China Town in Yokohama
If you mention the cuisine of Yokohama, it is impossible not to mention the Chinatown. After the opening of Yokohama port, many Chinese came to Japan from many localities of China, the largest of which was from Guangdong and has since formed this neighborhood. So in today's article, I am going to introduce my experience when coming to Chinatown in Yokohama!
Yokohama which is a port city located about 30 minutes southwest of Tokyo by train, and is the industrial center of Japan. Yokohama Chinese Street (横 浜 中華 街, Yokohama chūkagai) is located in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan. This area has a history of more than 160 years. Yokohama Chinese Street is the largest Chinatown in Japan (bigger than the Chinatown in both Kobe and Nagasaki) and it is one of Asia's largest Chinatowns.
Officially recognized as the "Yokohama Chinese Town" in 1955, visitors have to go through one of the five Chinese gates which are designed based on the style's water philosophy, consisting of four gates named after the four directions and a gate of goodwill.
- The East Gate (Choyo-mon) is protected by dragon fruit to bring prosperity.
- The South Gate (Suzaku-mon) is associated with the the Luck.
- The North Gate (Genbu-mon) is related to the dance, symbolizing longevity.
- The Western Gate (Enpei-mon) honors the white tiger and brings eternal peace.
- The final one which is Hao (Zenrin-mon), the symbol of Chinatown with a bright red color, symbolizes kindness and a kind heart.
There are about 300 Chinese-owned shops and restaurants scattered throughout this area of 500 square meters with the most concentration. When entering Yokohama Chinatown, you will surely ask yourself whether you are really in China or not when you visit here? In addition, you will be able to encounter many foreign customers from China, Taiwan, South Korea, European countries, Vietnam ... The staff at the stores who are very friendly and enthusiastic guides for food. While walking down the street, I was about to visit a bubble milk tea shop and was consulted in Chinese very enthusiastically because the staff mistook me as Chinese. ^ _ ^
China Town where is a vibrant place for you to visit and look for anything from China, such as food, clothing or souvenirs. However, the main attraction of downtown Yokohama is the cuisine at the restaurants and stalls. Favorite dishes which including steamed dumplings (Manju), gyoza dumplings, ramen noodles, and many other Chinese dishes are on display. You will see the familiar scenery of the long lines that diners come to wait in front of the bar to enjoy delicious food.
From street food stalls to popular restaurants, Chinatown will make you unable to resist your appetite. Steamed dumplings with a variety of fillings such as savory meat, leeks, mustard greens or sesame paste are especially popular to enjoy the food at the stores. The most prominent in Chinatown is the restaurant that you can eat as much as you like, buffet and dimsum, so make sure you come here when you are hungry!
That day I waited in line for a long time to wait for my turn to buy Dimsum (steamed pork chop and dumplings with shrimp) for 980 yen / 1 part for 6 pieces. However, that Dimsum dish did not disappoint me because it tastes very good when tried, the feeling of dissolution in the mouth, hot and very fresh. There is another secret that I have heard that many of them have been Japaneseized to some degree to suit the taste of the locals.
In addition, traditional Chinese clothing (qipao or cheongsam) is a beautiful keepsake that you can hardly find anywhere else in Japan. I've seen traditional Chinese clothing many times through books and media, but this is the first time I've seen it in reality in Chinatown. The colorful costumes are very beautiful and Chinese style.
Chinatown is also home to an amazing variety of Chinese ingredients, medicines, teas, and wines. There are also fortune-telling, divination, and astrological viewing counters and have become an extremely popular destination for young people who want to see fortunes.
If you have the opportunity to Japan, be sure to visit the Chinatown in Yokohama! Surely the interesting things here will not disappoint you.
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