San Francisco’s Japantown is the oldest in the U.S. From its famous Peace Pagoda to a variety of great eats, learn about this vibrant historic neighborhood.

The Peace Pagoda in Japantown
Japantown's five-tier Peace Pagoda was designed by architect Yoshiro Taniguchi.

Do sushi and sake go down easy with jazz? When you're in Japantown San Francisco's historic foundation of Japanese and Japanese American culture, and it's near neighbor, the Fillmore District, the city's historic home for live jazz music, they most certainly do.

San Francisco's Japantown is the oldest in the United States. Look for the bright red banners adorned with cherry blossoms and the Peace Pagoda on Geary Blvd. between Laguna and Fillmore streets.

Things to Do in Japantown

The Japan Center, a shopping complex on the north side of Geary Boulevard, is anchored at both ends by the Hotel Kabuki and AMC Kabuki Cinema. The Kabuki Springs & Spa offers Japanese-style bathing followed by another relaxing import from Japan: shiatsu massage.

Dining offerings range from sushi; ramen; Manju, a rice confection; matcha, a green tea beverage; and shabu-shabu, a meat-and-vegetable combo simmered in a tableside hot pot.

A great place to visit any time, Japantown offers many festivals throughout the year, including the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, “Kodomo No Hi,” or Children’s day in May, and the Nihonmachi Street Fair in August.

Cherry Blossoms in front of a victorian

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The Golden Gate Bridge at sunset with a multicolored sky and the San Francisco Bay in the foreground.
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