Laguna St and Post St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9411537.785807 -122.428119
Neighborhoods: Central North, Japantown
Home to concerts, horticulture and martial arts presentations, tea ceremonies, and the Spring Cherry Blossom Festival. – In Short
This area began to grow after Japan opened its doors to the world in the late 19th century. Many Japanese ventured east--first to Hawaii, and then on to California where they worked as farmers, artists, and tradesmen. A cursory tour of Japantown reveals Eastern-influenced architecture, but it's really a neighborhood of interiors. Japan Center's Peace Pagoda has become the most prominent symbol of today's Japantown.
Neat little mall – I moved down the street from Japantown and figured I'd start with walking around and seeing what I could discover. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but once inside there's a plethora or restaurants and shops. I used to go to the incense shop and buy these great little Pine-scented sticks to burn in my apartment when I'd meditate. I tried Fuku Sushi which is apparently one of Keanu Reeves' favorite places, as his picture graces nearly every available wall spot. There's a great crepes place and a neat bookstore. Make sure to explore the whole mall, as it's really a series of interconnected buildings, with bridges joining the sections. You'll find a curry shop in the middle of one bridge, near the incense shop. The all-you-can-eat seafood buffet is okay, but not the best. But every place inside is worth checking out, for sure. There's a Denny's outside with menus in english and Japanese. The hardware store is a bit pricey but features items not found at traditional American hardware stores, such as bamboo mats and rice cookers galore! Not very large, but really cool. Take the time to come back for different meals and for shopping.
Really fun and nice, but some very unJapanese! – When I first moved to SF and found this place, I was so happy! Amazing book stores, good variety in the restaurants. One problem though. I forgot what restaurant name it was. The food was quite good, but the service was the most unJapanese, unfriendly service I've ever encountered. There's no way that they're from Japan with that attitude when it comes to customer service. But I thought "oh well".
Then there's this ice cream place, and the service there was like "ok, what you want!' "there you go!" And honestly, I'm seriously no service snob, I just expected the service in Japan Town to be like Japan. My Chinese friends told me the lady was serving us like it's a Chinese restaurant; which I'm guessing that that's expected at a Chinese restaurant, and I don't mind that. But to do that in a Japanese setting is rude if you're Japanese.
So getting stuff there is cool, but very unJapanese service.
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