/

KANAGAWA

Yokohama’s Chinatown community marks lunar new year

by Shaun Mckenna

Yokohama’s Chinatown district is ready to get the party hopping.

Feb. 3 marks the beginning of the new year according to the Chinese lunar calendar. This year, as the Japanese already know, is the year of the rabbit.

Boasting one of the biggest Chinatowns in the world, you can be sure there will be an abundance of celebration in Yokohama over the next two weeks.

Shunsetsu, as the celebration is known in Japanese, is a great opportunity to catch a bite to eat at one of more than 200 restaurants in Yokohama’s Chinatown. Shutterbugs will also be delighted with the abundance of photo opportunities as the entire area will be decorated with festive lanterns.

On top of the general revelry, there will be a parade of people dressed in traditional Chinese attire marching through the neighborhood starting from 2 p.m. on Feb. 6.

Nearby Yamashita Park will also host some of the festivities with various Chinese performing arts being demonstrated on Feb. 5 and Feb. 11-13.

Finally, a special Chinese dance will be performed at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 17 at the Kanteibyo and Masobyo mausoleums to wind down the celebration period and deliver one last message of peace for the new year.

Shunsetsu takes place through Feb. 17 in the Chinatown district of Yokohama. For more information, (in Japanese) visit www.chinatown.or.jp.