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.
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.
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.
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.
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.