Japantown is just six blocks today, but before the 1906 earthquake, this area was five times the size. The neighborhood shrunk to just the small area it encompasses today, but efforts at revival have been moderately successful with the addition of indoor malls, a pedestrian-only block, and Japanese restaurants and shops. The area still has residents, but today’s residents are much more diverse and in much smaller numbers. Still, it is a great place to include on your walk with your furry best friend with plenty of things to look at along the way. While you will find lots of food and drink on your trip through Japantown, you won’t find much for Fido. If you live in the area, pet stores, groomers, and vets are available nearby, but you will need to travel out of the general area to access them. Weather is great for walking all year-round with few exceptions.
This area of San Francisco is relatively flat when compared to the rest of the city. A few hills around Japantown are great for providing some much-needed exercise, but this area is great for those just wanting an afternoon stroll in the fresh air. Take your time as the area is small but there is plenty to see and the walking is not difficult. On the other hand, for those die-hard runners and walkers, just a few blocks out of the neighborhood nets you plenty of elevation changes to get that heart rate up.
The area is very urban, so don't expect any grass for your dog to roll on. However, there are trees here and there for a bit of shade. Concrete sidewalks are your terrain, and with no parks in this neighborhood, you will have to venture out if you want softer ground or a more natural setting.
As you might imagine, there is not much in the way of parks or green spaces in such a small neighborhood. However, just outside of Japantown, you will find Cottage Row Mini Park which has a dog area with lots of grass and trees.
Color Fountain Park and Raymond Kimbell Playground are to the south and offer places to relax underneath shady trees. Larger parks are available to the south and north and are just a few blocks walk away.
Lafayette Park has plenty of grass and trees and is a great place for you and Fido to stop for a picnic. It comes complete with an off-leash dog area which is a great place to socialize for both dog and owner. To the south, there is Jefferson Square Park, just a couple of blocks away from Japantown and it, too, has an off-leash area for your squirrely dog to run around.