Japantown San Jose

Japantown San Jose (between Jackson and Empire streets and from First Street to Eighth) is one of the last three remaining historical Japantowns in the United States. It has been the object of redevelopment and revitalization plans since 1987.

Some pieces of this overall plan have been accomplished, and shine today in the heart of this unique business district.

Many of these anticipated improvements have been taking time to come to fruition. When they do, the preparations go on behind the scenes while citizens wait for solid evidence that anything is happening at all.

Our intent here, is to track some of these developments. While fans of Japantown wait for these plans to bear fruit, we want to share the changes that are in our future.


3 thoughts on “Japantown San Jose

  1. Though various boundaries have been assigned to San Jose Japantown, boundaries did not exist historically, and are subject to discussion. Between First Street and Eighth Street seems pretty inclusive for the east/west boundaries. Empire Street also seems the likely southern boundary. Looking north, Taylor Street is definitely within the business district, but (in my opinion) there’s an often unacknowledged Japantown residential district that extends to Hedding Street (formerly Rosa Street, the old city limits). Development of this area began before the war, but continued into the post-war era when a returning Japanese American population revitalized Japantown allowing it to survive as one of the last remaining Japantowns. This area also includes another Japanese church on Seventh Street near Mission, and there was a Japanese baseball field across Hedding Street between Fifth and Seventh.

  2. In SB307, the California senate bill describing Japantown San Jose preservation and development (2004, Kathy Sakamoto), the J’town business district is described as between First and Seventh Streets, along Taylor and Jackson Street.

    Redevelopment area: Includes the entire block of Sixth and Seventh Streets between Jackson and Empire and extending eastward on Jackson Street to include Eight and Ninth Streets. Also along Taylor Street, the area extends along the triangular piece of property west of the railroad tracks bordering Seventh and Taylor Streets and extends eastward along Taylor midway to Ninth Street.

    The Japantown neighborhood association boundaries extends to Hedding, if I am not mistaken.

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