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Japan in San Francisco, Bay Area

Japan Town, San Francisco, is located near the city center. As you drive down Geary from the east approaching Van Ness, you begin to see a 5-story Japanese-style pagoda. There is an office of the Japanese National Association on Post Street, if one is interested in learning Japanese American History. There are many Japanese monuments in Japan Town. The symbol is the tower located in the north center of Japan Town on Post Street. It says “Japan Town” in Japanese.

This tower copies Fire Watching Tower in Japan. In the Edo period of the Tokugawa Shogun rule, volunteer and professional firefighters watched the fires from the top of the tower. When they find a fire, ring the bell inside and alarm the residents and direct the firefighters out of the base station.

The most symbolic of Japan Town is the 5-story Japanese-style Pagoda. The pagoda was built to preserve and save the bones of the Buddha after his death. This Pagoda is located in the Central Plaza of 2 main buildings in Japan City. The square is a good place to have lunch with your friend during the week. The square today was full of young Asian tourists.

There is a wall on the Geary Street side of Japan Town, between the 2 main buildings in the area. The wall was quite solemn. There are 2 Chinese characters engraved on the wall. The characters on the wall mean “Peace” in Japanese. This square is to preserve and record what happened in WWII to teach people how war can affect people.

In Japan Town, street names are displayed in both English and Japanese. Japan Town is the one-stop-shop to find street names displayed in both languages. I cannot believe that two countries have a history of war when taking a look at this arrangement.

Walking into one of the 2 main buildings, one would not believe that one is still in the US One feels like walking in some shopping center in downtown Tokyo, like Shinjuku.

There are many shops related to Japan such as kimono (Japanese traditional clothing) shops, Dram’s traditional Japanese training place, Japanese antique shops or Japanese restaurants. Everyone loves the sushi restaurant in Japan Town, San Francisco.

In the United States, historically a country of immigrants, it is not that difficult to find any ethnic group. Japan is no exception. The most typical is Japan Town, but even without visiting Japan Town, San Francisco, there is Japan anywhere in the Bay Area.

Driving along El Camino Real, which runs through California like a historical tour, you can find an Authentic Japanese Garden, in Central Park San Mateo. The person who designed, built and maintained is a first generation Japanese gentleman. His name is Sam. Sam came to America when he was 10 years old.

After changing jobs several times, San Mateo County hired him. Until he retired, he was the main person who took care of the Japanese garden. In winter, he took all the tents out of the kennel and changed the water. In the spring, he took care of the flowers and the tips of the sharp wooden branches so that the children who play there do not get hurt. Even after his official retirement, he goes to his garden and makes sure everything is in order. His constant care and effort kept the garden beautiful.


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