Many of the best Portland goods and restaurants are popping up in a surprising place: almost 5,000 miles (8,047 km) away in Japan. Luckily, it’s a mutual exchange that allows people in Portland to sample Japanese offering without the cost of an international plane ticket. From slurping some of Tokyo’s best ramen in Portland to sipping Stumptown Coffee in Tokyo, visitors can get a taste of Japan in the Rose City and vice versa.
Where to Find Japan in Portland
The majority of retailers with admirers in both Portland and Japan are producers of delicious food or outdoor gear. When it comes to the latter, Portland boasts an outpost of a storied outdoor lifestyle brand founded by Japanese mountaineers, Snow Peak. In addition to durable and chic clothing, Snow Peak offers camping and backpacking gear like tents and lightweight cookware.
Portland's Japanese American community offers engaging activities all year long.
A haven of meticulously maintained, tranquil beauty, proclaimed one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan, the Portland Japanese Garden offers meandering streams, intimate walkways and an unsurpassed view of Mount Hood.
Connect with Portland's rich Japanese-American heritage at sites around the city.
One of Japan’s most popular restaurants opened its first American locations in Portland. Shigezo Izakaya serves up fresh sushi, ramen, yakitori and more in a Japanese-style pub in downtown.
Shigezo’s two spin-off locations bring Japanese pub fare to another level. On Southeast Division, Yataimura Maru specializes in tapas-style drinking food, from gyoza to sushi to jellyfish ponzu. (Be sure to check out their generous happy hour.) Shigezo’s latest, Kichinto Izakaya, now open on North Russell, continues the pub food fusion with sushi, ramen and a lengthy sake list.
In Beaverton, you’ll find authentic noodles and small plates from another Japanese hotspot, Kizuki Ramen and Izakaya. Their long list of ramen options features a diverse selection of chewy noodles and rich broths, making them a favorite among locals and critics. Afuri, another storied Tokyo ramen shop, opened a Portland location in late 2016.
The Portland ramen scene has exploded in recent years, spurred by the arrival of two authentic eateries straight from Tokyo.
Portland is only an hour away from the Pacific Ocean, so it should come as no surprise that the city’s sushi options are both delicious and expansive.
This local family-run shop has been making tofu by hand for over a century.
Where to Find Portland in Japan
On the other side of the Pacific, Portland is sharing outdoor gear, food and much more with Japan. Columbia Sportswear has a store in Tokyo’s hip Harajuku neighborhood and Pendleton Woolen Mills has been popular in Japan for decades. Also, Japan loves local shoe brands Keen and Danner.
You’ll find artisan goods like naturally scented soaps by Maak Lab in stores from Osaka to Niigata. Minimalist Portland magazine-turned-lifestyle, Kinfolk, offers a Japan edition of their magazine as well as a Japanese line of their apparel. Stores all over Japan carry bike parts and accessories from local bike gear maker Portland Design Works.
Portland artisans are using high-quality, beautifully tanned and sustainably dyed leather for their goods, crafting pieces that will last for decades.
The great outdoors isn't just a way of life for Portlanders, it's also big business for local outfitters whose gear will keep you dry and warm in the Northwest and beyond.
To dress like a Portlander, be prepared to cycle to work, dodge raindrops and hoof it to a gallery opening in one versatile ensemble.
Portland is, of course, a foodie town, and we are sharing some of our best local bites with Tokyo. Blue Star Donuts opened its first Japanese location last year, serving up matcha and blueberry doughnuts to fans who lined up around the block. Java lovers can find Stumptown brew at Paddler’s Coffee in Tokyo. Portland farm-to-table favorite Navarre offers their European-inspired dishes in the Harajuku district. While you’re in the neighborhood, indulge in a Dutch Baby or 49er Flapjacks at the Original Pancake House, a family-owned stalwart founded in Portland.
The most powerful sign of Japan’s affection for all things Portland? That might be PDX Taproom, a craft beer bar featuring a tap list of exclusively Portland brewers, like Level Beer and HUB. They even have a Keep Portland Weird sign and (of course) a piece of PDX airport carpet!
Doughnut Shops in Portland
Voodoo is just one of many doughnut purveyors in Portland serving zany creations, gourmet flavors and gluten-free goodies.
Portland's passion for fine ingredients and careful craft extends into coffee cups — our guide to the Portland coffee scene will help you find must-try independent roasters and cozy, locally owned coffee shops.
Portland is a renowned culinary destination, and Portland restaurants run the gamut — no matter your budget, your location or the cuisine you crave, your next great meal awaits you in Portland.
Tea: Portland’s Other Hot Brewing Scene
Tea drinkers can enjoy a favorite cuppa or sample exotic varietals in Portland's teahouses. Chai tea, bubble tea and classic green tea are just a few of the many teas brewed in and around Portland.
Breakfast & Brunch
Every day, faithful breakfast and brunch fans file into Portland's mouthwatering morning meal hot spots. Follow the crowd and make the most of the most important meal of the day.
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