The fog horn sounded throughout the night so it wasn’t a big surprise when the captain came on the PA to announce that our arrival in Yokohama would be delayed by three hours. We had no big plans, but this doubtless caused some anxiety for our fellow passengers with morning flights home.
When we got off the ship we went through the immigration process again, submitting customs cards and getting finger printed. We had left Japan to visit Taiwan and Korea on the last cruise and will be going through this routine again on the next visit to Yokohama as wells since there will be a stop in Russia. We lingered in the embarkation lounge and indulged in some mega downloading with the free internet provided. It was lightening fast when we started, but got slower and slower as more passengers and crew joined us. We early birds got the worm.
Then we took a lengthy walk around the harbor area. The cruise ship dock is in a pretty part of town with parks, restaurants, and shopping nearby. We expected things to be pretty quiet on a Monday, but school is obviously over for the younger kids and many families joined us in enjoying the shoreline.
While we weren't interested in the roller coasters at a nearby amusement park, we enjoyed the ferris wheel, which offered great views. Yokohama has some attractive skyscrapers; one is the tallest building in Japan. From the top we could see what looked like a giant department store, but as often happens here, we discovered our impression was wrong once we went inside. What must have once been a collection of food stalls and little shops had been gathered under one air conditioned roof. Each tiny shop had its own staff and there was little in the way of overall organization. We were struck by how many people were working here as compared to a similar retail opportunity at home.
I had wanted to visit the ramen noodle museum, but it was too far away to walk to. I was surprised that there was also a “Cup of Noodles” museum near the ship. It was built to honor the father of instant ramen, Momofuko Ando. If we had gotten there earlier, we could have taken the factory tour which involved creating your own custom cup of ramen noodles and decorating the outside - we did something similar in Hershey PA when we created our own chocolate bars. It looked like fun in a mystifying sort of way since there was little explanation in English. Perhaps we can give it a try on our next turn around in Yokohama in nine days.