Japan Center hotels
The Japanese people have played a large role in the culture of San Francisco, California and the Japan Center at the heart of Japantown is a testament to this influence. The district is the result of a post-war community redevelopment program located in the Japantown neighbourhood of the city that sell Japanese products or are based on Japanese culture. The shopping centre was designed by American architect, Minoru Yamasaki in the 1960’s in what is described as brutalist style. The Japan Center is now home to Japanese-themed stores, theatres, restaurants and the annual Cherry Blossom festival.
- Gain focus with some meditation at the Peace Pagoda, a Buddhist stupa found at the site of the Japan Center that welcomes all types of people from around San Francisco in their quest for inner peace.
- Shop at the Kinokuniya Mall while in San Francisco and you can peruse the massive book selection at the famous Japanese bookstore chain found within.
- Catch a screening of an Asian-American independent film at the Sundance Kabuki Theatre, one of the centrepieces of the Japan Center that also has performances of the San Francisco Opera.
The Japantown neighbourhood is only a few kilometres from San Francisco’s Union Square, so it is easy to reach by public transportation. There are several bus routes that leave from Union Square and pass near the Japan Center, so just take one of them and get off at Laguna, Buchanan, or Webster streets and walk the rest of the way. If arriving by private or hired car take the Civic Centre exit and follow the signs to Japantown. Those with cars should be warned that parking is limited, especially on weekends, so it is best to take public transportation.
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