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.