The buildings lining this open-air mall are of the shoji school of architecture. The shops are geared more toward locals—travel agencies, electronics shops—but there are some fun Japanese-goods stores. Arrive early in the day and you may score some fabulous mochi (a soft, sweet Japanese rice treat) at Benkyodo Company (1747 Buchanan St. 415/922–1244 www.benkyodocompany.com). It's easy to spend hours among the fabulous origami and craft
papers at Paper Tree (1743 Buchanan St. 415/921–7100 paper-tree.com).You can have a seat on local artist Ruth Asawa's twin origami-style fountains, which sit in the middle of the mall; they're squat circular structures made of fieldstone, with three levels of seating surrounded by a brick floor.
Buchanan St. between Post and Sutter Sts., San Francisco, California, 94115, United States