Monday, April 14, 2014

Nagasaki : China Town

Nagasaki's China Town is one of the three Chinatowns in Japan. It is also the biggest and oldest Chinatowns in Japan. While Yokohama's Chinatown is called Chukagai and Kobe's Chinatown is Nankinmachi, Nagasaki's Chinatown is called Shinchi Chukagai.
Nagasaki's port had always been one the biggest trade centres in Japan right from the 15th century. After the Dutch and the Portuguese, Chinese traders too arrived in the city and they established a Chinatown for their community. From the 17th to 19th century, during Japan's long period of seclusion, Nagasaki was the only port which was open for trade with the outside world.  However the Dutch and Chinese were the only foreign traders allowed to remain but confined to the area allocated to them. While the Dutch were confined to Dejima, the Chinese were confined to Shinchi Chinatown. They were not allowed to venture outside the boundaries except at certain hours and to certain areas.  

The Chinatown was earlier a man made island which gave it the name "Shin-chi". Today,the area is part of the mainland.  

The Chinese influence on Nagasaki's cuisine and culture is a result of this long period of trade relations with the Chinese. 

Two of Nagasaki's famous noodle dishes the Champon and Sara Udon are a Chinese contribution to Nagasaki's cuisine. 

The best place to taste these dishes is undoubtedly at one of the several Chinese restaurants in Shinchi Chinatown.

Today, Shinchi Chinatown is Nagasaki's most famous Shopping and Entertainment District. 

Colorful gates mark the entrance to Chinatown in all directions.

 A pavilion in the centre is a place where locals and tourists relax. 
Some sights in the China town

Access: Walking distance from Nishi Hamanomachi station on the Nagasaki Street Car Routes              1 and 5 ; and Tsukimachi station on Route 1                

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