Discover San Francisco’s Japantown, the vibrant heart of the Bay Area’s Japanese and Japanese American community since 1906. Amidst its bustling streets, you’ll encounter an authentic tapestry of Japanese culture, from traditional eateries to contemporary shops. San Francisco boasts the largest and oldest of the three remaining Japantowns in the U.S., the others being Little Tokyo in Los Angeles and Nihonmachi in San Jose, all nestled within California.

A stroll through Japantown offers a delightful immersion into Japanese traditions, blending the allure of Osaka with modern influences. From anime and kimono boutiques to sushi joints and manga stores, the diversity of offerings is boundless. While overshadowed by the renown of SF’s Chinatown, Japantown beckons with its own charm, packed into a compact six-block radius along Post and Sutter streets in the Western Addition neighborhood.

The Japan Center malls and pedestrian-friendly Buchanan Street are hubs of activity, echoing the area’s rich history as a focal point for the Japanese community which began before World War II. Whether admiring architectural marvels, savoring various ramen styles, or perusing shelves stocked with teapots and anime trinkets, Japantown promises an enchanting experience that captivates for hours on end.

Connect with community partners to delve deeper into the essence of San Francisco’s Japantown and uncover its hidden treasures.


San Francisco’s Japantown has been the center of the Bay Area’s Japanese and Japanese American community since 1906. It continues to an exciting place to explore and find authentic Japanese culture, restaurants and shops. If you’re in San Francisco Japantown, you’re lucky as there are only three Japantown’s left in the U.S. (and San Francisco’s is the largest, and oldest). All three are in California; Little Tokyo in Los Angeles and Nihonmachi in San Jose.

In a way, visiting Japantown is like taking a quick trip to Osaka and immersing yourself in Japanese culture, old and new. Anime, ceramics, kimonos, sushi, manga, Japanese fashion, and sweets… there is a wide variety of Japanese items to be appreciated. San Francisco’s Japantown (aka Nihonmachi) tends to be overshadowed somewhat by SF’s more famous Chinatown, but there’s a lot to see and do in a small area.

A six-block area of shops, restaurants, and small businesses along Post and Sutter streets, Japantown is located in the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco. Many of the shops are in the malls of Japan Center, as well as the pedestrian-only block of Buchanan Street. The area was, at one time, the center of the Japanese community in San Francisco prior to World War II.
It’s easy to spend hours admiring architecture, trying out different ramen places, or shopping for teapots, origami paper, and cute, anime-inspired toys and much, much more!

To learn more about San Francisco Japantown connect with these community partners.


To learn more about San Francisco Japantown’s history and vibrant community we recommend these leading community organizations.

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Japanese Community Youth Council (JCYC)
2012 Pine Street, San Francisco, California 94115
Japantown Task Force
1765 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Kimochi Lounge
1581 Webster Street, #201, San Francisco, CA 94115
Kimochi, Inc.
1715 Buchanan Street, San Francisco, California 94115
Nichi Bei Weekly / Nichi Bei Foundation
1832 Buchanan Street #207, San Francisco, CA 94115
Nihonmachi Little Friends (NLF)
1830 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California 94115


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