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Japantown comprises about six square city blocks in the Western Addition of San Francisco. The area is home to a large number of Japanese (and some Korean and Chinese) restaurants, supermarkets, indoor shopping malls, hotels, banks and other shops, including one of the few U.S. branches of the large Kinokuniya bookstore chain. Its focal point is the Japan Center (opened in 1968), the site of three Japanese-oriented shopping centers and the Peace Pagoda, a five-tiered concrete stupa designed by Japanese architect Yoshiro Taniguchi and presented to San Francisco by the people of Osaka, Japan. If you're looking for a unique gift to take back home, then the best place to start looking is in San Francisco's Japantown. More specifically - Japan Center, where you'll find specialty shops, a movie theater, sushi bars, and traditional restaurants all within walking distance. In Miyako Mall, beautiful showrooms of exotic Chinese natural stones can be found, you'll come across antiques and find all kinds of Japanese collectibles and custom-made furniture. There are also plenty of restaurants to go around as well, if you visit the Kintetsu Mall, there is a pathway of restaurants that should satisfy your midday cravings. From noodles and rice dishes to sushi to go, the mall has pretty much everything. And while most of the restaurants are sit-down style, there are carry-out options, such as Osakaya, which offers various container meals filled with samples of sushi, side dishes, noodles, and rice. And aside from the shopping and eating experience, a trip to Japan Center will also give you a chance to mingle with neighborhood residents, SF locals, and other out-of-town visitors. When you do visit here, you'll find a very friendly vibe. Like Chinatown, you feel welcomed here. One note: make sure to actually walk into the Peace Plaza and gaze up at the Peace Pagoda in Nihonmachi. Erected in 1968 as a symbol of eternal peace, it's an inspiring example of architecture that should cap off your visit to Japantown's "heart" like nothing else. San Francisco hotels can be found in this area housed in some historic buildings. However it is recommended that for visitors who wish to get the most out of their visit to stay in a hotel in San Francisco that lets you get around almost all of the sights of the city. A stay in Japantown can often feel cramped and boring if you decide to stay here too long.

James Cook is an executive working for Hotelseye. SanFranciscoHotelseye is a popular online travel portal with a wide collection of San Francisco hotels to choose from. The portal also offers other San Francisco travel services such as car rentals and fight reservations. For more info please visit http://www.sanfranciscohotelseye.com


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