Enter the Panda: Kitazono Girls Take Yokohama Chinatown

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The Kitazono girls spent their Monday off (it was a national holiday called “Foundation Day”) by taking a trip to Yokohama Chinatown.

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A little boy checks out the storefront of a restaurant where we’d just eaten our lunch.

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We’d just missed Chinese New Year, which had been the night before, because of the sumo tournament. It’s too bad that we missed the Chinese New Year celebrations but it was cool to check out these dragons that were on display as we entered Chinatown.

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There were many vendors, like this one, steaming food along the street.

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There were numerous panda-themed shops, such as this one, which visitors enter via magnificent giant-panda-head-tunnel-entrance.

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Pandas are rad. Yokohama Chinatown has the right idea. Panda socks, pandas in window displays, pandas wearing panda hats, pandas informing you about how to dispose of your trash, and panda buns – believe me there is so much more where all of this came from, thank goodness.

Yokohama Chinatown has other offerings too! Implying you need anything other than panda everything to keep you satisfied.

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Across the street from the yellow panda store pictured above was this amazing temple.

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Naturally, we climbed the steps to check it out (after figuring out whether we had to pay to enter. We didn’t!)

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It seemed, however that there was a cost to enter the interior of the temple, so we watched on as other visitors burned incense outside and made their way in to pray.

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When we were done at the temple, there were plenty of great shops to check out.

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I finally encountered Kit-Kat bars with crazy flavors! But they were 840 yen for a box of 12. That’s about 9 USD. Not okay!
top: KitKat Tamaruya Konten Wasabi Flavor
bottom left: Yokohama Edition
bottom right: Tokyo Rum Raisin

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Jody did some jewelry shopping.

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There are vendors all along the streets selling roasted chestnuts, and they try to rope you into a purchase with a free sample. Katie became the very pleased recipient of many a free sample.

Oh. And I learned that banana ketchup is a thing that exists.In case you're curious, it's popular in the Philippines and was created during World War II when there was a shortage of tomato ketchup. Learning is fun, thanks Wikipedia!

Oh. And I learned that banana ketchup is a thing that exists.
In case you’re curious, it’s popular in the Philippines and was created during World War II when there was a shortage of tomato ketchup. Learning is fun, thanks Wikipedia!

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Yokohoma Chinatown was a great time thanks to its plethora of pandas, free chestnuts, and the fact that this happened.

 

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About Christine Boegemann

A recent graduate with a BA from Temple University's Film and Media Arts Program, Christine Boegemann has spent her undergrad years working to foster creative growth everywhere she could find it – in herself and others. Her list of college activities include working in working at Temple's film lab, acting as VP for a student organization that produces its own short films and film festivals, and serving as head of art department for a sketch show called Temple Smash. She has interned at two VFX houses - one in Manhattan, New York and the other in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also studied abroad in India in the summer of 2012 as a member of the 2012 cohort of the Vira I. Heinz (VIH) Program for Women in Global Leadership. She spent spring 2013, her final semester, studying art and animation in Tokyo, Japan. During her time there, she worked as a photo blogger for Temple Study Abroad. She also worked as a conversation host at an English café in Shibuya. Now back in the US, Christine is currently working as a producer for the feature film, The Youth Washed Up. She is also continuing work on her own independent project rooted in sharing the work and experiences of women she met during her time in India.

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