Chinatown is approached through a number of gates, or mon in Japanese (門), in traditionally flamboyant style... though they can be slightly odd, sitting in amongst the normal traffic signs. There are 10 gates all up in Chinatown, arranged according to the Chinese art of Feng Shui - bascially a throwback to the ancient beliefs relating to superstition to shape, structure and colour. The first four are the most important, relating to the Four Symbols in the Chinese Constellation. Whilst it was my intent to take snaps of them all, the reality was that the oppressive heat beat me. So here's just a few of the shots that I did manage to take before heat exhaustion threatened to get to me. I've also made use of Google StreetView to help with the rest... it's kinda cheating, but... I've also made use of the info on the official Chinatown website - though unfortunately this part is in Japanese only.
|Map care of Google Maps.|
|2. The Suzuka Gate (source: Google StreetView)|
|3. Genbu-mon (source: Google StreetView)|
|4. The Enpei-mon (source: Google StreetView)|
|8. Ichibadōrimon (1)|
|10. Seiyō Gate (source: Google StreetView)|
I'm not sure how long the gate took to complete, but it's certainly an amazing work or art, and a grand way to welcome anyone into Yokohama's Chinatown. Whilst. I'm not sure if gate-spotting as a hobby will catch on, but it is fun to explore the whole of Chinatown to see them all. Although I've still got 4 to find on one of our next trips.