China, Japan and.. Germany? All in a daytrip to Yokohama
OK these are the photos that I keep meaning to upload. We made the short trip out of Tokyo to nearby Yokohama a while ago to visit their famous Chinatown.
Yokohama, complete with huge inflatable elephant trunk...
cool little California style vintage shops along the port.
This red brick warehouse stands out ALOT. Buildings here are not made of red brick (they are in the UK though so there was something kind of comforting about it haha!). The warehouse was built in 1899 and has been specially reinforced to withstand earthquakes. (I guess that's why they don't have too many red brick buildings in Tokyo).
Erm we came across some kind of Oktober Fest..I know that Japan doesn't actually hold Oktober Fest in October but this seems a little early..
So Yokohama's Chinatown is pretty old and apparently the biggest in Asia. It was formed in 1859 when the sea port opened. This temple is apparently not the famous one (we somehow missed it?) but it's still pretty cool. It's a Chinese shrine so different from the others I've visited here. This is Kantei Byo or the Guan Gong Temple. To cut a long complicated story short. During the Han Dynasty the emporer was losing power and many people wanted to be on the throne but Guan Gong helped to restore power to the Han Emperor. He became a symbol of loyalty and friendship in times of harship, so when he was enshrined here in 1862 he was a good role model for the Chinese migrants.
(this would have been such a good photo if that man's bum wasn't there..)
I LOVE street food. I wish I had managed to make a food blog as I travelled across the Americas as the food I encountered just from street vendors was a revelation. Chinese street food is a particular favourite of mine. We had dumplings full of scolding but beautiful soup. Fried sesame balls on sticks full of sticky mochi and red bean paste (I actually can't stand red bean paste, I gave Rob that..)
and glutinous rice! Which I always describe to my friends and they look at me in horror. It's just like very very very sticky somewhat gloopy rice (the name comes from the texture, not an abundance of gluten). It comes wrapped in a leaf ( a bamboo leaf in this case) and has different fillings. This one had hard boiled egg yolk, beef pieces, dried shrimp and mushrooms in. Soooo good!
That steamed bun dolphin can't honestly be doing that..can it?!