Yokohama Chukagai is the largest Chinatown in Asia, and one of the largest in the world. When the seaport opened in Yokohama in 1859 a lot of Chinese people immigrated to Japan and settled here, building schools, shops, and restaurants. After the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, which killed over 100,000 people in the Kanto region, including some in the Chinese settlements, many of the Chinese settlers returned to China instead of rebuilding in Yokohama. After the China-Japan War in 1937, Chinese immigrants began to slowly move back to the area. The place exploded, and although not as many people live in the area, there are tons of restaurants (over 200) and Chinese shops lining the tight, colorful streets.
Suzakoman - South Gate
I read that Suzaku is the vermillion bird (a red bird that looks like a pheasant and is covered in flames), one of the Four Symbols of Chinese constellations, and represents the fire-element, the direction south, and the season of summer.
|This is on the very top of the gate.|
I guess it's the fire element
|These were in the sidewalk all around Chinatown|
|This was a very colorful, beautiful temple|
|Tile work at the top of the stairs|
|Animals in high relief|
|These high relief displays circled the whole|
main section of the temple.
|I couldn't take pictures in the temple. So, Mackenzie|
volunteered to draw me a picture.
Guess who got a notebook and carrying case
for her travel backpack for her birthday??!! :)
|This was my favorite|
There were soooo many restaurants and shops along every road. This would be a great place for adults, or families who don't have picky eaters. The kids wouldn't eat anything here, but the smell of the yummy food made them hungry, so they kept begging for snacks...none of which they wanted from the food stalls on the street.
|Coolest entrance to a store.|
There were some pretty interesting displays in the restaurant cases...
|Mackenzie: "I definitely do NOT want to eat here!"|
Taking a stroll with some strangers...
After Chinatown we headed to Yamashita Park. We came here with the Kings a few months ago and saw beautiful flowers. We hoped to see many more today, but there weren't many. This park is 700 meters long and was landfilled in the 30's with rubble from the Great Kanto Earthquake.
Statue of Protectorate God of Water - this was a gift from San Diego, Yokohama's sister city
The Girl with Red Shoes Statue
Apparently, there was a little girl who was given to American missionaries around 1905 because her mother could not afford to care for her the way she believed the little girl deserved to be cared for. Just as the missionaries were about to leave Japan they found out the little girl, named Kimi, had TB and would not survive the trip across the ocean. The family left the girl with a church where she died a few years later. The girl's mother told her story to a friend and then the song below was written in memory of Kimi.
A little girl nice in her pretty red shoes
Has gone far away, taken by a foreigner
She has gone with him to his home.
I wonder if her eyes are blue like a foreigner's.
From the port of Yokohama, over the waves,
I wonder if she is happy and has nice days.
I remember her when I see pretty red shoes.
I wonder how she is when I meet a foreigner.
|He was trying to catch the pigeons|
|Drawing the statue for me|
|We walked half the length of the park then turned to|
go back to the train station. The kids insisted we
go back through the park to the train station
we arrived on. I chose this route because the
trees were pretty. They thought it was boring.