This building was originally three stories and the Hotel Yebisuya was a rooming house for seasonal workers while the retail spaces on the ground floors had Japanese run businesses such as the Ikeda Barbershop, Nabata shoemaker, cafes, restaurants, a meat shop, a tailor and a pool room.
This cheery building is now the home of Doulble Happiness Food Limited but it has been many things since it was built around 1907. At least that is when part of it was built.
Hatsume Watchmaker has resided here as has Hori's Coffee Shop and Hitose-Yu Bathhouse. The bathhouse was one of five Japanese style ofuro bathhouses. Bathers would thoroughly scrub before entering a large, communal hot tub. Clients were charged five to ten cents at these bathhouses with items such as towels, soaps and washcloths being supplied by the bathhouse. Hitose-Yu Bathhouse ran from 1936 - 1942.
Many families lived in small apartments above the business they ran on the street level.
Some of the information for this post and a few former entries has been garnered from panels on the sides of certain buildings in Japantown that are part of the Open Doors Project. Panels like this.
When I attend the Powell Street Festival I picked up a small notice on these panels and it is such a joy to see people taking such pride in their history and informing others of what was once here.
I hope you find the beauty around you.