Chinese are the largest foreign minority in Japan. Having a history that goes a long way back, it’s unsurprising that there are a number of Chinatown in Japan – all of which are mostly located in port cities like Yokohama, Nagasaki, and Kobe and seeing how they vary is part of the fun of visiting! If you arrive at Yokohama Chinatown, expect that you might be a little surprised as it is different from any other Chinatown in Japan, since it has its own unique charm and strong Chinese cultural representation – it is also Japan’s largest Chinatown. The area is densely packed with at least 300 Chinese shops and restaurants, so bring your appetite and leave plenty of time for your visit. This Chinatown has about 3,000-4,000 residents, most of which are not newly arrived immigrants but their descendants, so please be aware that not all of them can speak Chinese.
Explore and walk down the streets of Chinatown, where you will surely you’ll find yourself surrounded by red, red, red! The color symbolizes good fortune in Chinese culture, so of course, local shopkeepers and decision-makers utilize the color all over the place. It also makes for a cheerful time walking down all the little alleys that branch out around the area.
During night time, the lantern-shaped streetlights filled the streets! They provide a nice warm glow as well, but the atmosphere feels totally different. It becomes a great place for a photo shoot.
We strongly recommend that you should try out the street foods! You’ll find various kinds of street food all over Yokohama Chinatown, and an interesting variety at that. Without even sitting down to eat, you’ll find all sorts of treats from steamed buns to dishes made with king crab. The most popular street food, though, is without a doubt the ubiquitous xiao long bao, or soup dumpling! You’ll find plenty of the standard steamed variety, along with the more unusual pan-fried dumplings, with crispy skin and a juicy interior. We got ours at HoTenKak, where you’ll see a line of customers most days, eagerly anticipating the steamy snack.
Yokohama is also a beautiful port city, it comes with great parks along the water, the lovely sea breeze blowing into the city, and undeniably romantic views at night, Yokohama has long been a popular date spot for locals. Tokyoites flock to the area on the weekend, looking for a break from the city.
Whether you visit during mid-day or long past sundown, Chinatown’s a pretty fun place to spend a good chunk of time. Make it a full day by getting some souvenir shopping done first, eating some Japanese food for lunch, do some sightseeing and wander through Yokohama’s parks, and then finish the day off with a decadent meal of Chinese food in Chinatown. We bet you’ll have a great time!
After a tiring day of exploring Yokohama Chinatown, the next thing one would do is to acquire accommodation in the most convenient way possible. If you are looking for a fully furnished apartment with no key money, no deposit, and less paperwork, go to Kaguaruoo. It’s an online rental platform that lets you book easily. All transactions are done online. Less hassle compared to the typical renting process in Japan. This by far, has stirred the world of renting apartments in Japan, with its innovative feature and accessibility.
What are you waiting for? Click KaguAruoo now!
How to Get There
The closest station to Yokohama Chinatown is Motomachi-Chukagai (which stands for “original town – Chinatown”) on the Minatomirai Line. The Fukutoshin Line and Tokyu Toyoko Line are connected to it, so you can easily take a train to Chinatown from Ikebukuro or Shibuya. Ishikawacho Station on the Keihin-Tohoku Line is also a short walk away from Chinatown (train rides are just under 700 yen one-way). Chinatown has 4 main gates, each painted with a different color and representing a different season, and 6 smaller gates. The East Gate, Choyo-mon, is closest to Motomachi-Chukagai Station, while the West Gate, Enpei-mon, is closer to Ishikawacho.