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Japantown, San Francisco

Japantown is a neighborhood in the Western Addition district of San Francisco, California. It comprises about six square city blocks. San Francisco's Japantown is the largest and oldest such enclave in the United States.LocationThe main thoroughfare is Post Street, between Fillmore Street (to the west) and Laguna Street (to the east). The Japantown neighborhood is generally considered to be bordered on the north by Bush or Pine Street, and on the south by Geary Boulevard.Its focal point is the Japan Center, which opened in 1968, and is the site of three Japanese-oriented shopping centers. The Peace Pagoda, also at the Japan Center, is a five-tiered concrete stupa designed by Japanese architect Yoshiro Taniguchi and presented to San Francisco by the people of Osaka, Japan.HistoryBuilt and settled as part of the Western Addition neighborhood in the 19th and early 20th century, Japanese immigrants began moving into the area following the 1906 earthquake. (Before 1906, San Francisco had two Japantowns, one on the outskirts of Chinatown, the other in the South of Market area. After 1906, San Francisco's main Japantown was in the Western Addition, with a smaller one in the South Park area.) By World War II, the neighborhood was one of the largest such enclaves of Japanese outside Japan, as it took an appearance similar to the Ginza district in Tokyo.
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  • Lots of interesting shops featuring Japanese handicrafts and toys. Several good noodle restaurants. I had udon with beef. The soup was comfort food .  more »
  • I first visited J-Town a decade ago when I was living in SF. Now, every time I visit SF I must visit J-town and this past week I was fortunate to have stayed at a hotel in the neighborhood. Many may n...  more »
  • I loved the restaurants and shops in this small area. I did much more shopping and had much more fun here than I did in Chinatown. There is an East and West side mall where there are lots of great sho...  more »

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Where to stay in San Francisco

From inexpensive hostels in quiet residential areas to high-end hotels near the city center, San Francisco has accommodations for every budget. Key consideration is what kind of neighborhood you want to stay in. You'll find luxury hotels in Union Square, which has prime shopping, is near theaters, and is on the cable car line. Many hotels are in the northeastern portion of the city, near the tourist-driven neighborhoods of Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf, both easily explored on foot. To get away from the tourist crowds, consider the smaller inns and family-run bed and breakfasts in some of the city's more charming neighborhoods, such as Noe Valley or Pacific Heights. There are also boutique hotels scattered around town. Avoid staying in the Tenderloin. If you plan to have a car with you, ask about parking availability and fees. Parking is often difficult and expensive.
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