Explore the shops and food stalls in Japantown
San Francisco’s Japantown is the largest of the three remaining historic Japantowns in the United States. The neighborhood was established after the Great 1906 Earthquake and Fire displaced many Japanese Americans from their homes in Chinatown, and boomed until 1942, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s issued Executive Order 9066 which forced all people of Japanese descent, including Japanese American citizens of the United States, to be sent to internment camps. The community never really recovered.
Still, the shops and restaurants of the district resemble Japanese business districts and concrete block malls resemble the 1960s-built shopping centers that are a staple of life in modern Japan. The iconic Peace Pagoda is a five-tiered concrete stupa that was a gift from San Francisco’s sister city, Osaka, Japan. Many shops feature little statues of Tanuki, a chubby Japanese raccoon dog -- shopkeepers consider him lucky for business, so you’ll often see him greeting visitors at the entrance to stores.