Monday, March 22, 2010

Wandering 'round Yokohama's Chinatown

In early March Joe and I went to Yokohama, a suburb of Tokyo, to attend a conference for JETs who will be leaving the program and returning to their home countries this summer. While we were there we paid a visit to Chinatown.

Although Yokohama's Chinatown is one of the largest Chinatowns in the world, it was much different from the ones I've seen in San Francisco and Bangkok in that it was so much more sedate. The other Chinatowns I've visited have had a crowded, frenetic atmosphere, but this one was clean and peaceful, without too many people milling around. Though, I suppose that could have been because we visited during business hours on a Wednesday afternoon.

It seems that the dish of choice in this Chinatown is shark fin soup. A number of restaurants we passed were serving it, though we didn't realize this until after we'd already eaten lunch and really started walking around. I don't think I would have tried it anyway though. It's a delicacy, so it's expensive, and plus I think I have a problem with the idea of sharks being killed just so we can eat their fins.

My Japanese teacher tells me that the fins don't have much of a taste at all. They just soak up the flavor of the broth.

Another interesting dish we passed on the street: pigs feet. I'd just eaten so I didn't try this... but it doesn't seem very appetizing anyway.

Plenty of places also were selling nikuman, steamed buns with some meat inside. Joe and I absolutely love these things. You can buy them in any Japanese convenience store, and we're definitely going to miss them when we leave Japan.

All previews of things to come, since Joe and I will be taking a trip to China later this spring.


robin said...

I have to say I absolutely love your blog!!!! It has been a little while - - Are you planning to continue? (Hope so!) I stumbled upon this a few weeks back and laughed harder at some of your posts than I have in a very long time! - Also female from Ohio living in Hiroshima. Small world!

Gail said...

Thanks Robin! I'm glad you like my blog. Yep, I am planning to continue... got a whole back log of posts I need to write! It's just been hard lately keeping up with it and juggling everything else in my life. A lot of my time has been dedicated more to managing the Wide Island View -- -- but I do definitely plan to keep writing on Lost in Transition at least until we leave Japan in August, and perhaps even after we return home. (Maybe it'd be nice to document any culture shock, which I have a feeling is really gonna hit me, you know?) Anyway, thanks for reading!