Experience Japan in Portland
Because everyone needs a little Japan
Are you back from Japan, and want to find some of the food and things you miss the most? Have you never been to Japan, but want to experience a little piece of it without having to buy a plane ticket? Look no further! We've got you covered.
This is a curated list of our favorite Japanese related places in Portland. Some you may know, some you may have never heard of, but all are excellent ways to connect or reconnect with everything Japan!
With two locations in Portland, this high-end Japanese chain is one of Portland’s premier ramen restaurants. Afuri Ramen + Izakaya in southeast Portland is located in a chic remodeled warehouse space, and was the chain’s first restaurant to open outside of Japan. Afuri Ramen + Dumpling, located downtown, offers a hip, fast casual environment. Make sure to try the Yuzu ramen, the franchise’s speciality.
Afuri Ramen +Izakaya
923 SE 7th Avenue
Afuri Ramen + Dumpling
50 SW 3rd Avenue
Behind the Museum Cafe
Located, well, exactly where you’d think, Behind the Museum Café is a little slice of Japan right in downtown Portland. Founder Tomoe Horibuchi, a practioner of Shojin Ryori and tea ceremony, was inspired by the beauty of Mt. Hood and the Portland Japanese Garden to open a café specializing in Japanese drinks and cuisine right here in the city. Here you can find handmade treats like matcha and hojicha lattes, onigiri, and traditional sweets like ichigo daifuku. Plus, the café is located in a bright and airy space that melds a traditional Japanese style with modern aesthetics. The perfect spot to hit after a day out at the art museum!
Address: 1229 SW 10th Ave.
Yataimura Maru and its sister locations, Shigezo, Izakaya Kichinto, and Wa Kitchen KUU, strive to bring the authentic Izakaya experience to Portland. Hung with typical Japanese pub decorations, and serving comfort food like ramen, curry, karaage, and more, these restaurants are some of the best places to feed that natsukashii feeling. Plus, there’s a location for pretty much every quadrant of Portland!
Locations and websites:
3810 SE Division St.
910 SW Salmon St.
102 NE Russell St.
Wa Kitchen KUU
125 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
It's a Japanese bakery in Beaverton! Yummy & natsukashi. Also, the JETAA book club meets here monthly, usually one afternoon a month from 3-5pm.
Address: 16025 SW Regatta Ln, Beaverton, OR 97006
Get your curry fix right in downtown Portland! This cozy, casual restaurant is right near the waterfront. With plenty of customization options and dishes like katsu curry and doria on the menu, you can have nearly any type of curry your heart desires.
Address: 50 SW Pine St.
This long-standing Beaverton grocery store is a Japanese-lover's dream. While a bit on the expensive side, Uwajimaya has almost everything that you could ask for: fresh Japanese and Asian produce that you can't find in normal stores, your favorite Japanese snacks, the biggest selection of tea you could think of, sake and umeshu, ricecookers, tableware, fun kitchen gadgets, cosmetics, and much, much more. The store also boasts a BeardPapa cream puff stand, a sushi/hot meal deli, a miniature Kinokuniya bookstore, and a ramen restaurant. If you're looking for something you loved in Japan, or want to try something new, this is the place to go!
Address: 10500 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton, OR 97005
Opened in 2019 in the old Guild Theatre, Kinokuniya is a famous Japanese bookstore chain. While a small shop catering to Japanese expats has long been inside the Beaverton Uwajimaya, this shop caters towards Portland residents and tourists, offering Japanese stationary, comics, and other fun items in addition to books. The store also hosts the Book of Tea Cafe, a branch of the Behind the Museum Cafe, serving Matcha and Japanese sweets.
Address: 829 SW 9th Ave,Portland, OR 97205
This Japanese clothing and lifestyle chain has finally come to Portland! Located right across from Pioneer Square, Muji Portland is the perfect place to shop for simple clothes, household goods, and delicious snacks. Plus, this location also offers embroidery and alteration services, a stamp station, and a coffee stand featuring local coffee and Oyatsupan bread. Bento boxes from Chef Naoko are also offered for a short time in the early afternoon.
Address: 621 SW 5th Ave.
Located in the Washington Park area, right across from the Rose Garden. Admission is paid; see website for details. Parking is paid as well.
Pro Tip! If you have a Bank of America Credit Card/Debit Card, take avantage of "Museums on Us": the first full weekend of every month it is FREE to get in! (This also applies to the Portland Art Museum and Portland Children's Museum).
Address: 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center
Located downtown (in what is now Chinatown), this museum is dedicated to "Sharing and preserving Japanese American history and culture in Portland's Old Town neighborhood, where Japantown once thrived."
Reasonable entry prices: $5 adults, $3 students/seniors
Address: 121 NW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97209
Japan American Historical Plaza
Located on the Northern part of the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, near the Portland Saturday Market. This may be Portland's best spot for Cherry Blossom viewing with 100 Sakura trees. A sight to see in full-bloom.
Pro-Tip: "Oregon Nikkei Endowment has developed an iPhone guided tour app of the Japanese American Historical Plaza, featuring the voice of renowned actor and activist George Takei." (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/public-art-pdx/id416967691)
Address: 98 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204