Yokohama Chinatown is known as the world’s best Chinese food spot. With more than 600 shops in only a 2500 square meter area there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Workers from restaurants and food stalls, cute and colorful sundries shops, and more call out in loud voices to entice customers. The buildings and signs glitter and dazzle in brilliant colors and you soon realize Chinatown is a completely different world!
China is an enormous country and each region has its own distinct characteristics. Chinese Food culture has been growing and expanding in various ways and in Yokohama Chinatown, it’s possible to conquer a variety of regional Chinese foods in a day…just bring your appetite!
The most popular and common food types are: Beijing (北京料理), Shanghai (上海料理), Guangdong (広東料理), and Sichuan (四川料理). These are followed by Taiwanese (台湾料理) and Dim Sum (飲茶).
Based on ancient court cuisine, Emperors asked their cooks to arrange dishes from food that was harvested or gathered from their huge tracts of land. The taste is rich to some extent and mainly uses wheat flour and meat. Peking roast duck is typical. A whole duck is roasted in an oven and served. Usually the skin, meat and bone are all served as part of one course. A steamed bun and boiled Chinese-style dumpling are another example. You will often smell these juicy steamed buns on the street, especially in autumn and winter in Chinatown.
The Shanghai area is blessed with fish and shellfish from the sea and the Yangtze River. The taste is thick and also a bit sweet, because of fermented seasonings like vinegar, soy sauce and Chinese wine. Shanghai hairy crab (only in October and November) and juicy steamed pork bun are famous dishes. It’s quite hot but please eat it in one bite. Otherwise, you’ll miss the condensed juicy flavor!
The characteristic of this cuisine is its variety. It consists of dishes that are lightly seasoned and that make good use of natural flavors. The popular dishes are shark fin soup and chop suey.
Sichuan is surrounded by high mountains. It’s quite cold in the winter and really hot and humid in the summer. Because of this condition, this cuisine is hot and spicy. The top rated Sichuan dishes are spicy bean curd and shrimp with chili sauce.
The world of Chinese cuisine is too broad to cover in a single article, but if you are lucky enough to travel to Yokohama Chinatown you will have plenty of options and flavors to keep you satisfied.
Motomachi-Chukagai Station: Minato Mirai Line