California Japantowns - Exploring the preservation of history, culture, and community...

El Centro

Along the border of California, Arizona, and Mexico, the Imperial Valley's warm climate was ideal for growing produce. The Salinas Valley Exchange, Crown Packing, Pacific Crate Company, and Kubota Transfer were several of the companies established for the packing and shipping of the produce in El Centro. By 1941, El Centro, like its neighbor, Brawley, had a Buddhist and Christian church, 3 Japanese schools, 3 hotels, 4 pool halls, 14 restaurants, 3 drug stores, and several other stores. None of these businesses still operate, although a few structures stand and the Buddhist Church is now home to a Sikh temple. The JACL and Pioneer Museum offer the only trace of the continued historic communities of the Imperial Valley.


Buddhist Church

455 Commercial, El Centro

Crown Packing Co.

unknown address, El Centro

Fujin Kai

455 Commercial, El Centro

George's Pool Hall

447 Broadway (now 449), El Centro

Grand View Mkt.

240 S 4th St, El Centro

Harry Lunch

473 Broadway, El Centro

Kamiya Co.

468 Broadway, El Centro

Kawabata Caf

446 1/2 Broadway, El Centro


441 Broadway, El Centro

Kobayashi Co.

478 Broadway, El Centro

Kubota Transfer

337 Hamilton Ave, El Centro

M. K. Hotel

442 Broadway, El Centro

Matsuno Co.

130 N 5th St, El Centro

Mikuni Low

534 Broadway, El Centro

Moriyama Barber

462 Broadway, El Centro

Nishimoto Co.

494 Broadway, El Centro

Okamoto Company

435 Broadway, El Centro

Okamura Co.

424 Broadway, El Centro

Ramona Hotel

420 Broadway, El Centro

Rex Hotel

444 Broadway, El Centro


534 Broadway, El Centro