japan city trip

Japan Day 2 :: The Night Life.

Japan Ferrari

The sunlight of day 2 began peaking through the hotel curtains, like a kid on Christmas morning I was too excited to sleep in. This was our second day of the trip and the plan was simple… Do some exploring, catch a train to Yokohama and get our rental car. Easy!

The view out our window was a perfect snapshot of how densely populated most of Japan is. The buildings press up against one another like people in crowded lift, with dozens of air conditioner compressors thrown across the rooftops. We actually spotted plenty of rooftop gardens with their owners tending to them in the early hours.

Back on foot after we checked out of our first hotel, we wandered Ginza in search of food and treasure.

They hustle and bustle of Tokyo was all around with the sound of sirens constantly blaring.

There always seems to be something happening, we found two police cars and an ambulance outside this building.

Only a few hundred meters away from all the traffic and noise of the city was Hibiya Park, one of the smaller parks of Tokyo it was still a beautiful place to sit and rest.

With several flower gardens and two large ponds it was still rather large by Australian standards.

Benches!! We finally found bench seats!

Japan KittieJapan Cat

We also found some strange “free range” kitties running around the park. It seemed they would become a regular sight of our two week trip.

Within the park there was also large amphitheater too.

Across the road we found the king of monsters, Godzilla!!!

This amazingly detailed statue just happened to be outside a First Kitchen, so we decided to stop for breakfast.

First Kitchen is kind of like Macdonalds but better in a few subtle ways, it by no means is to be considered great food but the pancakes sure hit the spot!

After finishing our meal it was time to wander back to the train station.

Along the way we spotted all kinds of cool restaurants, this one was tucked away underneath the train tracks.

The warm glow from the lights from this restaurant was very inviting underneath the bridge, they certainly waste no space at all  here in Japan.

We walked back through some of the alleys of Ginza just to take in as much of the place as we could.

It wasn’t long till we were car spotting again, Ginza really seems to be the home of exotics and high end European cars. This California would have been our 4th or 5th Ferrari spotting in 24 hours.

Being our first trip to Japan I have to admit I was quite taken with all the tiny Kei cars and strange wagons. The Honda N-Box seemed to one of the most popular.

The council was busy all morning hanging up these banners from all the posts in the streets, it seemed everywhere was getting ready for some kind of festivities. With the Cherry Blossom/Sakura’s ready to bloom there really was a lot happening in all the towns.

One of the things we quickly noticed was the dedicated smoking areas around Tokyo, it seems it is very much frowned upon to walk and smoke at the same time.

After a surprisingly quick train ride we arrived in Yokohama and managed to pick up our rental car. The next step was finding our hotel. It was an easy find as it was the tallest building in Yokohama (2nd tallest in Japan!)

This thing was huge!!!!!!!!

After dropping off our bags we descended into the basement car park. Of our brief 15 minute drive in Japan this was possible the most daunting task. The car park was at least 3 levels deep and there was motion activated sirens at every blind corner to alert other drivers you were approaching.

Given the fact we couldn’t read the signs it was an intense few minutes. Once we relaxed to the soothing sound of car park music (Yep they were playing music throughout the car park!) we parked in the “whale section. (Yes they also distinguish the different areas with things like whales and grapes!). We parked up near this tough looking G Wagon.

The elevator propelled us to the 56th floor at an astonishing speed, lucky our breakfast was only small as it was rather sickening traveling so fast in a lift!

This was the largest hotel room of our entire stay, it was also surprisingly cheap compared to hotels back home. This room was less than $200aud for the night.

The view was awesome!! There was also a large window sill you could sit on so we spent most of our time with our noses against the glass.

Everyone looked like ants!!

After a few hours of staring darkness fell and the view changed dramatically.

Lights as far as the eye could see!!

We ventured out to get dinner and kill a few more hours, the amount of light coming from the Cosmo clock was insane!

This giant Ferris wheel is the worlds largest clock and we were amazed at all the different light patterns it had. Every hour it would perform a spectacular light show.

Now it was closer to 9pm we decided to go back and get the car, it was finally time to head to the holy grail of car meets… The Daikoku Futo parking area!!
Out in the middle of a man made island in the Yokohama harbor is a spiraling network of expressway ramps leading down to a public car park. Here a few food stores and shopping outlets welcome tired truck drivers to stop and rest.

Many years ago it was also the staging grounds for a lot of street racers to meet and scream off into the night, now with increased police activity it has become the go to place to see some of Japan’s best street cars.

The drive from our hotel was super short and after only 15 minutes we had arrived!! The experience of driving down the ramps leading into the parking area was breathtaking. I was truly speechless, the atmosphere had all the hairs on my body on end! The sounds of engines revving,  cars downshifting as they made their way into the car park was one of the greatest things I’ve ever experienced.

Check out our full coverage of the Daikoku Futo PA here.

Thanks for reading,

– Gwyn.