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Japantown - San Luis Obispo

Updated: Jul 16, 2020

Japantown in San Luis Obispo (Image source here)

Japantown in San Luis Obispo:

  • One block long on Higuera Street Between South and French Streets

  • Developed in the 1920s and 1930s by the Eto and Tsutsumi Eto families

  • Consisted of: two hotels, a barber shop, a soda bottling company, two groceries, and a fish and meat market

Buddhist Church and Japanese School:

  • The first Buddhist services on the Central Coast were offered in a Guadalupe temple in 1912

  • San Luis Obispo's first Buddhist Church was built in 1927

  • Occupied land on the other side of the Madonna Inn from 1927 - 1960

  • A larger temple was built in 1936

  • Closed down in 1942

  • Reopened in 1948 as a post-war congregation

  • Torn down in 1960 to accomodate for the US 1010 freeway interchange

  • Today, the Buddhist Church can be found in Avila Beach

Eto Street:

  • Before World War II, Brooks Street was named Eto Street

  • During the war, it was renamed as Brooks Street

  • In the 1990s, a propasal to rename the street as Eto Street was rejected

  • As a compromise, a park was named Eto Park in honor of the Eto family

Works Cited

San Luis Obispo 1940 Map,

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