Date & Time: Saturday, August 12, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Visitors: 12 Australians in their 70s, who are passengers from the cruise ship “Spectrum of the Seas”
Spots: Yokohama Marine Tower, Yokohama Hammerhead pier, and Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
Attendants: Four KSGG members
Report by Akiko
I took 12 senior cruise ship passengers on sightseeing tour in Yokohama.
To avoid heat, I selected three locations: Yokohama Marine Tower, Yokohama Hammerhead*, where they could have ramen they requested for lunch, and Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse as our destinations, and we took “Akai Kutsu,” a retro-style sightseeing tour bus, by using “Minato Burari Ticket,” a one-day pass for unlimited rides within the designated area.
The visitors were Chinese descents residing in Australia, with their ethnic background from Hongkong, Taiwan, and Malaysia. While they communicated with us in English, they conversed with each other in Chinese.
They were incredibly open and friendly from the moment I met them at the bus terminal at Yamashita Pier, which eased our tension.
One thing I found regrettable was the coordinator and his wife, with whom I had been contacted to arrange today’s schedule, were suddenly unable to join this event due to some urgent reasons. They said that the couple was very disappointed not to be able to attend this tour.
First, the visitors walked to Yokohama Marin Tower. They took a group photo in front of the mosaic mural fresco created by Kiyoshi Yamashita, a famous Japanese painter, which located at the back of the entrance. After that, I provided a brief history about the opening of Yokohama Port, Yokohama’s Three Towers, and so on. Then, everyone climbed up to the tower’s observation deck and enjoyed the spectacular view from it. Pointing their finger at their cruise ship “Spectrum of the Seas” anchored at Daikoku Pier over the Bay Bridge, they enjoyed lively conversation each other.
After spending about 30 minutes at the observation deck, we got on the “Akai Kutsu” bus and headed directly to Yokohama Hammerhead pier.
At Hammerhead, we all went up to the second floor, stepped out onto the deck, and took group photos with the Port of Yokohama Hammerhead Crane in the background. I explained the history of Hammerhead pier and significance of the Crane. Then, they had ramen, which they had been looking forward to having for lunch, at Hammerhead’s “Ramen Food Hall.” Everyone commented “Japanese ramen is so delicious.”
We also reached our final destination, Red Brick Warehouse, using the “Akai Kutsu” bus. This area was for the venue for Pokemon World Convention, so it was bustling with people. One of the visitors took photos of large outdoor Pikachu balloon as a souvenir for her grandkids.
On the way back on the bus, one of the visitors who loves Karaoke, sang some of his favorite karaoke songs in a low voice. Our tour had been lively and full of conversation.
When it was time to say good-bye, the visitors kindly presented us lovely cloth towels featuring Australian pattern as a token of their appreciation. We took many photos together and missed each other until 3 p.m. when their shuttle bus to Daikoku Pier departed. The Australians had a big smile on their faces, we, the guides, also had a truly heartwarming experience with them.
After the tour, they sent us the following thank-you text messaging via WhatsApp.
“Miyako, Toyo, Akiko & Katsumi thank you for your excellent guidance and above all your cheerfulness made the tour very enjoyable. If any of you visit Melbourne, please contact me. Look forward to see you in Melbourne. Goodbye for now.”
*Yokohama Hammerhead : a commercial facility adjacent to the Port of Yokohama Hammerhead Crane, a historically valuable structure and a certified industrial relic by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan.