The other week I stumbled across an article online entitled ‘Fun Facts about Japan.’ The first fun fact informed me how the average Japanese person watches an average of 4 hours and 29 minutes of television every day – the highest in the world. “Okay” I thought, “that’s pretty interesting, but not exactly fun, what else have you got for me?” So I continued reading. The second “fun fact” read, and I quote, “In 1923, an earthquake in Tokyo and Yokohama killed 143,000 people and destroyed 575,000 thousand homes.” Hurray! Such fun! I laughed my balls off at that one.
The same website also had fun facts about other countries, such as how in 2007, there were more than 6,500 people abducted in Mexico. Or how there are about 120 corpses currently rotting on the slopes of Mount Everest.
It was, then, with much trepidation that I embarked on my ‘fun’ trip to Yokohama armed with knives, guns and earthquake rations just in case any of these ridiculous facts should happen to me. I shouldn’t have worried though, becuase unlike that shitty website, Yokohama is perfectly awesome. It’s Japan’s second largest city – and despite being only 30 miles away, feels so much airier with its little marinas, wide promanades and locals who **shock horror** even smile occasionally. (I thought it was just me, but Tokyoites are renowned for being surly bastards.)
I went on a wee boat trip. I ate dumplings in Chinatown. And I lost my Ray Bans. So I guess that was my ‘fun fact’ of the day.
In true Japanese fashion, I couldn’t resist getting my photo taken with this wee guy. I wonder if he knows he’s Japanese.
This guy was amazing. He cycled past me so I chased after him shouting “Sumimasen! Sumimasen!” for him to stop. In the end he was the one thanking me for taking his picture. Teeth on ye.
Wow. Just wow. For me, this guy was the highlight of my trip to Yokohama. A street performer who quite simply blew my mind. I was speaking to him afterwards and he was telling me how he works at Disney Tokyo. Basically he does traditional magic and mime, but his dancing is unbelievable and he somehow manages to weave emotions into his performance unlike anything I have ever seen. Check out the video somebody else took of him below. (His ‘trapped in a box’ routine is proper, proper good.)
Chinatown was, well, like any other Chinatown I’ve ever been to… However, the added bonus of having one in Japan is that they will use any excuse over here to try and make it as cute as humanly possible. Which means cartoon pandas on every corner. Panda burgers. Panda socks. Panda ice cream. Even a shop shaped like a panda’s head that you walk through.
Teenagers hanging out in Chinatown. They still dress better than I did at their age.
Shark fin soup. The plates are of differing sizes, the largest one there will set you back £200.
I wonder what randomers think of me asking to take their pic. I liked her dress.
Fun fact #342: it’s seemingly Christmas every day of the year in Yokohama…