Japantown and Fillmore Street

San Francisco, California

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Japantown is an odd and interesting neighborhood. Japanese immigrants began settling here after the ’06 quake and were unjustly moved from their homes and relocated in internment camps during World War II. The African Americans who moved in were drawn by jobs in wartime industries, but 1960s redevelopment of the area caused yet another exodus as a sizeable proportion of the neighborhood’s housing was demolished to make way for the widened Geary Blvd. Expressway and for hotels and retail structures. Although the Japanese had dispersed by that time, the redevelopment included construction of Japan Center, along with some senior housing catering to elderly Japanese. So what we have here is a modern commercial district with a strong Japanese flavor and only a very small remnant of the Japanese community. Similarly, Fillmore St. retains hints of the area’s African-American past. Amid the modern hotels and condominiums are some gorgeous Victorians that were spared the midcentury wrecking ball. The neighborhood is pleasant for walking, but the chief interest here is inside Japan Center itself. We’ll end up there.

Japantown and Fillmore Street Professional Review and Guide

"Japantown is an odd and interesting neighborhood. Japanese immigrants began settling here after the ’06 quake and were unjustly moved from their homes and relocated in internment camps during World War II. The African Americans who moved in were drawn by jobs in wartime industries, but 1960s redevelopment of the area caused yet another exodus as a sizeable proportion of the neighborhood’s housing was demolished to make way for the widened Geary Blvd. Expressway and for hotels and retail structures. Although the Japanese had dispersed by that time, the redevelopment included construction of Japan Center, along with some senior housing catering to elderly Japanese. So what we have here is a modern commercial district with a strong Japanese flavor and only a very small remnant of the Japanese community. Similarly, Fillmore St. retains hints of the area’s African-American past. Amid the modern hotels and condominiums are some gorgeous Victorians that were spared the midcentury wrecking ball. The neighborhood is pleasant for walking, but the chief interest here is inside Japan Center itself. We’ll end up there."

Activity Type: Walking
Nearby City: San Francisco
Distance: 1.25
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Easy
Season: Year-round

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