Yokohama Chinatown

Yokohama Chinatown
Yokohama Chinatown's Goodwill Gate
Yokohama Chinatown's East Gate
Kwan Tai Temple in Yokohama Chinatown

Yokohama Chinatown (Japanese: 横浜中華街, yokohama chūkagai; Simplified Chinese: 横滨中华街; Traditional Chinese: 横濱中華街; Pinyin: Hèngbīn Zhōnghuá Jiē; Cantonese Jyutping: Waang4 ban1 zung1 waa4 gaai1) is located in Yokohama, Japan, which is located just south of Tokyo. Its history is about 150 years long. Today only a few Chinese people still live in Chinatown, but it has a population of about 3,000 to 4,000. Most of the residents are from Guangzhou (Canton) but many come from other regions.

Yokohama Chinatown is the largest Chinatown not only in Japan but also in Asia (larger than Chinatowns in both Kobe and Nagasaki) and it is one of the largest in the world. There are roughly 250 chinese-owned/themed shops and restaurants scattered throughout the district, with the highest concentration centered around a 300 square metre area.



In 1859, when the sea port opened in Yokohama, many Chinese immigrants arrived in Japan and formed settlements. Later, ferry services between Yokohama and Shanghai and Hong Kong were started. Many Chinese traders came to Japan and built a Chinese School, Chinese Community Center, and various other facilities in what represented the beginning of Chinatown. However, government regulations at the time meant that immigrants were not permitted to live outside of the designated foreign settlement area. In 1899, changing laws gave Chinese increased freedom of movement while reinforcing strict rules on the types of work Chinese people were allowed to carry out.

In 1923, the Kanto Area was devastated by the Great Kanto Earthquake. Around 100,000 people were killed and approximately 1.9 million people became homeless. Chinatown also suffered and with many immigrants choosing to return to China instead of rebuilding their livelihoods in Yokohama.

In 1937, full-scale war between China and Japan erupted, effectively stopping further growth of Chinatown.

After the war ended, Chinatown once again began to grow. In 1955, a goodwill big gate was built. That is when the Chinatown was officially recognized and called Yokohama Chukagai (Yokohama Chinatown).

In 1972, Japan established diplomatic relations with People's Republic of China, and severed relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan and interest amongst Japanese people grew leading to an explosion in the number of visitors to Chinatown with it becoming a major sightseeing spot in Yokohama.

On February 1, 2004, the Minatomirai Line railway was opened including the Motomachi-Chūkagai Station station, which serves Chinatown directly.


Chinatown can be reached by train, bus, seabus and car.



There are 6 bus routes from Yokohama Station East bus depot and from Sakuragichō Bus Depot, 16 bus routes that go to Yokohama Chinatown.


  • Seabus (Ferry)


  • Shuto Expressway K1 Yokohane Route, Yokohama Kōen (Yokohama Park) Exit
  • Shuto Expressway K3 Kariba Route. (At Tomei Expressway Intersection, go Hodogaya Bypass then exit at Shin Yamashita.)
  • Shuto Expressway Wangan Line (Via Tokyo Bay Aqua Line Tunnel, Exit at Shin Yamashita.)
  • Tomei Expressway (Via Hodogaya Bypass)

See also

External links

Coordinates: 35°26′34″N 139°38′45″E / 35.442815°N 139.645929°E / 35.442815; 139.645929

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