What better way to celebrate Chinese New Year in Japan than at Yokohama's Chinatown. The streets alive with a festive atmosphere, drop in for all-you-can-eat yum cha at one of the bountiful restaurants on offer, and then meander the streets snacking (if you can fit it in!) on roasted chestnuts or any other of the steaming hot temptations available.
Chinese New Year events will be happening in Chinatown from 19 February – 5 March 2015, beginning with a countdown to the New Year on the evening of the 18th. From 15:30 – 20:00 on February 19th (Lunar New Year's Day), Chinese dragons will visit each open business to give blessings for good fortune for the year ahead. Listen out for the resounding firecrackers and drums leading the way.
Click here for the full guide of Lunar New Year events in Chinatown, Yokohama (in Japanese only, however, Google translate will give you a good idea of the nature of the events, and dates/times/locations are very clear).
Within walking distance from Chinatown is the Art Rink. Located at Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, this temporary ice skating rink attracts people of all ages to enjoy this fun, winter pastime. The theme for 2014-15 is ‘Narrative', with the surroundings designed by artist Shumpei Minagawa.
The Art Rink will be open from 6 December 2014 – 22 February 2015, 13:00 – 22:00 on weekdays and 11:00 – 22:00 on weekends/holidays. Cost of entry is ￥500 for adults and ￥400 for children (￥200 to watch from the paid area). Rental skates are an additional ￥500.