If you want some great Chinese food and you live near Kansai, then there’s no better place to get them than in Nankinmachi.
Nankinmachi is Kobe’s Chinatown and the center of the Chinese community in Kansai Region. The area was developed by Chinese merchants who settled near Kobe Port and after the port was opened to foreign trade in 1868, the Chinatown was developed and became known as Nankinmachi.
It is considered to be one of Japan’s 3rd largest Chinatown – along with Yokohama’s Chukagai (Chinatown) and Nagasaki’s Shinchi Chukagai. However, compared to Yokohama’s Chinatown, Kobe’s Nankinmachi is fairly compact and small. It consists of about 100 shops crowded into an area of about 200 meters (656 ft.) from east to west and 100 meters (328 ft) from north to south. So despite stopping various shops to grab a bite for your stroll, 1-2 hours should be sufficient time to enjoy yourselves.
The area is packed with Chinese restaurants, souvenirs shops and food stands that sell items such as steamed buns, ramen, drinks, etc. – This place won’t disappoint you, just name all the Chinese dishes you want to eat and you can try it from this place. That’s why this place is quite popular for locals and tourists all over the world.
It is recommended to visit Nankinmanchi on a weekday if you can, as the weekends are often manic. The crowded streets are packed with both Japanese visitors and local Chinese residents looking for a taste of home. Festivals and performances are held in the center square throughout the year including the mid-autumn festival in September and of course Chinese New year happen in late January or early February.
Also, this place offers attractions like the Mosaic shopping mall, Kobe Port Tower, and the Kobe Maritime Museum. For younger visitors, there’s also the Ferris wheel and every Japanese child’s dream location, the museum of Anpanman! – Not just that, Nankinmachi is also close to places like Harborland and the Bay Area, a perfect spot where you can do sightseeing in a short amount of time and also experience a different side of the city. If you’re going to check out Kobe, you should definitely drop at Nankinmachi.
Nankinmachi’s location is a little south of Kobe’ Motomachi Station, you can take either the JR or Hanshin Line to Motomachi Station (One stop from Sannomiya). From the exit, head east and you will reach Nankinmachi in less than 10 minutes.
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