Tokyobling's Blog

Yokohama Chinatown

Posted in Places by tokyobling on January 12, 2014

Being so close to China it is no mystery that Japan would have a few well developed Chinatowns and the one in Yokoahma, the Chukagai, is the biggest of all of them. The history of Yokohama Chinatown starts in 1859 when some Japanese ports were opened for trading with foreign countries. Many Chinese traders settled in the parts of Yokohama that were designated as zones for foreign residents in Japan, and they built schools and factories in these areas. Even today the area between Chinatown and Motomachi are home to many consulates, ambassador’s residents, foreign churches and a famous foreigner’s cemetery.

Yokohama Chinatown’s prosperity was hampered by the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and the war in 1937, but it picked back up after the war and grew steadily until the big growth in the 1970s when diplomatic relations with China improved and again in 2004 when the Minatomirai Line gave the area a dedicated subway station. Today there are a few thousand Chinese living in the area. There’s much more to say about Chinese history in Japan and the history of Chinatown but I am saving that for a post for the coming week!

There are four main gates into the area and in the first few photos you can see one of them. Chinatown spills out beyond the gates but once you pass one you can be sure you are inside the Chukagai. The area is very popular with tourists, both Japanese and foreign and the streets are very lively, especially here in Yokohama which is even quieter than Tokyo.

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7 Responses

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  1. michaelbencik said, on January 12, 2014 at 5:26 am

    Great pictures.

    Like

  2. LifeOfCreed2013 said, on January 12, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Great post! One of my favorite places to visit! Think Chinatown may be on my list for this week.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on January 29, 2014 at 4:45 am

      Thank you for the kind comment! I love Chinatown too. Did you go?

      Like

      • LifeOfCreed2013 said, on January 29, 2014 at 4:48 am

        You are welcome! I did not make it when I first posted. But I will be there Friday for sure.

        Like

  3. Dina Farmer said, on January 13, 2014 at 6:03 am

    I just read another post about Yokohama Chinatown! If we ever return to Japan this is somewhere near the top of my list.

    Like


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