Things to Do in Japantown, San Francisco

Things to Do in Japantown, San Francisco
San Francisco's Japantown has a long and storied history dating back to before World War II. This history has created one of San Francisco's most unique and culturally diverse neighborhoods. Located in the heart of San Francisco, Japantown is easy to reach by foot, bus or car, and is filled with cultural and fun things to do.

Japan Center

The Japan Center is at the heart of San Francisco's Japantown and one of its most cherished attractions. The center is comprised of two shopping malls, the Kinokuniya Building and the iconic, 100-foot-tall Peace Pagoda. The center is filled with unique cultural and mainstream shopping and dining opportunities. Native Japanese plants decorated the hallways and grounds of the Japan Center, giving it an exotic and one of a kind feel.
Japan Center
1610 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94115

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

Every April, Japantown celebrates the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival. The events take place over the course of two weekends, beginning with the Queen Program on the festival's first Saturday and concluding with the Grand Parade on the festival's second Sunday. The festival focuses around the budding cherry blossoms and features a bi-cultural atmosphere of peace and harmony. Japanese music, entertainment and art are displayed, and food and souvenirs can be purchased at street fair and food booths.

Nihonmachi Street Fair

The Nihonmachi Street Fair takes over all of Japantown for one weekend every August. The fair is a celebration of Japanese and other Asian cultures within the San Francisco Bay Area. Food, art, music and people fuse together for a cultural experience in the name of unity and perseverance. Numerous Asian-American bands perform free concerts, ranging from hip-hop to jazz to traditional folk.

Article Written By Patrick M. Lind

Patrick M. Lind has been freelance writing since 2007 and has worked as an editor and journalist for He received a Master of Arts in history from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Middle East.

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