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!

Restaurants/Cafes

Afuri Ramen

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.

Locations:

Afuri Ramen +Izakaya

923 SE 7th Avenue

Afuri Ramen + Dumpling

50 SW 3rd Avenue

Website: afuri.us

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.

Website: behindthemuseumcafe.com

Yataimura Maru

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:

Yataimura Maru

3810 SE Division St.

marupdx.com

Shigezo

910 SW Salmon St.

shigezo-pdx.com

Izakaya Kichinto

102 NE Russell St.

facebook.com/kichinto

Wa Kitchen KUU

125 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

facebook.com/kitchenkuu

Oyatsupan

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

Website: oyatsupan.com

Kalé

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.

Website: kalepdx.com

Shops

Uwajimaya

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

Website: https://www.uwajimaya.com/

 

Kinokuniya

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

Website: https://usa.kinokuniya.com/stores-kinokuniya-portland-downtown

 

Muji

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.

Website: muji.com

Cultural Experiences

Japanese Garden

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

Website: https://japanesegarden.org

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

Website: www.oregonnikkei.org

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

Website: N/A

About

The Portland Chapter of JETAA (The JET Program Alumni Association) was created to serve the bonds of friendship developed by the program participants.  JETAA’s purpose is to achieve, through its  activities, a broader and deeper understanding between Japan and the other countries participating in the program.

Contact Us
Follow Us
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Flickr - Black Circle

© 2019 by JETAA Portland