Japantown in San Francisco is a very nice place. I've probably previously mentioned that I'm into Japanese culture, and Japantown is the most Japanese culture-filled place I've found yet. It's sort of quenching my thirst for their culture, making it less likely that I'll want to go there for a semester, but it's also just a wonderful place. My favorite spot is the White Crane Tea Co. shop, which is run by this charming Japanese-American (I assume) guy named David, who can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about tea, and more.

Did you know, for example, that the most flavorful green teas are picked before dawn? Apparently, before the sun comes up, the tea leaves are fat with sugar and juices that have built up overnight, but when the sun comes up, the leaves quickly start to photosynthesize and force the juices back down the stem. So the best-flavored leaves are picked before the sun touches the leaves.

Anyway, there's a lot of awesome to be found in Japan Center. The video store with anime DVDs that they don't sell cheaper than $29 (waay overpriced, but it's fun to browse); the bonsai store; the teapot store; the overly-sexual anime girl action figures in the collectibles store. It's great.