Try Yokohama Chinatown FoodsYokohama, the second largest city of Japan, is an exciting city and known for its futuristic port, Chinatown and relaxed atmosphere. Good versions of this yoshoku (western-inspired Japanese cuisine) should not be over greasy, and are usually served with shredded cabbage and rice, curried to make Japanese curry katsu or sandwiched between fresh white bread with a delicious sauce to lap up. It is so popular that you'll find tonkatsu being made and served all over Yokohama, with one of my favorite spots being Katsuretsu An The English menu might be the initial drawcard, but that the friendly staff and great tonkatsu is what keeps the loyal patrons coming back for more.
There is Cantonese cuisine with its heavy use of seafood due to the region's warmth and proximity to the ocean, the spectacular Beijing cuisine based on the palace cuisine which included 中華街 宴会 Peking Duck, the famed Shanghai cuisine with dishes like Shanghai Crab and soup dumplings, and the exciting Szechuan cuisine which makes use of various spices in dishes like Mabo Dofu.
It was established as the city of Yokohama in 1889 through the amalgamation of Kanagawa and Yokohama and although many people imagine Osaka as the second largest city in Japan, Yokohama actually took over due to a huge increase in population after 1960.
2019 marks a special year for the city as it has been chosen as one of the main host cities of the prestigious Rugby World Cup (to be held across Japan from Sep 20 to Nov 2). The International Stadium Yokohama (also known as the Nissan Stadium) in particular will be the site for the finals.
Once you're on your way into Yokohama, and you want to head into Minatomirai, Yamashita Park and Chinatown, you need to change to Minatomirai Line at Yokohama Station, which will take you to Motomachi-Chukagai Station right next to Chinatown and Yamashita Park.
Many shops and stalls here at Bashi Shotengai sell food on the go, and especially in the morning when the shops open for business, you can find freshly baked goods like Imagawayaki (Japanese style pancake with different kinds of fillings) or teriyaki-glazed meat skewers.
The Japanese love experimenting with global cuisine, giving it a local twist and this is just one shining example of this. If you're coming from outside Tokyo, any shinkansen that enters Tokyo from the west (from Osaka, Kyoto, or Nagoya) all pass through Yokohama Station on their way into Tokyo.
Anyway, we got ready and decided to take the 2 hours train ride for some good food in Chinatown, Yokohama. Hawkers press Chinese restaurant menus upon visitors, and it is hard to resist streetside steamed buns. Squid with Oyster Sauce points out an important difference between Japanese and Chinese brown sauce.
Ryushoki is a popular Chinese restaurant for their all-you-can-eat course with 138 items and is the origin of oven-grilled Peking ducks. The colour filled streets, shops and restaurants immediately transport visitors to the Middle Kingdom, but what completes the experience is the food.
The Japanese know that the Chinese eat with their stomachs. Shofukumon is a restaurant complex in Chinatown, a place made up of a number of different restaurants. Japanese food is typically straight-forward and mild; therefore, some Japanese people mistakenly think all foreign food is spicy and flavored with hot pepper.
Shanthi Deli is renowned as one of Yokohama's best Indian restaurants and for good reason. Since it's the end of the day, it's time to say goodbye to Yokohama. The number of dishes to choose from increases with price. The appellation hai-kara, referring to the high collars favored by Victorian fashions of the day, conveyed the curiosity, affection and esteem the Japanese reserved for all things Western.
Back in my car, and off to the east—my next destination is a mountain-top bakery, a popular little shop near Yokosuka city visited by people from far and wide. For a healthy meal, try fresh sushi or a sashimi donburi bento (fresh slices of raw fish served over rice) or eat ramen at one of the many ramen shops.