When Japan opened to foreigners in 1859, it started with ports and Yokohama was one of the first ports to open. Many Chinese immigrants came at that time to work in the port and many settled nearby. It is the largest “Chinatown” in Japan and one of the largest in Asia, with over 250 Chinese restaurants and between 3,000 – 4,000 Chinese residents. It used to be much bigger, but the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 which killed 100,000 people and made almost 2 million homeless, caused many of the Chinese to pack up and go back to China instead of trying to rebuild. The Port of Yokohama is the third largest port in Japan after Tokyo and Kobe. None of the Japan ports compare in size to Busan, Korea, Singapore and several Chinese ports.
I am in Yokohama for a basketball tournament and am staying in Motomachi, which is adjacent to Chinatown. My friend Akira and I went for a nice Chinese dinner and sento (hot bath). We walked around the narrow streets and took in the sights, including the extravagant Kantebiyo Temple. It is dedicated to the Chinese god of prosperity and good business. That is appropriate for a port town. It is nice to have some Chinese food for a change. We had a nice evening.