Founded in 1906, San Francisco’s Japantown was the first Japanese American community to settle and establish itself in the United States. San Francisco’s Japantown (Nihonmachi) has been the center of the local Japanese American community for over 100 years. The East & West Japan Center Malls are located at the heart of San Francisco’s historic Japantown neighborhood. Originally, this area was called the “Japanese Cultural and Trade Center” alongside the Buchanan and Kinokuniya Malls.
San Francisco’s Japantown is one of the only authentic cultural and shopping destinations left in San Francisco. The East and West Mall are home to exciting and diverse shops and restaurants. From the abundant shelves of Daiso to the exports of Okinawa at Akabanaa to cutting edge anime at Japan Video and Media, a trip to the East and West Mall will allow you to see, taste and experience things that no other neighborhood in the Bay Area can provide.
The East and West Malls are centered between the Japantown Peace Pagoda – a five-tiered concrete stupa in Japantown (Nihonmachi) between Post and Geary Streets at Buchanan. The Peace Pagoda was designed by Japanese architect Yoshiro Taniguchi donated to Japantown as a gesture of goodwill in 1968 by the City of Osaka, San Francisco’s sister city in Japan. It has since become one of Japantown’s main landmarks.
While the East and West Malls are at the center of Japantown, we encourage you to explore and experience the merchants and cultural opportunities throughout the neighborhood. More information about the other merchants and experiences can be found on the website of the Japantown Merchants Association.