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南京町 Chinatown (Nankinmachi)

  • Other Walks / City Walking
  • Around Kobe
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Maps are rarely carried out with accessing from mainland China.

Around Kobe
1-3-18 Sakaemachidori, Chuo-ku Kobe-shi, Hyogo, 650-0023, Japan
  • Other Walks / City Walking
Opening Hours
Depending on stores
Date of post:2015/06/18

Will you be able to find the Panda statue?

  • City Walking

Kobe Motomachi China Town is situated in the Motomachi area. It is stretched about 200m from the east to the west, 100m from the north to the south, which is rather small in comparison to the Yokohama China Town. Yet, the main street which runs between two gates Choanmon (east) and Seianmon (west) is always crowded.

This Chinatown was founded by the Chinese merchants and traders residing in the area after the port of Kobe opened. The China Town was passed down to second or third generations, and it is known as one of the oldest China Towns in Japan with those of Nagasaki and Yokohama.

You can enjoy Chinese events such as music and dragon dance in the plaza every season : Spring Festival in February, Moon Festival in October (according to the Chinese lunar calendar), and the Lantern Festival during the winter.

The street is full of restaurants and take out, bubble tea shops and souvenir shops. I recommend you try a bite-size steamed pork buns (Nikuman) from Roshouki shop (opened in 1915!). You can also try a small sample of famous Kobe beef, starting from ¥1,200 (JPY) at a food stall next to Roshouki shop.

Fun Facts
There are the twelve Chinese zodiac animal stone statues around the plaza. Well, when you count them one by one, it is actually thirteen statues! It is because when the statue was ordered from China, “the boar” was somehow mistaken by “the panda”.

Most of the food shops and stalls close by 20:00, so make sure to have enough time to look around these stalls. You can see the China Town in 30 to 60 minutes.

How to get there
5 minute walk from the east exit of JR Motomachi station (or Hanshin Motomachi station). Walk to the south along the street, there is the Choanmon Gate on your right hand side.

Date of post:2015/06/18

Why not try a short trip to China?

  • City Walking

Nankin-machi is a small Chinatown in Kobe city, and it is also a center of the Chinese community in the Kansai region. This area was developed by Chinese merchants after the opening of Kobe port near from here, and named this town after Nanjing, the former capital of China.

You can enter an exotic world that stretches 270 m from east to west and 110 m from north to south. There are three archways; Changan Gate in the east, Xian Gate in the west, and Nanluo Gate in the south. In the north, there is a pair of lions as guardians instead of the gate. At the intersection of the north-south and east-west is a pavilion with stone carving of the 12 Chinese zodiacs.

Boasting more than 100 Chinese restaurants, the district offers visitors the chance to enjoy the authentic flavor of cuisine from an array of Chinese regions, including Guangdong, Beijing, Shanghai, and Sichuan. In addition, there are also shops selling dim sum, dumplings, buns, and Chinese pastries. During the lunar New Year and the mid-autumn season, it hosts a festival with cultural events such as a lion dance and dragon dance. Despite the Nankin-machi being much smaller compared to Chinatown in Yokohama in Kanto region, it is a charming place to visit and has all the typical characteristics of a Chinatown.

  • * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
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