Complete with a Japanese bus stop, Japanese road signs, a Japanese taxi, and a Japanese car park

In a lot of countries around the world you’ll find Chinatowns filled with stores, food and decorative gates dedicated to China. So it’s interesting to see the reverse happen in China, where a shopping strip dedicated to Japan is now set to open.

The shopping strip, located in Foshan, in central Guangdong Province, is filled with bright lights and neon signs written in Japanese. And if it looks familiar, that’s because the entrance has a huge gate with “一番街” (“Ichibangai”/”Number One Street”) written across it.

“Ichibangai” is a moniker used for main shopping strips in Japan, with the most famous one located at the entrance to Kabukicho in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district.

The bright lights of Kabukicho look very similar to the new shopping area in China, which people have been describing as a mix of Kabukicho, Hong Kong and Namba in Osaka.

The neon signs, however, are written in Japanese, with a lot of them referring to anime and video games like Soreike! Anpanman, Doraemon, Sailor Moon, and Pac-Man.

▼ Even the street signs and road markings are modelled on the real ones used in Japan.

The word “いらっしゃいませ” (“irasshaimase”/”welcome“) can be seen written in Japanese on the back of the Ichibangai sign at the entrance.

And if that photo above had you doing a double-take: yes, that is China and not Japan, and yes, that is a Japanese taxi on the road.

▼ Complete with Shinagawa number plates.

The taxi isn’t the only nod to Japanese public transport at the mall, as there’s also a bus stop, which is said to be for the 87 route from Shibuya Station to Tamachi Station.

Twitter user @antant1018 shared the above photos online, along with a couple of videos showing how gorgeous the place looks when lit up at night.

Other Twitter users have been sharing photos as well, showing a number of visitors wearing schoolgirl uniforms during their visit.

▼ The new shopping strip also comes with a faux Times carpark.

The 100-metre (328-foot) long row of shops and restaurants is known as “Nankai Ichibangai” and is just now conducting a soft opening.

▼ Ichibangai’s location.

The photos of Japan in China has surprised everyone online, who’ve been leaving comments like:

“Wow, what a great atmosphere!”
“It feels like a Japanese city reproduced by someone who’s obsessed with anime and video games!”
“Love the Eva and Nerv signs!”
“So happy to see such love for Japan in China!”
“Definitely want to visit when I can go to China again!”

With Chinatowns in Japan being popular places to enjoy the atmosphere of China without leaving the country, it’s nice to see this ‘Japantown’ doing the same thing for its residents over in China.

Hopefully they’ll add some Japanese festivals to their event calendar in the near future…as long as they’re not like Osaka’s frightening Danjiri Matsuri, because that festival is deadly.

Sources: Togetter, Naver Matome, Biglobe News
Top image: Twitter/@antant1018
Insert images: Pakutaso
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