Enjoy the food culture of China
When it comes to enjoying Chinatown, it’s the sampling of the various types of Chinese dishes. But even in Chinese cuisine, depending on the areas in the vast country of China, the seasonings, ingredients and flavorings will differ. There is Cantonese cuisine with its heavy use of seafood due to the region’s warmth and proximity to the ocean, the spectacular Beijing cuisine based on the palace cuisine which included Peking Duck, the famed Shanghai cuisine with dishes like Shanghai Crab and soup dumplings, and the exciting Szechuan cuisine which makes use of various spices in dishes like Mabo Dofu. You can only experience this wide spectrum of Chinese cuisine in Chinatown. Plus, there is dim sum from its birthplaces of Hong Kong and Macau which is also extremely popular among the Japanese. Called tenshin, it’s a style of dining where you can enjoy drinking tea while eating light dishes such as noodles, congee and dumplings.It’s of course fun to enjoy a restaurant meal, but you can also enjoy eating on the run in Chinatown with foods like the popular meat buns and dumplings.
For people who are not satisfied enough with just eating, there is also a hands-on course in making meat buns and gyoza dumplings. At the Yoshu Hanten group of restaurants located in Yokohama Chinatown, you can make and eat your own meat buns and gyoza. Perhaps you can go back home and start making your own Chinese food?! After enjoying the food, you will want to go shopping in Chinatown. From Chinese ingredients that have been used since ancient times, there are many stores that deal in Chinese tea and liquor. Head on over to the stores dealing in products such as traditional Chinese clothing and antiques.
Learn about Chinese culture while strolling through Chinatown
In Chinatown, there are 10 gates that have been built in the traditional Chinese style. Back in ancient China, these were constructed so that the Emperor would not bring in any evil spirits when he entered his own palace. The gates were built in consideration of feng shui that is particular to the Chinese people who lived in tandem with nature. The Zenrinmon Gate on the main avenue is especially famous. As well, the Chinatown Kanteibyo and the Yokohama Mazu Temple are also must-see tourist spots. The Kanteibyo is a temple which is dedicated to the god of business prosperity and is also very popular as a power spot. Yokohama Mazu Temple is dedicated to the god of easy childbirth and matchmaking, and is also a power spot.
There are events all throughout the year in Chinatown, and you can learn about Chinese culture through these events. Among these, the regular New Year’s Day of January 1st and the Lunar New Year are both celebrated. The Spring Festival to celebrate the Lunar New Year is a famous event. The whole neighborhood gets into the spirit of the festival and a lot of tourists congregate in Chinatown. The festival lasts from mid-February to early March. On the eve of the festival on February 19th, a countdown takes place at both Chinatown Kanteibyo and Yokohama Mazu Temple. On the day of the festival itself amid the sound of firecrackers, the traditional lion dance enlivens the streets of Chinatown. It’s a precious experience that makes you wonder whether you have actually taken a trip to China. On February 28th, in addition to the lion dances, there is a parade featuring people wearing Imperial clothing, and on the final day, there is the Lantern Festival to close the festivities in which the written wishes of people are placed in shining lanterns among the lion dances. If coming to Japan in February and March, by all means, come to Yokohama Chinatown. You can check the homepage for information on every event. （To select language, go to the lower-right corner of the page）