A friend recently told me that she had never visited Yokohama's Chinatown. I gasped, "But Chinatown is so easy! So close! How have you not been?" Right then and there, we put a visit to Chinatown on our calendars.
Usually, when I go to Chinatown- sans a certain, energetic preschooler- I like to poke around the many "antique" stores and tea shops. Since this most-recent trip including Little TF and my friend's just-turned-one year old, we skipped the grown-up destinations and stuck with the silly ones. Little TF is very enthusiastic about panda bears right now (she tells me she dreams of pink pandas...?) so I told her she could pick out one panda present. To that end, we hunted down every panda-selling venue that we could find. Wow. Chinatown has a lot of panda stuff.
|Cheerful panda bento boxes and panda chopsticks.|
|Little panda headphones|
|Rotund pandas... in bathtubs?|
|Ridiculously adorable panda booties for babies.|
|Ridiculously adorable panda booties for grown-ups.|
|Ridiculously adorable panda bodysuits...|
|...in pink or black.|
|Cute panda clothes for older kids.|
|And who doesn't need ninja panda oven mitts? |
(Disclaimer: I am so used to not being able to read anything in
Japan that I did not even see the "no photo" sign. Ooops.)
|Kawaii cell phone cases.|
|Charming panda store front.|
Little TF was thrilled with the panda bear bubble blower that she picked out. A bubble blower that required batteries. And broke the next day. Insert joke about "Made In China" here. But we had beautiful weather, enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Yokohama, made a poor restaurant choice and ate bad Chinese food, and the kids were entertained for another day of deployment. All in all, a fantastic Saturday!
Allegedly the largest Chinatown in the world, Yokohama's Chinatown can be accessed via the Minato Mirai line out of Yokohama Station. Head in the Motomachi-Chukagai direction and get off at Motomachi-Chukagai. Follow street-level signs to Chinatown. If shopping for pandas isn't your thing, head to Motomachi's outdoor shopping mall, on the opposite side of the expressway/canal from Chinatown. Stopping in at Starbucks, Gap, Zara, Longchamp, lots of cute shops, and chic restaurants make for a great afternoon!
Disclaimer: I do my best to make sure all my information is accurate. However, details may change or I may just be flat-out wrong. Please let me know if something needs a correction. Thank-you!