Lion dance in Yokohama Chinatown over the Lunar New Year

Japan has three Chinatowns (؊X, chūkagai): one in Yokohama, one in Nagasaki and one in Kobe. All of them originated as residential areas of Chinese merchants, who settled around the ports that were first opened to foreign trade after the end of Japan's era of seclusion in the late 1800s.

Today, Japan's Chinatowns are tourist spots and dining destinations, popular for their restaurants and "exotic" atmosphere, rather than residential areas of Chinese immigrants, although Yokohama's Chinatown, for example, is still home to several thousand residents of Chinese descent.

Nagasaki Chinatown

No other Japanese city has experienced more Chinese influence and feels more Chinese than Nagasaki, whose port remained the only major Japanese port open to Chinese trade during the country's period of isolation.

Yokohama Chinatown

In 1859, Yokohama Port became one of the first ports to be opened to international trade after Japan's two centuries of isolation. The Chinatown was established soon afterwards, and remains Japan's largest today.

Kobe Chinatown

Like Yokohama's Chinatown, Kobe's Chinatown started to develop, after the city's port had become one of the country's first to be opened to international trade in 1868.