Yokohama, the capital of Kanagawa prefecture, is only half an hour away from Tokyo via rail, and with a population of over 3 million people, is Japan's second biggest city. Often included in the immense macro-sphere of the Tokyo metropolitan area, Yokohama is a delightful city in its own right. The city hosts an enormous China-Town, one of the world's biggest, and its Yamate housing neighborhood suggests Western influences and a sizeable expat community.

Stroll along the waterfront promenade and get spacey in the Minato Mirai 21, the futuristic new city center. Escape from the city into the zen calm of Sankeien, a large, well-kept park in southern Yokohama. Having built up quite an appetite, learn about one of Japan's favorite dishes at the Ramen Museum, sample a flight with a taster at each of the 9 restaurants, or, commit to one big steaming bowl of salty goodness. Once full, spend your remaining Yen on the Motomachi shopping street, a corridor of commerce with a certain European flair.

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