, and no one remembers the name of the place (if we ever knew it), nor do I remember much about what we ate. After puzzling over the menu (which none of us could read, and which contained very few photos), we told the waiter to just bring us a bunch of different entrées to share.
Apparently I went back the next night, located the restaurant where we had eaten, and took this rather fuzzy photo. When I sent the photo to Glenn for identification, he wrote, “As soon as I saw the photo, I recognized it as Kaseiro, one of the largest and gaudiest restaurants in Chinatown, on the main street. In 1988, the last time Mother came to Japan with Dad, Chie’s parents insisted on taking all of us to dinner there, although we always preferred the less pretentious mom-and-pop places on the back street. I didn’t realize you’d been there, but that makes two generations of Scogginses.”
other sources I learned that the cuisine at Kaseiro is “Beijing-style.” The
restaurant (which has three locations) also has an elaborate
Web site; at right
is a small daylight photo of the front of the bakery entrance. Evidently Kaseiro
pastries are distributed to various coffee shops around Yokohama as well.
Unfortunately, we never had time for further exploration in Chinatown, about which Glenn had written:
After leaving the restaurant about 8:45 (according to a receipt from the Kaseiro bakery), we wandered through Yamashita Park, enjoying the nighttime activities (this may have been the evening that we saw a street entertainer juggling a chain saw), and eventually climbed up to an area at the east end of the park labeled “World Square” on our maps. This appellation seems to be unknown to Google or even to Glenn (though I did find a tantalizing aerial view through Microsoft Virtual Earth™) and I have only vague memories of interesting columns and cascades of water, along with arrows (in the pavement?) pointing to faraway places, giving the distance to each. It was too dark to take pictures of the park itself, but it provided a great vantage point for taking pictures of the illuminated Marine Tower.
Guardian of Water statue in Yamashita Park, presented to the people of Yokohama
by the people of San Diego, California, a Sister City, in May 1960. The fountain
is programmed to create a continuously flowing progression of varying
appearance, and I later made numerous attempts to capture the “perfect” daytime
view (see Day 19 for the result).