A Way to Explore San Francisco’s Japantown 
Installed December 2008

The San Francisco Japantown History Walk is a self-guided tour consisting of 16 interpretive signs along an approximately 6-block route through the heart of Japantown, providing visitors with a unique insight into the community's first hundred years of history and culture.

San Francisco was the entry point and historical gateway for Japanese immigrants to America. Originally located in other parts of the city, Japantown was permanently established here in the Western Addition after the Great 1906 Earthquake.

This once sprawling neighborhood was home to one of the largest Japanese American communities in America and embraced over 30-blocks of a bustling community, which included homes, family businesses, churches, and recreational and social facilities.

The vitality of the community came to a halt during World War II with the forced evacuation and internment of Japanese Americans into concentration camps. Following the war, the neighborhood had changed, and many businesses and families did not return to the area. Later, urban renewal reduced those numbers further.

Today, Japantown survives and prospers in tribute to the Issei, the first generation of Japanese immigrants to America, and the Nisei, their American-born children, who preserved and passed on the legacy to future generations.


San Francisco Japantown History Walk Mobile Application

To share the rich history of San Francisco Japantown with a broader audience, the Center has been seeking creative and innovative ways to engage the community, general public and visitors with the 115+ year history of our San Francisco Japanese American community. Synergizing numerous technological advancements, the Center is developing a modern rendition of the history walk through the Japantown History Walk Mobile Application (JHW App). Using a smartphone application increases accessibility for all, engaging all citizens interested in participating by catering to the various needs and specifications of the community.

We hope to launch the mobile application for the Japantown History Walk in the Fall of 2023.  Check back for more information, or email us at info@jcccnc.org.

SF Japantown History Walk Panels

#1 - What Happened Here?
#2 - Injustice and Honor
#3 - Uoki Sakai Market
#4 - Commerce and Community
#5 - Beginnings of Japantown in the Western Addition
#6 - Benkyodo Company
#7 - Educating the Nisei
#8 - Heart and Soul: Continuing Traditions
#9 - The Spirit of Nihonmachi
#10A - In the Name of National Security
#10B - Kodomo No Tame Ni
#11 - Issei Women’s Legacy
#12 - A New Ballgame
#13 - Internment Camps and Return to Nihonmachi
#14 - Redevelopment to Redress
#15 - San Francisco Japantown Sensu
#16 - What You Leave Behind: Looking to the Future, Remembering the Past