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August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, ...

World Porters & Cosmo World


World Porters is a memorable place to visit.   It's one of the first places young couples go to when they want to spend time together.     Everything here was designed with the young and the cute in mind, much like the entire area around World Porters.    It is the Disneyland of Yokohama.



The food court is noteworthy for a couple of reasons; there's  a Sumire Ramen, and a Korean Babimba restaurant.   The rest  are all typical fare found in any other outlet or shopping mall.    A lot of couple enjoy the boutiques and ice cream parlors, the themed goods shops.    The adults enjoy the international market where they can buy all sorts of European cheeses and wines.    Back when I first moved to Yokohama, a buddy of mine used to hang out with me down in the food court area.   We'd purchase a bottle of red wine that was imported from France or California.   The cashier would uncork it right there at the register, and then hand us both two plastic cups.    We'd spend the whole afternoon sipping away and eating these fancy cheeses from somewhere both he and I couldn't  even pronounce.   We were Yokohama(crate) for the day.    This was our hang out  during the hot summer  months.


For the elderly and health conscious  shopper there's an organic buffet on the top floor.   There is an excellent movie theater and game center, too.    There're several eclectic  restaurants and eateries on the top floor and ground floor.  Lots of parking and all conveniently located next to elevators and side entrances.     Nice building and lots of fun stuff to get into.    There's an Italian restaurant that has a nice view.  I took a date there once; instant home run.  



Most often when people leave the World Porters they head over to the amusement park just across the street.   There are game centers and little haunted shacks.   You could easily spend a whole afternoon here.  






       The usual carnival delights and games are all here.   I can't remember how to play any of these.


                                       The NBA HOOP....  I wasn't about to try.  




Minato Mirai was the greatest piece of property development to grace the Port of Yokohama.    It is like a  city within another city.   Some day-trippers will visit MM21 and then claim that they've actually seen Yokohama!    Most Japanese living outside of both Kanto and Kansai regions  will consider a trip down to Yokohama one of extravagance  and maybe even a once in a lifetime event.



   
Yokohama is an intersection of souls from all over Japan.   It is the most popular  place where people go to when they want to meet in Yokohama - the second largest city next to Tokyo.     Since it was first opened up by the Anglo navies, the city has blossomed into a vibrant trade and shipping port with a population of over 3,600,000 people, and growing.     The majority ethnic group is Chinese, but you wouldn't notice it much.



I need to stress the intersection of souls part,  since some would agree that the people here walk around in a world unto themselves, almost purposeless.    There is no prefectural  identity here like in most areas of Japan.    In other words, people in Yokohama do not express their love for the city, let alone the prefecture as a whole.   One example would be Osaka.  Osakan's are very 'Japanese' in that they love Osaka, and are not ashamed to show it.    Yokohama is desperately searching for something.

      
Sometimes the people here are -30 degrees cold, and other times they are warm and sociable, but only when they are heavily intoxicated, and then in some rare instances are very genuine and kind natured.     Yokohama is a place for the young actually, a veritable  NEETS paradise to be exact, with lots of places for them to loiter  around and do nothing all day.    There's  even a burgeoning homeless population ready to explode in a few years - young homeless.  


This isn't a place to go bananas exactly, like you could in Tokyo and Akihabara, but this area is truly the jewel of Yokohama.     There are older and  more historical places here, like the gaijin cemetery and the Western buildings along Yamate and Motomachi [ The Ginza of Yokohama ], which all represent Western decadence and white superiority.     I have no interest in visiting such places nor a Manor or some other Western embellishment for the sake of tourism, I am more interested in real creativity by the Japanese.    MM21 was built with that in mind.  



 Sometimes at night, the whole area is hauntingly desolate with a few cries of joy here and there.   This area was built for couples, like I said before, but the reality is that most couples are merely a couple of men or women ;  boys with boys, and girls with girls.    Here you see more men riding tandem with other men, than you do with men and women on motorbikes.     There is a sad lack of romance here, yet the area was designed for couples and families.  


Yet there is one piece of Western architecture I love, and one where I go frequently for some fairly decent grub.






Below are some additional links about the same area:


http://thesoulofjapan.blogspot.jp/2010/05/mm21-at-dusk.html


http://thesoulofjapan.blogspot.jp/2009/01/back-in-minato-mirai-yokohama-japan.html

http://thesoulofjapan.blogspot.jp/2009/11/view-from-68th-floor-lunch-with-god.html

http://thesoulofjapan.blogspot.jp/2008/10/landmark-tower.html

http://thesoulofjapan.blogspot.jp/2009/12/dark-grainy-ilford-3200-bw-yellow.html

http://thesoulofjapan.blogspot.jp/2009/12/yokohama.html

http://thesoulofjapan.blogspot.jp/2009/12/railroads-of-minato-mirai.html

1 comment:

  1. I saw a lot of chinese especially at last years..

    ReplyDelete

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