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Japantown, San Francisco

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Neighborhood Tourist Spot
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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  • I would encourage people to visit Japantown, if for no other reason than to encourage the people there to expand it. There is excellent shopping for people interested in Japanese made wares and arts, ...  more »
  • Off the tourist track with great shops and food. Kimpton Hotel is perfect. The only line was at the great ice cream shop in the mall and it was totally worth it. Daiso is better than any Dollar type s...  more »
  • We came here towards the end of the day and it was pleasant to walk around and take in the sights and history. Plenty of restaurants to choose from with epic food. Don't miss this area of San Francisc...  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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