History on International District


One of the eight historic districts of Seattle, International District has a unique and interesting history. After Chinatown was built in the early 1900’s, Nihonmachi, or Japantown, emerged, only to disappear during World War II. The entire Asian region’s survival was at stake when many of the businesses were shutting down even 20 years after the war due to non Asian American development nearby. Luckily, the acts of young Asian American activists reclaiming the area managed to preserve the heritage. Since 1973, the District’s Asian American character has been protected by law. It is now the dynamic area we know it to be; an area thriving with Asian American culture.



There are plenty of things to eat, see, and do in the International District. Get some groceries at Uwajimaya, fresh baked goods at Fuji Bakery, ramen at Tsukushinbo, or sushi at Maneki. Fun fact: Former Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Miki served as a dishwasher at Maneki! Visit Kobe Terrace Park, a one-acre beautiful public park named after Seattle’s sister city, Kobe, Japan. Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners, is just a ten-minute walk from International District Station; support Hisashi Iwakuma, Norichika Aoki, and Dae-ho Lee, all former Nippon Professional Baseball players. And of course, come visit the Japanese Community & Cultural Center of Washington just one mile east of International District Transit Station!


While you are in International District, come visit the JCCCW! There is plenty to do. Take a tour of the buildings,International Distrcit -3 which is a historical site. During World War II, the buildings served as temporary housing for those to were returning from Minidoka Incarceration Camp in Hunt, Idaho, giving it the name “Hunt Hotel***.” Also, visit the Nikkei Museum, Hosekibako resale store, or Nikkei Bunko library, all on site here at the JCCCW!  Hosekibako is a resale Japanese vintage shop that offers a variety of items dating back as far back as World War II.


*** The Hunt Hotel traveling exhibit is currently in Portland at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center until September. Check it out if you will be there!