Asian Sites and Culture in San Francisco
San Francisco has a rich cultural history that intertwines with multiple Asian cultures. While Chinatown is perhaps one of the most visited areas of the city, other Asian cultures have left their mark on the city as well. In fact, San Francisco has a sizeable Japanese population and a terrific Japantown area. Other Asian cultural influences can be visited all over the city as well. So, if you're looking to experience some Asian cultural spots on your next visit, here's a list to get you started.
Chinatown is a must-see neighborhood for anyone visiting San Francisco. It's one of the most visited neighborhoods in the city and it offers a unique cultural experience, that is surprisingly authentic, particularly if you wander down Stockton Street, which is lined with local seafood and vegetable markets. For the more touristy stretch with souvenir shops, head to Grant Street. San Francisco's Chinatown has a long history, and it is home to the largest Chinese population outside of China.
For anyone interested in trying local Chinese food, there are a number of good restaurants. There are also many small shops with souvenirs and trinkets.
San Francisco, CA
Japantown in San Francisco is the oldest of the three remaining Japantowns in the United States. At the heart of the neighborhood is the Japan Center, which is a shopping area filled with restaurants, hotels, and a movie theater. Head here for some of the city's best sushi and ramen. The neighborhood also hosts a number of great festivals throughout the years including the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, Children's Day in May, and the August Nihonmachi Street Fair
San Francisco, CA
Japanese Tea Garden
This garden is designed specifically to create a zen experience. It offers a wonderful retreat from the chaos of the city and you can sit and relax or wander through the pagodas, koi ponds, and bonsai trees. The blooming cherry blossoms and the native Japanese plants create an authentic experience where you can immerse yourself in tranquility. For a light snack, head to the teahouse.
75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, 94118
St. Mary's Square
This public square, located in Chinatown, is often busy with locals from the surrounding neighborhood relaxing, playing games, exercising, and chatting. It's a nice spot to relax if you've been exploring the city for awhile, and it's very close to the shops and restaurants of Chinatown.
Quincy Street between Pine & California, Chinatown, San Francisco, California
Located in the fascinating Japantown neighborhood, The Japan Center is a shopping center that highlights the area's Japanese culture. It first opened in 1968 and includes the Kinokuniya Mall, Kintetsu Mall (Japan Center West), and Miyako Mall (Japan Center East).
1613 Geary Boulevard, Japantown, SF, California, 94115
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
The Asian Art Museum has one of the most comprehensive Asian art collections in the world. There are over 18,000 works of art, with some works over 6,000 years old.
200 Larkin Street, Civic Center, SF, California, 94102
How much does it cost?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $5 to $167. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $60. A few of the best options are below.
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