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att. Travel - Chinatown
att. Travel - Chinatown
You are here: att.JAPAN > Travel Guide > Chinatown
att.JAPAN Issue 44, January 2009

Yokohama Walking - Chinatown

When you look at a map of Yokohama, you will see that streets running through the Chinatown area, which is shaped like a trapezoid, are diagonal to other streets in the surrounding areas. The reason for this stems from the fact that during the initial period after Yokohama port was opened, the streets were used as footpaths between rice paddies (called Yokohama Shinden, or ‘new paddy fields’). The formation of the footpaths, which are now streets, remains untouched because it turned out to be fortunate according to the principles of Feng Shui. Pailou gates, the symbol of Chinatown, are also colored according to the principles of Feng Shui, with sacred animals placed by each gate as guardian deities to protect the town. The ten pailou gates are as follows: Choyo-Mon Gate (Azure Dragon of the East), Suzaku-Mon Gate (Vermillion Bird of the South), Enpei-Mon Gate (White Tiger of the West), Genbu-Mon Gate (Black Tortoise of the North), Zenrin-Mon Gate, Seiyo-Mon Gate, Tencho-Mon / Chikyu-Mon Gates (each on the East and West sides), and two Ichiba Dori-Mon Gates.

Once you step inside Yokohama’s Chinatown, you will begin to sense how the sounds, smells, atmosphere, and the energy of the people are different to those found in other areas of Yokohama. Thanks to the many Chinese restaurants found on the streets here, there is a rich smell of sweet and savory Chinese snacks and steamed meat buns. When events take place in Chinatown, the Chinese lion dance (called the Shishimai) parades through the town while people let off firecrackers. When celebrating the Lunar New Year, ‘lions visit each store along the street and grab red packets (containing money) in their mouths.

Monuments and plates created by Chinese artists have recently been displayed in Chinatown, and trees have been planted along the main street, which has been renovated with a universal design. One of the other unique spots here is ‘Senshutei,’ the first public toilet in Chinatown, which was constructed on the land vacated by the relocation of the Prefectural Building ten years ago. The Senshutei’s design was modeled on a traditional house in Suzhou, China, and as such does not resemble a typical public toilet.

Chinatown is a district full of the energy and liveliness of people. You can take a guided tour with Chinatown experts. For further information, see below.

NPO Yokohama City Guide Association
Minato Mirai 21 Clean Center 7F
1-1-56, Sakuragi-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama City,
Kanagawa Prefecture 231-0062
TEL & FAX:045-662-2560

Staff can be contacted at the office from 10:00 to 16:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
http://www.ycga.com/(Japanese)

http://www.ycga.com/English/index-e.html(English)

 Maps
Japan Railway Map PDF 414 KB
Yokohama Kannai PDF 273 KB
Yokohama MM21 PDF 207 KB
Yokohama Station PDF 135 KB
Yokohama Subway Map PDF 205 KB

 Links
Kanagawa Prefecture Tourist Information
Yokohama City
Yokohama City Tourist Information

 



You are here: att.JAPAN > Travel Guide > Chinatown

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