Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yokohama Chinatown

Yokohama Chinatown
basic information

Yokohama Chinatown (Yokohama Chukagai) is Japan's largest chinatown, located in central Yokohama.

Yokohama Chinatown quickly developed, after the port of Yokohama had been one of the first Japanese ports to be opened to foreign trade in 1859. It became the residence of the many Chinese traders who settled down in the city.

Today, a large number of Chinese stores and restaurants can be found in the narrow and colorful streets of Chinatown, while the number of actual residents has been decreasing.

Four colorful gates stand at the entrances to Chinatown, and five more gates can be found within. The Kanteibyo is a gaudily colored temple in the center of Chinatown. Constructed in 1873 by Chinese residents, it is dedicated to the Chinese god of good business and prosperity.

A recent addition to Yokohama Chinatown is Daska, promoting itself as a food theme park. Daska's theme is the Shanghai of the 1920s, and its main attraction are three floors of food stands, some operated by well-known restaurants from China and Japan, selling various Chinese dishes. English language information is rather limited.

Various events and festivals are held in Yokohama Chinatown, such as Chinese New Year around the beginning of February.

The steets of Chinatown

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