Yokohama Chinatown – 横浜中華街
There are three big Chinatowns in Japan: one in Nagasaki, one in Kōbe and then the biggest, in Yokohama. Today we are going to talk right about Yokohama’s Chinatown!
What’s special about Yokohama China Town?
Yokohama’s Chinatown is the biggest one in Japan, but it is actually the biggest in Asia. Even if it is a Chinatown (a commercial district built from Chinese immigrants), it seems that there are not many Chinese people leaving here nowadays. Many signs of Chinese culture are still visible, like the entrance gates. The Chinese who visit this district feel like they are home.
In Chinatown’s very heart you can find Kantei-byō temple: here the famous warrior of the three kingdoms Guān Yǔ, or Kantei, is worshipped (he’s also called Kanseiteikun and Kanteseikun). Still, people come here to pray for business prosperity too.
In Yokohama’s Chinatown many events are held during the year. The most important is Shunsetsu no o-matsuri, the Chinese New Year celebration, held according on the ancient calendar. During this period Chinatown is more crowded than usual.
For details about Chinatown’s events check the official website（http://www.chinatown.or.jp/）
How to reach the Chinatown
There are many ways to reach Yokohama’s Chinatown.
We advise you to travel on the Seibu Ikebukuro, Tōbu Tōjō, and Fukutoshin lines (direct way), and from Shinjuku and Shibuya’s stations. From Spring 2013 the Fukutoshin line is linked to the Tōbu Tōjō line. You don’t need to transfer on other lines to get to Minato Mirai line’s last stop, Motomachi-Chūkagai Station.
From Yokohama station, the ticket costs 200 yen and the journey takes about 10 minutes long.
You reach Chinatown by foot immediately out of Motomachi-Chūkagai station.
From Saitama, Kawaguchi cities (in Saitama prefecture) and from Ueno, Tōkyō, Shimbashi (in Tōkyō metropolitan area), travelling on the Keihin Tōhoku line is comfortable. Trains running on this line pass through Yokohama station and take you to Ishikawa-chō Station. Once you exit the station you can take a short walk to Chinatown.
If you are coming from Western Japan, once you got to Shin-Yokohama Station by Shinkansen you have to transfer on the Yokohama line, heading to Ishikawa-chō station like on route 2.
By plane, landing at Narita airport, you can reach Yokohama on the convenient Narita Express in about 2 hours, or in about 2 hours and a half if you decide to travel on the Yokosuka Line: you’ll have to transfer at Yokohama Station for the Minato Mirai or Keihin Tōhoku lines.
Yokohama’s Chinatown is close to the ultra-modern Yokohama Minato Mirai 21 district.
I walked from Minato Mirai station. At Chinatown’s entrance there is a huge gate which, after passing it over, makes you feel involved into Chinese atmosphere. It’s a strange feeling I had never experienced in Japan before.
The streets are crowded, since this is a very tourist spot. There are many restaurants appreciated from gourmet lovers, some of them have a long waiting queue.
The food was delicious also in the restaurant where I had lunch! At lunchtime there’s plenty of choice and offers, I advise you to try! Besides restaurants, you can find many souvenir shops and massage centers along the streets.
Among the events hosted in daytime, you can see dancing and musical exhibitions. In these occasions, many reporters come from abroad.
Overall it had been a very lively day!