Landmark Japantown Market Closing - NBC Bay Area

Landmark Japantown Market Closing

The Sakai market in San Francisco's Japantown will close for the last time Saturday night.



    Landmark Japantown Market Closing
    Japantown merchant Sakai market is shutting down for good on Saturday.

    The devastating 1906 earthquake led the Sakai Market to open, before there was an "official" San Francisco Japantown, and continued even during and after the internment of its Japanese owners during World War II.

    But after 105 years, the store is calling it a career.

    Hailed as a "landmark" for its offerings of udon, sake, daikon and other specialities from the land of Japan, Sakai's owners will close the market this weekend, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

    No reason was offered by third-generation owner Robert Sakai, who did not comment to the newspaper. A store employee said that Sakai is retiring, and his children are choosing to lease out the market space rather than continue in the grocery business.

    The market will close for the last time at 5 p.m. Saturday.

    The market was hailed by shoppers on Thursday as "one thing that kept this neighborhood Japanese," according to the newspaper.

    San Francisco's Japanese population is steadily decreasing, losing about 1,000 residents every ten years, according to the newspaper.