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USA Travel: Japantown, San Francisco California USA – Activity Recommendations

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This is a list of recommendations for Japantown, San Francisco, California, USA.


Logistics

  • Japantown, San Francisco, California, USA
  • Travel to this part of town during your time in San Francisco

Japantown: history at-a-glance

While in San Francisco, plan to spend some time in Japantown, a cultural enclave that was founded following the 1906 Great Earthquake. This “six-block area of shops, restaurants, and small businesses along Post and Sutter streets… and was, at one time, the center of the Japanese community in San Francisco prior to World War II” (2021). With only three remaining Japantowns in the United States today, San Francisco’s Japantown provides an authentic glimpse into the heritage and culture of this community.

For a more comprehensive backgrounder, read Alison Jordan’s historical essay, Nihonjin-Machi, San Francisco’s Japanese People Town, which chronicles the history of Japanese immigrants in San Francisco.

Map of recommended locations

Stay

Hotel Kabuki
1625 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Tel: (415) 922-3200 | Visit Site

Hotel Kabuki was nominated for World’s Best Awards by Travel + Leisure in 2021. It is one of a handful of boutique hotels just steps from Pacific Heights’ famed Fillmore District, Hayes Valley and Union Street.

Japantown Activities & Eats

Japanese treats

Do

Shop

  • Japantown Center – Mall filled with restaurants and specialized Japanese stores
    • Asakichi – Antique, Arts, & Tea Ceremony Store
  • Browser Books
  • Song Tea & Ceramics

Fillmore Street favorites:

  • Jane on Fillmore – Brunch
  • Compton’s Coffee – Coffee & Pastries
  • Mollie Stone’s – Groceries + provisions for a picnic
  • SPQR – Dinner
  • Salt & Straw – Ice Cream

Self-Guided Japantown History Walk

This self-guided tour maps across ten blocks, bringing visitors to various street markers of historical photos that describe the history and culture of Japantown. Check out the map on the The Japantown History Walk for locations.

Japantown Peace Plaza & Pagoda

Until 2018, Osaka and San Francisco enjoyed a 60-year “sister city” relationship to foster cultural understanding. Osaka gifted the five-story pagoda to San Francisco in 1968 as a symbol of unity & peace. It remains a recognized symbol of this part of town. The sunrise and sunset views here are beautiful and not to be missed.

Japantown Center

Sitting at the center of Japantown is a multi-story mall filled with restaurants and specialty shops that sell Japanese items like gifts, sake, sushi, ramen, teriyaki, takoyaki, mochi, crepes, and Japanese-style Western cuisine.

Fillmore Street

Walk from Japantown through the Pacific Heights neighborhood to the Marina

Map from Japantown District to the Marina


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