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city view of japantown sf

Japan Without the Jet Lag

Hotel in Japantown, San Francisco

Things to do in Japantown, San Francisco

Within the concentrated six-block area of Japantown (also known as Nihonmachi), you'll find everything from matcha ice cream and mochi donuts to cast-iron teapots and cutting-edge skincare products. One of the most noteworthy spaces is the Japantown Peace Plaza. It's home to the Peace Pagoda, a five-tiered tower gifted to San Francisco by the city of Osaka in the 1960s. This inviting plaza also plays host to a variety of community events, including the can't-miss Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival every April.

Other highlights include:

  • Daiso: Kitchenware, gift wrap, and candies, oh my — this Japanese emporium is overflowing with imported goods at affordable prices.
  • Kabuki Springs & Spa: Inside this authentic Japanese public bathhouse, known as a sento, find a hot pool (104 degrees), cold-plunge pool (55 degrees), dry sauna, and steam room. Accessorize your visit with a DIY body scrub, flavored waters, cucumber slices, and tea.
  • Kinokuniya San Francisco: This Japanese bookstore has been around for more than 50 years and is filled with anime, manga, art books, fashion magazines, greeting cards, gifts, and more.
  • AMC Kabuki 8: The first Kabuki theater in the U.S. is now a movie theater playing a mix of blockbusters and artisan films.