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Region
Kanto
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Yokohama
Population
8,489,932

Yokohama Chinatown

If you can deal without the Great Wall or the Terracotta Army, then you can get on with your life knowing that there’s a not-so-little slice of China just half an hour away from Tokyo.

To the left: a woman handing out piping hot nikuman (meat buns) the size of a human head. To the right: customers eagerly walk into a gigantic panda’s mouth. No, you haven’t accidentally taken the red pill and ended up down a rabbit hole. You just happen to have stumbled upon the biggest Chinatown in Asia!

It’s hard to miss Yokohama’s Chinatown. Although when you’re walking from Motomachi-Chukagai, everything seems quite ordinary. Normal grey buildings and gleaming white konbinis (convenience stores) line the streets then suddenly color. Chinatown is a vivid concoction of red, blue and gold.

The air smells good enough to eat and the bubbly atmosphere is further animated by the cries of the street vendors.

To the left: a woman handing out piping hot nikuman (meat buns) the size of a human head. To the right: customers eagerly walk into a gigantic panda’s mouth. No, you haven’t accidentally taken the red pill and ended up down a rabbit hole. You just happen to have stumbled upon the biggest Chinatown in Asia! It’s hard to miss Yokohama’s Chinatown. Although when you’re walking from Motomachi-Chukagai, everything seems quite ordinary. Normal grey buildings and gleaming white konbinis line the streets then suddenly color. Chinatown is a vivid concoction of red, blue and gold. “The air smells good enough to eat and the bubbly atmosphere is further animated by the cries of the street vendors.” Of course, if you’ve followed your nose (or more accurately, your stomach) then you have one thing on your mind: food. Chinatown has an abundance of reasonably priced restaurants and street food. All-you-eat courses can be found from 1,500 - 4000 yen, usually with a 90 minute limit. That’s 90 minutes to stuff yourself with the some of the best Chinese food in the world. The street food is highly recommended, so if you’re not too pregnant from your main course, check out the shumai (pork dumplings), shouronbou (the Japanese term for xiaolongbao, steamed buns with soup inside) and fried sesame balls. There’s more to this wonderful place than just its cuisine. If you’re interested in traditional Chinese architecture then the town’s five large gates and two temples, Kanteibyo and Masobyo, are well worth visiting. Shops selling traditional clothing like the qipao, charms, lanterns, incense, medicine, spices and seasonings, jewelry and (most importantly) panda memorabilia are also easily found down one of the winding alleyways characteristic of the area. Festivals such as the Lunar New Year (January/February), Lantern Festival (the month after New Year) and Mid-Autumn Festival (September) are truly a sight to behold. Huge crowds of revelers are treated to lion dances, firecrackers, martial arts and acrobatic performances as well as traditional Chinese music.

The only difficulty is choosing where to eat.

Of course, if you’ve followed your nose (or more accurately, your stomach) then you have one thing on your mind: food.

Yokohama Chinatown has an abundance of reasonably priced restaurants and street food. All-you-eat courses can be found from 1,500 – 4000 yen, usually with a 90 minute limit. That’s 90 minutes to stuff yourself with the some of the best Chinese food in the world. The street food is highly recommended, so if you’re not too pregnant from your main course, check out the shumai (pork dumplings), shouronbou (the Japanese term for xiaolongbao, steamed buns with soup inside) and fried sesame balls.

Jade color fried rice with soup

The food is just as colorful as the architecture.

There’s more to this wonderful place than just its cuisine. If you’re interested in traditional Chinese architecture then the town’s five large gates and two temples, Kanteibyo and Masobyo, are well worth visiting. Shops selling traditional clothing like the qipao, charms, lanterns, incense, medicine, spices and seasonings, jewelry and (most importantly) panda memorabilia are also easily found down one of the winding alleyways characteristic of the area.

Festivals such as the Lunar New Year (January/February), Lantern Festival (the month after New Year) and Mid-Autumn Festival (September) are truly a sight to behold. Huge crowds of revelers are treated to lion dances, firecrackers, martial arts and acrobatic performances as well as traditional Chinese music.

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How To Get There

Address

231-0023, Japan

By train

From Shibuya station take the Tokyo-Toyoko Line to Motomachi-Chukagai Station (39 minutes, 480 yen) From Shinagawa station, you can take the Keihin-Tohoku Line to Ishikawachō Station (35 minutes, 470 yen)

If you’re already in Yokohama itself, you can take the Minatomirai Line to Motomachi-Chukagai (210 yen, 6 minute walk away), JR Negishi Line to Ishikawacho station (160 yen, 8 minute walk away) or Blue Line to Kannai (210 yen,12 minute walk away) from Yokohama station.

By bus

Although many buses run from Yokohama Station to Chinatown, the Akai Kutsu is a tourist-friendly bus service that runs between all of Yokohama’s main sightseeing spots, including Chinatown. The buses run as frequently as every 15 minutes and a one way fare costs ¥100. Alternatively, the Minato Burari ticket costs just ¥500 for a whole day’s worth of travel.

Where To Stay

Mielparque Yokohama
  • Naka-ku Yamashitacho 16 Yokohama-Shi, Kanagawa 231-0023
  • 8.2/10
  • 0.0 km
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Star Hotel Yokohama
  • Naka-ku Yamashitacho 11 Yokohama-Shi, Kanagawa 231-0023
  • 8.5/10
  • 0.2 km
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ESCALE-YOKOHAMA
  • Nakaku Yamashitacho 84 Yokohama-Shi, Kanagawa 231-0023
  • 7.3/10
  • 0.2 km
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Hotel New Grand
  • Naka-ku Yamashita-cho 10 231-8520
  • 8.9/10
  • 0.3 km
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