|In the mid-19th century, the American Commodore Matthew C. Perry and his fleet arrived in Japan in order to establish treaties of friendship between Japan and the Western world. Japan’s isolation from the rest of the world, which lasted for more than 200 years, was finally over. Yokohama Port was immediately opened for international trading and soon became crowded with Western traders. Many Chinese were also brought into Yokohama in order to help communication between the Japanese and the Westerners, and that was the beginning of the China Town in Yokohama.
There are four gates surrounding the China Town which face north, south, east and west. Once you have gone through the Enpei-mon Gate and have walked past Nishi-mon Gate, the west gate, you will see the symbol of the China Town, the Zenrin-mon Gate from where the high street stretches through to the Choyo-mon Gate. There are more than 300 restaurants, food ingredients shops and general stores in total, thickly spread not only along the high street but also all over the town of approximately 700 meters radius. This is one of the largest China towns in the world. There is of course a wide variety of beautifully presented Chinese cuisine in the China Town, mainly Cantonese but Beijing, Shanghai and Szechwan dishes are also available.
Some spectacular festivals are held in the China town every year. Major ones are the New Year Festival, the Kanteitan Festival in summer to celebrate the birthday of Kan’u who is a character from the old Chinese story, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and the Kokkeisetsu Festival in autumn to celebrate Chinese National Foundation.
19 世紀中葉，要求與日本通商的美國黑船駛來日本，持續了 200 多年的日本鎖國政策被廢除，橫浜港被對外開放，這裏雲集了許多歐美的商人，在這些不懂日語的商人和日本人之間，由來日本的中國人作翻譯，這些中國人居住的地方就是現在中華街的起源。
中華街有東西南北 4 個門。從西邊的延平門進去，一過西門路就可以看見中華街的象徵──善鄰門。從這裏到朝陽門就是主要大街，以這條大街爲中心，到胡同裏面約 700 米的四方小街區裏，中國餐館、食品批發店、雜貨店鱗次櫛比。商店數量超過 300 家，是世界上最大的唐人街，特別是中國菜肴，以廣東菜爲代表，北京、上海、四川等中國各地的各色菜肴在這裏都可以品嘗得到。