Explore Japan in San Francisco’s Japantown

Explore Japan in San Francisco’s Japantown

Are you in San Francisco? And want to try something unique? Then spend a day exploring Japantown’s unique shops, restaurants and history with this San Francisco neighborhood itinerary.

Japan Center/ Peace Plaza

The center of San Francisco’s Japantown spreads out from the plaza’s distinctive, five-tiered round pagoda. Nearby there is plenty of shopping, dining and more.


Start with breakfast at this eclectic café located in the Hotel Tomo, which serves robust American breakfasts — think omelets and pancakes — then morphs into a combined American and Japanese restaurant for lunch. At dinnertime, Mum’s becomes more Japanese, showcasing shabu-shabu — thin-sliced steak and vegetables cooked in an iron pot at the table.

Kinokuniya Bookstore

Spread over two floors, this big store stocks Japanese manga, anime, art, fashion and design books and much more, including some books and magazines in English.

J-town Video

Located on the ground floor across from Kinokuniya is, a small but well-stocked shop that features the latest in Japanese feature-length animated movies and other Japanese-language cinema.

Suzu Noodle House

A great spot for lunch, this cozy, efficient – and most importantly, tasty – noodle shop is just like you’d find in Japan. Fresh soba (thin wheat noodles) and udon (thick buckwheat noodles) are on offer, along with refreshing green tea, Japanese beer and sake served hot or, as it’s often taken in Japan, chilled.

The Asakichi Stores

Asakichi includes an antique, arts and tea ceremony store, an incense shop, a cast iron teapot and bronze shop and a kimono store.

Kabuki Springs & Spa

If shopping wears you out, consider taking a good hot soak and getting a massage.

Kiss Seafood

An intimate 12-seat restaurant that is more expensive than many but refined and accomplished. This is a great choice if you want delicate, flavorful, chef-chosen sushi, sashimi and other delicacies.