Japantown Japanese Cultural Event
San Jose’s Japantown is one of the last three authentic Japantowns in the United States. It is a hub of traditional eateries, quaint tea shops and markets, and an incredibly festive event scene. There are a wide variety of places to check out during your stay, from the fresh noodles of Kumako Ramen to the sweets at Shuei-do Manju Shop to the gorgeous koi ponds in the Japanese Friendship Garden. Check out our guide for the essential must-do’s when in Japantown.


Shabu Shack: Located in the heart of Japantown (and just a 2-minute walk from Sixth and Jackson!), Shabu Shack offers a fresh and tasty Japanese style hot pot. The restaurant not only provides an excellent selection for meat lovers, but for vegetarians as well, making it a great place to eat out for all!
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Shabu Shack serves up traditional Japanese hot pot soups.
Kumako Ramen: One street corner away from Shabu Shack lies Japantown’s traditional ramen house, Kumako Ramen. This family-owned eatery serves a variety of ramen, from hot to cold. Voted best of Silicon Valley by Metro Newspaper for 8 consecutive years, Kumako Ramen is a must when dining in Japantown. Aside from their notorious ramen dishes, the restaurant is also celebrated for their freshly made gyoza.
Aloha Fresh: Another essential eatery 2 doors down from Shabu Shack is Aloha Fresh. This poke shop began with the simple intention of bringing traditional Hawaiian poke to California. The poke you eat here is not your basic food truck fish, it is actually flown in from Hawaii within hours of being caught, and is NEVER frozen.

Each poke made has its own unique flavor, and customers are encouraged to sample them all. In addition to the assortment of poke, Aloha Fresh also offers hot food items, boba tea, and desserts which of course can be coupled with the poke, or enjoyed entirely by itself.


Roy’s Station Coffee & Teas: If you’re looking to get fueled up on a great cup of coffee at a revived historical landmark, Roy’s Station Coffee and Teas is your answer. Entirely family owned, this once gas station evolved into a coffee shop that envelops both a modern and retro vibe.

Roy’s Station is a must when experiencing Japantown, as it not only brings vibrancy in service and coffee, but a demonstrated commitment to keeping the town alive through its history. Check out their menu here.
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Your local coffee counter is Roy’s, a mainstay in Japantown.
Sinceretea: Up on Taylor Street, Sinceretea is a tea shop dedicated to modernizing tea time by incorporating it into our daily lives and fitting it into our lifestyle. They specialize in a wide range of different tea-based drinks from creamy to floral to bare,and they brew their own specialty teas as well.

Sinceretea freshly brews their teas with organic leaves, and thoughtfully blends them with other quality ingredients, crafting beautifully made teas.


Jack’s Bar: Open daily, Jack’s Bar is Japantown’s local dive bar hangout. Offering nine TV’s laid out around their patio, Jack’s is a great place to be for any sporting event, making it easily enjoyable, especially when paired with a cocktail or any of their draft beers.

7 Bamboo: Attracting young lively crowds, 7 Bamboo is a great place to grab some drinks with friends. This bar is notorious for their karaoke and focus on entertainment, making the atmosphere friendly to locals and newcomers alike.
Take up the mic at 7 Bamboo with karaoke Thursday through Saturday.


Shuei-do Manju Shop: Traditional Japanese sweets when in Japantown are a must. Shuei-do is world famous for their Manju, which are mochi bun cakes stuffed with yummy fillings such as bean paste or jam.

They are handmade, made fresh daily with sweet rice, with no preservatives, and are such a treat. Offering a variety of flavors, forms, colors, and sizes, there are many options to choose from that will not disappoint! Fun fact: the Emperor of Japan visited this shop on his last visit to the US!
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Soft, pillowy Manju are a delectable sweet treat.
Nijiya Market: When you get the urge to cook up your own beautiful meals in your apartment, Nijiya Market is the perfect place to go (and is only a 2-minute walk from Sixth and Jackson!).

This Japanese market carries imported products of Japan as well as high quality fish to fulfill one’s sushi and sashimi desires. Nijiya Market can be great for everyday shopping or for specified shopping, making it an awesome place to check out. We also highly recommend getting their grab and go fresh sushi for lunch!

Japanese American Museum: If you’re a history buff and want to know more about Japantown's roots, the Japanese American Museum is a great place to visit. The museum showcases exhibits centered on the pioneers of Japantown, recollections of Post WWII resettlement, oral history, and art.


San Jose Market Center: San Jose Market Center is the place to go to purchase everyday products. The center is a quick 5 minute drive from Sixth and Jackson and contains the local Target, Trader Joe’s, PetSmart, Michaels, and Starbucks.


Japanese Friendship Garden: Located in Kelley Park, the Japanese Friendship Garden is a beautiful 6 acre space. The garden was patterned after the famous Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan, and is only an 11 minute drive from 6th and Jackson. It is well worth visiting either with family or friends, or even alone. As the space embodies peace, it makes for a great place to connect with nature and spend a meditative afternoon.
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The Japanese Friendship Garden is a beautiful and tranquil space to rest and connect with nature.
Alum Rock Park: A more intense nature walk could be found at Alum Rock Park. A 15 minute drive from 6th and Jackson, Alum Rock Park has five different interpretive overlooks and several trails for hikers, bicyclists, and even horse riders. 

There’s no doubt about it - Japantown is a gem of a place in San Jose. The walkable shops and restaurants, summertime events and appreciation for culture make it a unique and wonderful place to live.

Community is something that the people of Japantown really value, and they actively promote each other's businesses and shop locally. We highly recommend giving Japantown’s community Instagram page a follow, to stay in the know of great places to dine, shop, and support special events happening in town!