Not as celebrated, as big or as central as San Francisco's Chinatown, Japan Town is still definitely one of the coolest places to visit in one of the world's coolest cities. Strung either side of Post St for a few blocks between Pacific Heights and the Fillmore, on the outside it is a largely unattractive, concrete-clad, easy to miss place, save for a few Japanese plants and the Japan Centre tower. However, enter the subterranean mall and you are transported into a kitsch Japanese fantasy world. Alongside numerous sushi houses and other restaurants (many of which do charge more than the city's huge range of other fantastic Japanese eateries) are supermarkets, gift shops, art and design stores, bookshops. All with a unique, quirky, Japanese flair (one stationery shop had a hilarious line of animal-innuendo notebooks). The kitsch pastiche decor only adds to the whole charm of the place, and despite it being obviously tourist-orientated, Japan Town remains fun and not overrun, perhaps by nature of its location. Definitely remember to sample some of the bobo drinks, they're one of the cheapest things there, and fantastic.
Post St, San Francisco, CA. Civic Center BART is maybe 20 minutes walk, or the 2, 3 and 4 muni buses run a block up on Sutter to downtown.
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