Japantown Small Business Merchant Walk
San Francisco’s Japantown
is one of three remaining Japantownʼs in the US. (and San Francisco’s is the largest, and oldest). All three are in California; Little Tokyo in Los Angeles and Nihonmachi in San Jose. First settled in the early 1860ʼs, generations of Japanese immigrants and their descendants have kept alive the arts and culture of Japan. San Francisco’s Japantown has been the center of the Bay Area’s Japanese and Japanese American community since 1906. Here youʼll find world renowned artists, performers, cultural cuisine and items for sale just like you would in Japan. Regardless if youʼre coming to visit or to reconnect with your roots, there is something for everyone in San Franciscoʼs Japantown!
Please join the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
and support the small businesses and the rich culture of one of the three remaining Japantowns left in U.S. on Friday March 24 at 3:00 pm.
Below is the tentative itinerary:
3:00 pm | Heart of Jtown Pop-up Shop | 1581 Webster Street, 1st Floor
During COVID the JCBD enlisted the help of Japantown community artists to create murals that filled the empty storefronts in the malls. They also created colorful eye catching street lamp banners that line throughout the District. These artist are also small businesses who lost income during COVID. Through the Heart of Jtown Resiliency Fund and the support of the Office of Economic Workforce Development as well as Kinokuniya Bookstores USA we are please announce the opening of the Heart of Jtown Pop-Up Shop.
It’s a space for our creative community artists can gather, share their creativity and also serve as a visitors hub for all. Please come out to support.
3:20 pm | ChaTo | 1825 Post Street, #250
ChaTo is run by a family whose love for tea has been passed down through the generations. Their passion stems from fond childhood memories of drinking sencha with their grandmother. Recognizing the void for a brick and mortar Japanese tea shop in Japantown, they set out to make authentic, good quality products accessible to the community. They enlisted the help of one of their mothers, a business owner with more than four decades of experience with Japanese pottery, including tea ware. Since 2016, ChaTo has been providing Japanese tea brewing essentials for beginners, experts and everyone in between.
3:45 pm | Tokaido Arts | 1581 Webster Street, #203
Family-owned and operated since its founding, Tokaido Arts is one of very few remaining galleries in the United States where collectors can view and purchase a large selection of Japanese woodblock prints in-person. Located in San Francisco’s historic Japan Center in the Kinokuniya Mall (on the bridge), Tokaido Arts houses one of the largest private collections of fine Japanese woodblock prints in the world dating from the Edo and Meiji periods up to the 21st century.
4:00 pm | Uji Time Dessert | 22 Peace Plaza, #440
Uji Time Dessert opened its first pop up store in April 2016 and is known for its Taiyaki soft serve. The pop up was a great success because of its authenticity. Uji Time Dessert was the first dessert store selling taiyaki soft serve in the Bay Area.
4:20 pm | Soko Hardware | 1698 Post Street
Legacy business Soko Hardware Co first opened in 1925 at 1683 Post Street by husband and wife, Masayasu and Naka Ashizawa. They named the business “Soko” which means mulberry harbor and later became a Japanese term used for San Francisco. Today, Soko Hardware remains a family owned and operated business located at 1698 Post Street in the Japantown community of San Francisco. Soko Hardware has been operated by four generations of the Ashizawa family and is still operated by the same family.
4:45 pm | YakiniQ CAFE | 1640 Post Street
"Home of the Sweet Potato Latte!” Located on the upper thigh of Japantown, YakiniQ Cafe exists as a comforting respite from the peppy Peace Plaza maelstrom, the perfect pre-ramen meeting point or maybe a post udon dessert. Park yourself here and partake of things you’ll not find anywhere else.
5:00 - 6:00 pm | Hotel Kabuki | 1625 Post Street | Networking Session
Located in San Francisco’s Japantown, Discover Hotel Kabuki - just steps from the famed Fillmore Auditorium. Blending modern Asian and Western influences, Hotel Kabuki offers a unique neighborhood experience in the heart of San Francisco. This boutique hotel features hip interiors and a spectacular lofted-beam lobby that radiates a lounge vibe. The hotel’s highly acclaimed Nari restaurant presents a California-inspired Thai dining experience. From serene guest rooms and a well-equipped gym to event spaces that flex to accommodate any group, the Hotel Kabuki is the perfect home base for your San Francisco experience.