Yokohama (横浜), A Beautiful Port City
- 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.
On top of the great environment, the opening of Yokohama International Port in 1859 brought a flood of foreign cultures to the city, and that hasn't abated over the past 160 years. Wander around the city and you'll clearly see some of that international influence, making it even more fun to visit. If you want to tour the whole city, there's plenty to do, and you can find some pretty good food right beside Yokohama Station.
Exploring Japan's Largest Little China
- You'll find Chinatown areas all over the world, and seeing how they vary is part of the fun of visiting! If you arrive at the Yokohama Chinatown expecting the same atmosphere as the one in New York, or even the one in Bangkok, you might be a little surprised. As Japan's largest Chinatown, the area boasts strong Chinese cultural representation, but it has its own unique charm.
Considering the history of Yokohama Chinatown begins with a neighborhood formed by Chinese translators and interpreters going between Chinese and European officials after Yokohama Port's opening, it sure has grown!
Emperor Guan's Temple (關帝廟, Kanteibyo )
Guan Yu was an emperor from China's Three Kingdoms Period, respected for his integrity and bravery as a general, and his personal loyalty and righteousness. After his death, the man has been worshipped as a god (often referred to as Guan Gong), especially popular among Chinese migrants settling in other parts of the world. That's why this temple in Chinatown was built around a sculpture of Guan, becoming a cultural centerpoint for the community.
The Atmospheric Streets and Alleys
- Walk down the streets of Chinatown and 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 makes for a cheerful time walking down all the little alleys that branch out around the area.
At night the lantern-shaped street lights come on! They provide a nice warm glow as well, but the atmosphere feels totally different. It becomes a great place for a photo shoot.
- Tanghulu: Chinese candy-coated fruit skewers. Haw berries are traditional!
- Chinese dumplings.
- Traditional Chinese crafts and souvenirs.
We Recommend You Try Out the Street Food!
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.
HoTenKak (鵬天閣 新館)
Address: 192-15 Yamashitacho, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa
Hours: 11:00 - 22:00
- This set of six dumplings contains the two common fillings, pork and seafood (green).
- Watch the chefs at work.
Explore the Restaurant Scene
Head to Manchinro for Authentic Cantonese Cuisine
This strongly atmospheric restaurant specializes in Cantonese food, and a seating area with detailed woodwork interiors. A visit to Manchinro is a great chance to get into the traditional spirit, and order a bunch of dishes to share! From standard Chinese fare to luxe seafood dishes, they've got it all.
Address: 153 Yamashita-cho, Yokohama, Kanagawa
Hours: 11:00 - 22:00
Official Website (en)
- With interiors like this, there's no mistaking this Chinese restaurant for anything else!
- You're free to help yourself to iced Oolong tea or lemonade as soon as you walk in.
- You won't hear any CD tracks on repeat in this restaurant, the background erhu music is played live!
- Enjoying a nice pot of tea.
- This is the sign for "more hot water, please!" Try it out when you finish up the pot.
- When you're feeling fancy, try one of their spiny lobster dishes. Rock out with the rock lobster. (16,000 yen)
- Banbanji chicken, with a spicy sesame sauce.
- Some really magnificent sweet and sour shrimp.
The restaurant offers a variety of teas to sample along with the high-quality food, and upscale atmosphere. It's the kind of place you'd want to take your parents out to dinner! But we thought it delicious and welcoming enough that we'd want to just hang out with friends there, too, to sample some really good food. It's a nice way to finish off a long day in Yokohama, with a belly full of seafood and luxe teas.
The End of Our Day in Yokohama Chinatown