Japantown in San Jose?
February 17, 2021 4:06 PM   Subscribe

Hi, I'm thinking about a short-term rental in San Jose. It's in Japantown. It looks to me to be very close to San Jose Airport. Can anyone with experience there answer a few questions?

Is plane noise terrible? I'm used to general city noise/planes, and don't need deathly quiet, but will it, like, rattle my windows ever? Wake me up? Interfere with work calls?

Is it a walkable neighborhood? I'm not going to be walking anywhere in particular, but I like a neighborhood with sidewalks and reasonable crosswalks, rather than, e.g. narrow roads with no sidewalks, super-busy roads with no crosswalks for absurd lengths of time, etc.

Is there much crime (real crime, not vague issues with people who look "shady") -- meaning, car break-ins, home break-ins/burglaries, muggings/home invasions?

Anything else I should consider?
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em to Travel & Transportation around San Jose, CA (8 answers total)


For what it is worth I have stayed at airport hotels right by it and I didn't find it that noisy, but I don't know about houses that might be on the flight paths, though.
posted by Brockles at 4:27 PM on February 17, 2021

Regarding airport noise, note that SJC has an 11:30-6:30 curfew (which can be broken for reasons like Air Traffic Control requirements), and I think most of the routes go more northerly (and you'd be SE). I'd probably worry more about proximity/facing with respect to the highway and the train lines (VTA light rail isn't super-noisy, but y'know, if people do act like idiots at an intersection the driver can lay on the horn for a while).

If it's got double-paned windows you should probably be fine.

With respect to crime, the SJPD links to this site for mapped stats.

Most of San Jose has sidewalks, except for a few areas (like some streets over in the Dry Creek area, for example).
posted by aramaic at 4:33 PM on February 17, 2021

I lived nearby for twenty years (in SJ, Mountain View and Sunnyvale) and I would love to live in Japantown. No plane noise and walkable. Flat, also, so bike-able.
posted by Rash at 4:50 PM on February 17, 2021

I lived around there in the 90s and found it walkable. I often walked home to 5th and Hedding from Diridon station (I worked in Palo Alto at the time). I don't remember ever even thinking about airport noise, but it was a long time ago and things may have changed.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:40 PM on February 17, 2021

Google Street View is how I check out things like sidewalks and bike lanes and general atmosphere. It's bound to be pretty up to date in San Jose.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:42 PM on February 17, 2021

Walkability in that area is very good - plenty of sidewalks and crosswalks, many roads are quite residential and there are only a handful of roads that through traffic would use. If you want places to walk, downtown has its architectural charms if you look for them, and Japantown is next to a historic district with some pretty houses in.

If you're a recreational walker, you can walk up Coyote Creek from downtown - it's about 7 miles all the way to the bay, but you can just walk a section and see if the egrets are out to play in the creek itself. That trail actually goes in front of the airport, and sometimes I used to walk home on it after getting a flight.

Cycling is basically fine, though you might want avoid the busiest thoroughfares (Santa Clara and 1st street come to mind). Cycling on San Jose sidewalks is, I discovered only a couple of days ago, legal, with a couple of exceptions, so you can take it slow and you don't have to compete with cars. There is a bikeshare system downtown - looks like it's changed since I was there last, but this website would appear to be the latest iteration. If you want to range a bit further this is one option.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 7:54 PM on February 17, 2021

Longtime Jtown resident here! (I only recently moved a few miles away, but lived in the thick of it for over a decade, also grew up in the community at large.)

Plane noise is nominal. You'll stop hearing it unless you're standing outside, and even then you won't really notice it. It's not the planes you need to worry about, it's the trains. If you're close to the tracks, it's honestly kind of a nightmare. I used to work nearer to the tracks on 10th and I'd have to just put phone calls on hold due to train horns and general rumbling.

It's extremely walkable. The sidewalks are good, there are generally crosswalks/signals where you'd want them. E Taylor is very busy and jaywalkers have had some serious incidents with cars over the years. But you can easily walk all the way to San Jose State and the main downtown with no issues. Picking up LightRail at the Jtown station is also super easy.

Crime is...kind of a thing. It's all petty crime in the vein of vandalism and porch theft, but it's very real and it's been on the rise. We've seen a lot of broken windows and graffiti. Drag racing down N 5th street is a thing on and off (between E Taylor and E Empire) late nights, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the "schedule." Make friends with the regulars and staff at Roy's Station and you'll be up to date on literally everything that's happening in the neighborhood (good and bad). There are a lot of unhoused people in the neighborhood, but San Jose can't deal with helping them generally so of course it's not specific to the neighborhood.

Please memail me if you want to talk specifics. I'm happy to virtually introduce you to some people! I'll say though, that I really want to move back. This neighborhood is full of real neighbors and a sense of community for residents and business owners that I haven't found anywhere else.
posted by komlord at 9:26 AM on February 18, 2021

Response by poster: Wow, thanks very much for the insightful and thorough answers. This is the kind of thing that can't really be googled and I appreciate it very much.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 2:51 PM on February 18, 2021

« Older Where can I read or watch about new advances in...   |   Neurotic question about NSAIDs, covid vaccine Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.