Chinese New Year in Chinatown, Kobe

20130210-午後051440.jpg

Japan is not a very culturally diverse place, but I am fortunate that I live in Kobe. Kobe is considered relatively diverse, by Japanese standards anyway. For this reason there is a large enough Chinese population here to warrant a Chinatown. I’ve always enjoyed walking through Chinatown – it’s lively and festive; and the food is good and the shops are cheap. When I read that there was a Chinese New Year celebration this week I decided I wanted to go!

According to the information on the Chinatown web site (which I had to have translated via google translate because it was all in Japanese), there would be dancing and possibly a dragon ceremony. I had experienced Chinese dance in Hong Kong, but I definitely wanted to see the Dragon ceremony!

I took the train to Motomachi, got off and started walking to Chinatown. That’s when it hit me: all festivals in Japan are ridiculously crowded which makes them bad experiences for me. I always forget this! Japanese crowds surpass American crowds… I would have been able to handle the festival in the US, but there are just SO MANY PEOPLE in Japan! I did two loops through Chinatown, then left. If I hadn’t been half a foot taller than most people in Japan I probably wouldn’t have seen any of the performances. People were still very polite even though we were packed onto the streets like sardines, but I just enjoy more personal space than I was allowed.

20130210-午後052044.jpg

If a festival in Japan is something you may be interested in, make sure you go early, and plan on being there all day without moving much – it will be crowded but you won’t have to worry about pickpockets or rude people because, after all, it’s still Japan!

20130210-午後051703.jpg

20130210-午後051727.jpg

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s