A little taste of China not far from Tokyo
Getting information for toursit guides as well as websites, you might have noticed that Tokyo didn’t have its own real “Chinatown” like most of the big city around the world, and to a Chinese town, you’ll have to save some time (like 1hr for 1 way) to head to Yokohama. You’re maybe going to to say that the website is called Tokyo Incognito and not Yokohama Incognito, and you’re partly right, but what is important to know is that Yokohama has Asia’s biggest Chinatown, and is thus considered as Tokyo’s Chinatown also, does it make sense to you now ?!
As a classic tourist, when I heard of Yokohama Chinatown, I directly headed to the Yokohama station, thinking that I would just walk my way around and be lucky enough to just bump into it, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen this way. The thing is Yokahama is the Kanagawa prefecture’s capital city, and consists in 18 districts, almost as many as Tokyo, so after I walked for like 30 minutes under the July blazing sun, I finally realized I had to ask my way to find it, and I got blessed as I found an English-speaking Japanese who told me i had to catch a train to Motomachi-Chukagai (from the Shinagawa station, catch the Tokaido line to Yokohama, and then catch the Minotomirai line).
Once you get there, you’ll just have to walk a few steps to understand you made it the right way when you face one of the ten big gates that delimit the area of Chinatown. Once you pass under this gate, you’ll almost find yourself in China, colors and accent change, but unfortunately, the prices of goods and food remains the same. People sell hot chestnuts and other Chinese specialty, and other try to make you get in their restaurant, telling you that they are better than their neighbors, actually, there are so many restaurants it’s hard to make a decision especially if you were expecting to eat some Chinese snacks.
Walking along these big streets, you’ll probably end up at the Kantei-byo temple, a very beautiful temple that got rebuilt many times in the past hundred years; it has spiritual, cultural and social purposes and is one of the main places for the Chinese community to pray. It is dedicated to Guan-yu, the ancient god of war. Guan-yu is also known in Hong-Kong as business men’s god, so maybe he also gives luck to Chinatown inhabitants in their business…