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400 traditional Chinese lanterns shine on this winter at Kobe’s Nankinmachi

7 Comments
By Connie Sceaphierde, grape Japan

Just a few short minutes walk south of Motomachi station you can find Kobe’s very own Chinatown, known as Nankinmachi, nestled amongst the buildings next to the Daimaru Department store.

The area has a long history dating back to 1868, when the ports opened up to foreigners and saw the subsequent settlement of Chinese immigrants. A large number of these settlers had come from the former Chinese capital of Nanjing – pronounced as Nankin in Japanese – hence the name “Nankinmachi” which literally translates to “Nanjing Town”.

Guarded by the elaborately decorated Chang'an Gate in the east, Xi'an Gate in the west, the Nanlou Gate in the south and a pair of lions in the north, Nankinmachi houses roughly 10,000 residents and features over 100 Chinese restaurants, mahjong clubs and shops.

The bustling atmosphere and promise of some extra tasty cuisine from one of the welcoming street vendors makes Nankinmachi one of Kobe’s most popular tourist attraction landmarks.

Although the neighborhood makes for a great place to visit no matter what time of year, the whole area starts to literally shine during the winter season when the streets are illuminated by traditional Chinese lanterns at the Nankinmachi Lantern Fair.

Normally the lantern festival makes for a great additional event to check out alongside Kobe’s Luminarie memorial light up, but with the latter having been cancelled this year to curb the potential spread of COVID-19, Nankinmachi’s Lantern Festival is going at it alone.

Held every year at the pavilion in the center of the neighborhood, the Nankinmachi Lantern Fair sees more than 400 Chinese lanterns glisten in the square with a warm gentle glow that offers a different atmosphere from that of Christmas illuminations.

Giving the usual lighting ceremony and mini-jazz concert a miss, this year’s event is all about the lighting and the atmosphere.

If you’re looking for a unique and alternative event to brighten up your winter, head on over to Kobe’s Nankinmachi for the light up event which will be running from the 3rd of December 2021 until the 10th of January 2022. Just make sure to arrive after 4:00pm, as that’s when the lights are turned on.

Nankinmachi Lantern Fair 2021

Dates: Until Jan 10, 2022

Light up time: 16:00 (coinciding with sunset) – 22:00

Admission fee: free

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© grape Japan

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

7 Comments
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Come spend ya money and spread your sickness. What could go wrong?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

400 traditional Chinese lanterns shine on this winter at Kobe’s Nankinmachi @japantoday:

I stayed a couple of days in Kobe while visiting it in 2005.

Nankin-machi has a sad connotation related to Nanjing-massacre.

Never repeat such atrocity again..

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

venzeToday  12:31 pm JST

400 traditional Chinese lanterns shine on this winter at Kobe’s Nankinmachi @japantoday:

I stayed a couple of days in Kobe while visiting it in 2005.

Nankin-machi has a sad connotation related to Nanjing-massacre.

Except that to the Japanese including those of Chinese ethnic background there's about as much connotation as padlocks, peanuts and lice.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In Japan:

At the station near to my house today, a silly man with a mic and Japanese flag spoke (shouted) for a long time about how Koreans and Chinese ruin Japanese culture.

Embarrassing

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Great place to visit especially for the foods on the street stalls or the restaurants. The place to find the best steam dumplings in all of Japan. Rōshōki 元祖豚饅頭 老祥記.One shop in the lower left, another in the upper right corner. Very cheap. It is very popular you will have to line up.

https://roushouki.com/

Later take a walk to the Harborland.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

400 traditional Chinese lanterns shine on this winter at Kobe’s Nankinmachi

Nice place to visit, but doesn't compare to the Chinatown in Yokohama, and the Chinese food in Yokohama and Tokyo are best in Japan by a huge margin.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Embarrassing

@Zia

Yep, really embarrassing. I hate them and their microphones shouting horrible things about our neighbours. Let's live in peace.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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