Yokohama is the largest city in Japan and it is known as Japan’s prominent port city following the end of Japan’s isolation in the mid-19th century.
And in the late 1800’s, Japan’s trade with the Chinese would lead to many settling in the city as ferry services from Yokohama to Shanghai and Hong Kong were established.
Chinese traders would come to Japan and develop a Chinese school and community center, as well as other facilities for its large population of Chinese and Chinatown was born.
But because of government regulations, immigrants were not permitted to live outside of the designated foreign settlement area, the area would feature a huge population of Chinese.
Until the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, around 100,000 people were killed and 1.9 million people become homeless. Chinatown would lead to many returning back to China and during heated escalations between Japan and China, the growth of Chinatown was put at a halt.
In 1955, a large goodwill gate was created and Chinatown would be recognized as Yokohama Chinatown.
And in 1972, the location would grow in visitors and became a major hotspot in Yokohama.
For those going to Yokohama, it’s definitely a location that should be on one’s bucketlist.
Not only is it as crowded as Takeshita Street in Harajuku, perhaps the largest crowd I have ever seen was around January of 1999. The crowd was amazing to see and it was not even Chinese New Year yet.
By 2004, the location would add Minatomirai Line and Motomachi-Chukagai Station, not only to bring people to the Minato Mirai area but also for people to travel and get to Chinatown much easier (as before it was a long walk to get to the location).
But Yokohama Chinatown had it’s charm then, as it does now and it’s a wonderful sight to see and also a great place to shop and dine at.
If you are in Yokohama, it’s a place I definitely recommend visiting!