Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

San Francisco Chinatown

My mother and daughter had never been to the Chinatown in San Francisco so we spent the day out there and also paid a visit to Japantown.

We did the normal tourist walk up and down the street there. We also paid a visit to the Norras Temple. The Norras Temple is the oldest Buddhist temple in California and it claims to be the oldest one in the United States.

Outside, it is a rather plain building:

Chinatown II - 36

But if you climb up the steps to the third floor, you will find a rather nice, small temple. The staff there, older Chinese fellows hanging out, were very friendly and left us free to look around respectfully.

Chinatown II - 29 This is the main shrine.

Chinatown II - 33 This is a closeup. I was surprised to see a lot of Tibetan (Vajrayana) statuary and iconography in the room but it was very present. The entire space, both decent sized rooms, was covered in imagery and every horizontal surface had fresh offerings as you see above.