San Jose’s beloved Japantown is a lovely place to visit any time. But don’t just take our word for it. The Huffington Post insists the area, just north of downtown, is a can’t-miss for those visiting the Silicon Valley. One of only three remaining Japantowns in the country, last year the historic neighborhood celebrated its 125th anniversary.

Visiting Japantown is like taking a trolly into another country—literally. Anyone staying in downtown San Jose can take the VTA light rail a few short stops to the Japantown/Ayer station. From there, visitors are just a short walk from delicious and authentic Japanese, Korean and Hawaiian food, kind people and beautiful artwork.

The Japantown Mural Project is responsible for the impressive collection of public artworks stretching a quarter city block along 6th and Jackson streets. Fifty artists have shared their work so far and there are multiple galleries in the neighborhood.

There are many possibilities for a day spent in Japantown. Every Sunday, the Japantown Market is held—rain or shine—with plenty of fresh produce,  arts and crafts. Learn about the culture at the Japanese Language School or how to perform a traditional tea ceremony. Try artisan hand-made tofu at the popular San Jose Tofu Company or satisfy your sweet tooth at Sheui-do Manju Shop. When the Emperor of Japan visited San Jose, he was treated to manju from this shop. For those who wish to practice the ancient art of karaoke, 7 Bamboo Lounge is considered one of the best karaoke bars in the Bay Area.

Throughout the year, many exciting events take place in Japantown, such as the Nikkei Matsuri—a fair dedicated to arts and crafts, as well as the upcoming San Jose Obon Festival. On July 9, families and friends will get together to celebrate the rich Japanese culture, with food and games. San Jose Taiko will also perform alongside 1,200 dancers, all dressed in traditional Japanese clothing for two days.