Touring Yokohama & Bringing the Best Souvenirs Home from JOINUS

Kanto Shopping Yokohama 2019.08.07
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Between the shopping and the sightseeing, Yokohama is a great place for a day trip out of Tokyo, and a must-see for tourists. There are beautiful gardens and fascinating cultural areas like Yokohama Chinatown, all right on Tokyo Bay, with the refreshing breeze blowing in off the water. If you're looking for the best souvenirs from Japan, though, Yokohama has some highly recommended shopping malls. Forget the cramped and crowded shops of Tokyo! Spend a day in JOINUS Yokohama, Yokohama's biggest mall, attached right to Yokohama Station, and the huge variety of stores and restaurants will have you wondering why you bothered anywhere else in the first place.
Get Your Shopping Done First Thing, at JOINUS

JOINUS Offers Easy Access and Great Variety

The Best Spots for Japanese Souvenirs at JOINUS
The huge mall has plenty of popular shops, selling everything from high-end and fast fashion to beauty products, and even groceries. Muji? Gap? Diesel? Sure, you'll find them in JOINUS. But this time we went on a search for stores selling what you might call ~variety goods~, the kind of Japanese items that make perfect gifts and souvenirs for everyone from your parents to your best friend. We found fun items of all kinds, both decorative and useful, all with a little Japanese flavor!

① Loverary

This shop's name comes from a mix between "love" and "library", and you'll find a variety of lovely items and a few interesting books inside. Loverary comes from German brand Feiler, and the goods available have an atmosphere somewhere between European fairytale and Japanese kawaii culture.
  • There are 6 locations across Japan, each with a differently themed interior. This one echoes the brand name with an appropriate "library" concept. Just walking in feels a little nostalgic.
  • The shop is known for its handkerchief-sized towels, the perfect size for a washcloth. You might lean more towards hanging the towels on your wall, though. They have unique designs woven right into the pile, featuring everything from elegant flowers to adorable animals. If you want some Japanese souvenirs that are good for just about anyone, grab a few of the Loverary towels with Japanese cultural icons on them. Some of those designs include sumo wrestlers, Harajuku crepes, and the sea off the coast of Yokohama!
  • Made with the same towel material, and the same unique designs, are a variety of pouches and bags. 
  • Whether you want all your things to match, or you just want to see ladies surfing on a sea of glitter every time you pick up your phone, they've got you covered.
  • Since the brand specializes in handkerchief towels, made to be gentle on the skin, it makes sense that they also make some high-quality baby products. The 100% cotton material of the bibs and blankets keeps baby comfortable and happy, while the cute designs cheer up anybody looking on.
  • As a gift shop, they go above and beyond with packaging. It's hard not to be charmed by the little book-shaped gift boxes! (Although you do have to pay a little extra for some of the gift wrapping.)
Loverary
JOINUS - 3rd Floor
10:00 - 21:00
Official Website (jp)

② Francfranc

  • Between the cozy housewares, cute kitchen items, and seasonal goods, popular brand Francfranc is an indispensable part of any souvenir or gift shopping trip.
  • If you're traveling in Japan during the summer, you know the heat can get heavy, and the lack of breeze really makes a difference. So get yourself a little portable fan, and you'll be cool as a cucumber. Set up the USB charging stand in your hotel room, then grab the fan on your way out every day. It comes with multiple wind speeds, and in multiple colors, too.

    Price: 1,980 yen
  • Their dishware selection is extensive. Just make sure you wrap your new dishes well if they're going in your suitcase!
  • Saving the best for last, our favorite items were these bunny rice scoops. Most Western households might not have a rice spatula handy, but they're pretty useful when serving rice, so why not gift yourself the cutest one of all?

    Price: 1,058 yen
Francfranc
JOINUS - 3rd Floor
10:00 - 21:00
Official Website (jp)

③ 3 Coins

  • Looking for some more affordable souvenirs? A little piece of Japan you can share with all your friends and acquaintances? You'll probably find something at 3 Coins.

