Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Yokohama. What a pleasant surprise. Just a hop skip and jump away from Tokyo, Yokohama is the 2nd largest city in Japan. I guess because it was so close to Tokyo, I never really considered it a destination spot, but it has quite a lot to offer. You can take a lovely 15 minute ferry ride from central Yokohama to Motomachi-Chugakai, where you will find Japan's largest Chinatown and a cute shopping street lined with cafes and shops.
I have seen a few Chinatowns in my lifetime. I took the SF Muni 42 bus almost everyday for a year. So yeah, I've seen/smelt/tasted/been elbowed in the face by Chinatown. What happens when you create a Chinatown in a clean and organized country such as Japan? You get clean, friendly and spacious roads filled with yummy food and Hello Kitties dressed like pandas. It seemed as though every other person was trying to give us a sample of freshly roasted chestnuts. There were steam buns galore - some the size of your face, others adorned with panda faces. We had a really tasty dinner at one of the many Chinese restaurants in town. I had the best Mabo Tofu I have ever had in my life. Whoa.