I really recommend going... Yokohama may not have the "wow" factor of a Shibuya or a Shinjuku, but what they've done with the waterfront is really spectacular, especially if you're a fan of urban planning / design. I went on a Saturday and started out really early in the morning at Yokohama Station after having a sushi breakfast in Tsukiji, and spent the whole day working my way south to Motomachi (high-end shopping district) and Chūkagai (Chinatown).
Some of the places I especially recommend visiting:
- Landmark Tower: Even if you're already going to the Sky Tree or Roppongi Hills / Mori Tower, I would still recommend a visit to the Landmark Tower, as you get a different perspective on the metropolis… You get to see central Tōkyō from 30 km away and can appreciate just how vast the place is, with all the "suburban" skyscraper clusters in Musashi Kosugi, central Kawasaki, Kami-Ōoka, etc. The development just goes on and on, in all directions. You can also see how Tōkyō deals with much of its heavy industry—massive refineries, power plants, and incinerators built out on island fill in Tōkyō Bay and Yokohama Bay.
- Minato Mirai: This is the large waterfront redevelopment district with the Landmark Tower and all the other towers… Together with Shiodome, probably one of the better examples in Japan of an all-new master-planned skyscraper district, maximizing development potential (fat towers) while retaining a completely walkable environment. If you’re into transit or urban design, there’s portions of old freight ROW that have been converted to pedestrian use and there’s the Minato Mirai Line, one of the most expensive of Japan’s new rail lines (¥60 billion per km), but with some distinctive stations. There’s also a Cup Noodle Museum here, if you’re into specialty / funky museums.
- Ōsanbashi Pier: The international cruise terminal for Yokohama and Tōkyō (the building with the green roof and wood-plank flooring). Looks relatively modest at first glance, but the terminal roof is open to the public. The roof itself undulates, and you can get some interesting perspectives of the Minato Mirai skyline. A nice place to just sit and enjoy a few stress-free moments away from the constant buzz of activity you’re normally subjected to in Tōkyō.
Anyways, I recommend going on a weekend… It gets much busier, and you’re probably more likely to catch some random events going on. I was pretty lucky when I visited and caught that large communal lunch at the Aka-Renga Sōko (Red Brick Warehouses), the Blue Impulse flying overhead, and the African Festival in Yamashita Park.