Thursday, February 2, 2012

Yokohama Chinatown New Year Celebration

Anxious to cross off a few more items on my Japan bucket list, I jumped at the chance to head to the Chinese New Year celebration in Yokohama on Sunday.

Fearless Explorer inquired if we would like to join her and her family for lunch at the “Crack Noodle” restaurant followed by the New Year Celebration Parade with lion dances, dragon dances, firecrackers, etc.

"What time are we meeting you at the train platform?" was my reply

This was my third visit to Crack Noodles in two months. Bossy Explorer introduced me after our trip to Yamate in December and well … I’m addicted (therefore the name “Crack Noodle”). I don’t go in for the spicy fare, being a total spice whimp, but my husband seemed to enjoy the hotter side of things. Look for next post to include directions and photos to start your addiction.

The restaurant was packed and while we were eating we could hear the parade going by. Firecrackers and the deep beat of a drum from outside made it’s way into the room as we sat family style around a huge lazy susan on the traditional tatami mats.

With appetites satisfied we made our way down the very crowded street, initially we were disappointed, thinking we’d missed the parade but as the crowd started to gather at the end of the street we made our way, staked out a spot and had a prime location to view the parade.

I was fascinated by the very ornate costumes and did a little research – I believe these are Cai Shen and Che Kung, the gods of wealth and prosperity. The dragon and lion dances were great, dancing aggressively to the beat of the drum and cymbals these dances are meant to drive out evil spirits. Every so often a cart would come by and stop and set off firecrackers. It was loud and raucous – such a departure from the very civil, quiet Japanese Way – and so much fun!

For those living in Yokosuka, you have one more weekend to enjoy the celebration. For more information go to:

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