If you love learning about history, finding artwork hidden in plain sight, and receiving restaurant and shop recommendations only a local would know about, this walking tour through the nation's oldest Japantown is for you.
As a Japanese American who moved to San Francisco in 2011, it was important to me to live as close to Japantown as possible. Since then I've visited Japantown weekly and learned so much about the history and present of the community.
In 2016, I noticed that the highest offices of American government were spewing the same anti-immigrant rhetoric used to discriminate against and forcibly incarcerate the Japanese American community during World War II. I realized that hundreds of thousands of people visit Japantown each year, many without learning about our history. My small act of resistance was to create this tour to preserve and honor our history, to bring business to some of my favorite shops, and to share my love of our resilient community.
On this walk, you can look forward to:
• Seeing the Mihara family's historic origami shop and art gallery. Third-generation business owner Linda Mihara will share her family's history and take you to visit her childhood home.
• Taking in one of several locations where Japanese families stood holding only what they could carry to board buses to concentration camps.
• Hearing an introduction to the storied Black history of the neighborhood, often referred to as the Harlem of the West.
• Visiting the tea shop where I (and many local tea ceremony students and teachers) get freshly ground matcha from Kyoto.
• Sampling handmade sweet manju from a 100+ year-old shop, one of the last few remaining in the country.
Kristin (your guide) is the founder of Nourish Co. a lifestyle company that helps multi-racial people and families create nourishing new rituals, drawing from time-honored wisdom. https://nourish-co.com
Cal Raijin Taiko
The Jazz Piano - Bensound
Hip Jazz - Bensound
Tori Gate - Julie Leong
Kinmongakuen - Dorthea Lange
Peace Pagoda - Renee Lynn Frojo