Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan and is a great place to visit from Tokyo. It is home to the beautiful Yokohama Bay, an exciting theme park with a variety of attractions, and Japan’s famous Chinatown.
Chinatown in Yokohama has a long history and is an exciting place to visit for fantastic snack food, a park and Chinese shrine, and a variety of shops and restaurants. Due to Yokohama’s large Chinese population, then, it may come as no surprise that this city is the place to be if you want to experience Chinese New Year in Japan.
The Chinese New Year is commonly referred to as the Spring Festival in China. You can experience this 15-day celebration in Chukagai, where you can see lion and dragon dances, firecrackers, and hear exciting music.
Count down to the Lunar New Year at the temple of the Chinese goddess of the sea, the Ma Zhu Miao, eat and drink, and lose yourself in the thrilling festivities!
This huge event will take place from February 16 to March 2, 2018, and is free to attend. Here are three fantastic events during the Chinese Spring Festival that you cannot miss!
The Lion Dance is a long tradition dating back centuries. It is when dancers perform inside a stylized lion costume, which is a thrilling sight to see. This celebration is performed at various events but the Chinese New Year is the biggest!
The Lion Dance is said to have its roots in Chinese Kung Fu and it consists of the lion taking hanging vegetables from the street, consuming them, and spitting them out to bring good fortune to the coming year. Those who provided the vegetables get a small amount of money for their efforts and are said to benefit from the performance, too.
Don’t miss this spectacular show during the Chinese Spring festivities.
There will be an enormous dragon dance, where several dancers will hold up this impressive structure. The longer the dragon, the luckier it is! There is also a celebratory party for the Jade Emperor’s birthday, a truly happy event where thousands will gather to celebrate another year of life for their emperor.
The Celebration Parade will start and finish at Yamashita Park and is also a day for feasting, so be sure to take a large appetite with you and sample some of Chinatown’s restaurants and mouthwatering snacks!
On the final day of the New Year Festival, there will be an impressive display of paper lanterns on which are written people’s dreams and hopes for the coming year. Witness the gorgeous sight of thousands of lanterns hanging on the streets of Chinatown.
You will find this event close to the Ma Zhu Miao and it marks the end of the festival.
You don’t have to be in China to witness the breathtaking festivities of Chinese New Year! Head to Yokohama in January to eat delicious food, see great performances, snap amazing photos, and enjoy everything the Spring Festival has to offer!
2018 Chinese Spring Festival in Yokohama Website *Automatic translation available