    The store is a little bit like the more internationally popular Daiso (which sells things at 100 yen), but you use, well, three coins at 3 Coins, meaning things are 300 yen each. The slightly higher price point results in a pretty big bump in quality, and you'll be amazed at what you can find for 300 yen. Don't worry if you end up filling your shopping basket to the tippy top with things for friends, and some things for yourself. We understand. (A small number of their products are sold at a higher price, so do keep an eye out.)
  • The JOINUS 3 Coins is a pretty good place to get seasonal items, and they always have something new. When we visited this time, the summer theme was "fast food."
  • In Japan, you see so many practical items for reasonable prices, it's hard not to stuff more into a packed suitcase. This is a hanging laundry net for drying knit items!
  • Don't get stuck taking lackluster selfies while you're on vacation! Pick up a smartphone ring light.
  • All these accessories? Yeah, you better believe they're just 300 yen each!
3 Coins
JOINUS - Basement Floor
10:00 - 21:00
Official Website (jp)
Off The Beaten Track Yokohama Sightseeing
Got all your shopping done? We recommend you spend the morning at JOINUS, and then grab some lunch there, to avoid some of the startling AM sunlight while you're wandering Yokohama. Once you're ready to hit the streets, though, we've got a plan for the rest of the day! It's time to see the city.

① Yokohama Water Bus, the "Sea Bass"

  • Cross back through Yokohama Station, from JOINUS at the west exit back towards the east exit, and you'll find the water bus station. It runs from the station to Yamashita Park, and it's a pretty unique way to get around Yokohama!
  • The water bus is a great way to save time seeing the sights all over Yokohama, moving you from the station to spots like Minato Mirai and the Akarenga (赤レンガ, Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse) in a flash. Plus, your transportation time becomes an attraction in and of itself, with the up close and personal views of the bay rushing by.
  • The water bus makes four stops: Yokohama Station East Exit (横浜駅東口) ー Minato Mirai (みなとみらい) ー Pier Akarenga (ピア赤レンガ) ー Yamashita Park (山下公園). Ticket vary in price, depending on where you get on and off, but they're generally between 350 and 700 yen. Not bad for a little cruise along Tokyo Bay!

    Scroll down to the "Sea Bass" section of this PDF for schedules, prices, and other details.

② Yokohama English Garden

  • Spend your day surrounded by flowers in Yokohama's English Garden. The green space has an elegantly overgrown secret garden feel to it, with the leaves and colorful flower petals lending the place a wild beauty. Thanks to the 10+ staff who tend the garden daily, the plants are always thriving.
  • With Yokohama's city flower being the rose, it's no surprise that roses feature heavily in the garden. Even so, the whopping 1,800 types of rose you'll find in the Yokohama English garden are still impressive! Thanks to the variety, roses bloom around the garden essentially year-round, but the best time to see them is in the early summer or late fall.
  • Early summer is also when you'll see Yokohama's hydrangeas in full bloom, bringing pops of blue and lavender to the garden.
  • You can't eat inside the Yokohama English Garden, but you shouldn't miss the garden cafe right outside of the entrance. Stop in and you'll find delicately fragrant rose ice cream, decorated with real violets.
Yokohama English Garden
6-1 Nishihiranumacho, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa
10:00 - 18:00
Admission varies season to season.
Official Website (jp)

③ Yokohama Chinatown

  • Not sure where to grab dinner in Yokohama after a full day of shopping and sightseeing? Our recommendation will always be Yokohama Chinatown, which we've gushed about before. The lively and unique atmosphere makes Chinatown an attraction in itself, and it's home to some spectacular food at a variety of price points.

    If you want to take the Sea Bass water bus over, disembark at Yamashita Park (山下公園) and walk on over.

A Full Day in Yokohama

  • With the sun beating down this summer, we'd definitely recommend a day at the mall. You can take shelter in the cool halls of JOINUS, get some good shopping done, and then venture back out into Yokohama for an afternoon of sightseeing. Feel the breeze as you float on Tokyo Bay, stroll the shady paths of the English Garden, and then admire the glowing lanterns of Chinatown once the sun sets. We had a great time exploring Yokohama, without wearing ourselves out, and we bet you will too.


     

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