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The Local Secrets of Yokohama, Japan

"An outsider will be surprised by how modern life and history are mixed in Tokyo, Kamakura, and Yokohama. It's best to appreciate it by just walking and observing."
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We sent Shunsuke Miyatake a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Tokyo to get his perspective on what it means to use a travel guide in his hometown. Check out his local tips and insight below.

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Place you live: Yokohama, Japan (South Tokyo)

Can you sum up Yokohama? Yokohama is a balanced city that has so many places to see and visit. The MM21 area, which is famous for the Landmark Tower, plays an economic part. The Naka area, which is famous for foreign settlement, has so much cultural heritage like Yokohama City Port Opening Memorial Hall, and plays a cultural part. You can feel the art in the Yokohama Art Museum, taste the gourmet in China Town, hear music around Kannai Station, watch sports in the Yokohama Stadium, all of the senses are active in this city.

Can you sum up the people of Yokohama? The Yokohama port opened more than 150 years ago. Since then, the people living in this town have been making so many cultural trends while the port has been developing as an international industrial port. They are proactive to the new cultures and treat the history and nature with great care. It is full of well-balanced people.

What was the experience like looking through a guidebook for your hometown? It was an interesting experience for me. I noticed that there are so many places where I had never been that were showcased in the guidebook, and I grew up in this area.

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Did you find anything new or inspiring about your area in the Guidebook? Yes, of course. There are so many places, things, and cultures I hadn't heard of before. I especially liked learning more about Ukiyo-e, and the guidebook inspired me to go see it in person.

Tell us about the photos you shot for this project: I took photos of Yokohama, Kamakura, and Tokyo. These three cities are close to each other. It takes about 30 minutes to get to each. My Yokohama photos are artistic images, Kamakura photos contain nature and history, and Tokyo photos showcase that it's central Japan.

Occupation: Ad Agency, Strategist

Describe a perfect day in Yokohama: Walking through the MM21 Area in Yokohama with coffee and sitting down for a while in Yamashita Park, watching seagulls and doing some window shopping in Landmark Tower. Then taking in some art at The Yokohama Art Museum.

What do you love about your area? I love the diversity of the city. Tokyo, Kamakura and Yokohama all have art, nature, history, architecture, amazing people and amazing food. This area is full of movement.

What do you dislike? The commuter train which is full of people.

What would be surprising about this area to an outsider? An outsider will be surprised by how modern life and history are mixed in Tokyo, Kamakura, and Yokohama. It's best to appreciate it by just walking and observing.

If your city was a person who would it be? If Tokyo, Kamakura, and Yokohama were a person it would be an artistic, intellectual and cheerful person. Maybe Japanese actor Ken Watanabe.

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