Thursday, April 03, 2014

Kobe: Nankinmachi - Chinatown

Kobe has one of the three Chinatowns in Japan, the other two being in Nagasaki and Yokohama. Kobe's Chinatown is known as "Nankinmachi" , named after Nanking, the former capital of China. 
When Kobe port was opened to foreign trade in 1868, Chinese merchants settled down here and the area was developed. 

Nankinmachi initially catered to the needs of the Chinese population in Kobe, but later became popular as a shopping and dining district among both locals and tourists. 
Decorated and colourful gates welcome visitors to this little China. 
A laughing Buddha near the main gate.
A pavilion with stone carvings of the 12 zodiac signs as per Chinese astrology stands at the intersection of the two main streets.
The streets of Nankinmachi are lined by shops and food stalls. 
Most stalls sell popular Chinese food such as steamed buns ( Sweet Manju or Spicy Nikuman), Noodles, drinks and sweets.

Shops selling Chinese handicrafts, clothes and trinkets are also found in Nankinmachi. 

Even the Soft drink Vending machine is Chinese style.

Compared to the Chinatowns of Nagasaki and Yokohama, Kobe's Chinatown is small but it is still popular among tourists and locals. 

Nankinmachi is located within walking distance from Sannomiya station, Motomachi station and the Meriken Park/Harbour. 

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