First Year Programs

One Bus Away Guide: International District

Learn how to use the Seattle Transit system and your U-PASS on a tour of one of Seattle's iconic neighborhoods. Have issues or questions? Call or text us at 206-207-5564.  

The U-PASS is a bus pass plus more. Loaded right onto the Husky Card, the U-PASS provides members with unlimited rides on regional buses, commuter trains, light rail and water taxis as well as full fare coverage on vanpools. 

  • How to get there: Take the light rail from the U District Station or University of Washington Station. Get off at the International District/Chinatown Station*. 

  • How to get back: Take the light rail from the International District/Chinatown Station. Get off at the U District Station or University of Washington Station (not the University Street Station!) 

*Be sure to tap on and off at the light rail! 

The International District is the center of Seattle's Asian American community. Within the International District are the three neighborhoods known as Seattle's Chinatown, Japantown, and Little Saigon, named for the concentration of businesses owned by people of Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese descent, respectively. Like many other areas of Seattle, the neighborhood is multiethnic, but the majority of its residents are of Chinese ethnicity. It is one of eight historic neighborhoods recognized by the City of Seattle. CID has a mix of residences and businesses and is a tourist attraction for its ethnic Asian businesses and landmarks. 

Tour Description: 

  1. Panama Hotel and Tea House: The Historic Panama Hotel built in 1910 by Sabro Ozasa, a Japanese Architect and graduate of the University of Washington. Through the years it has served as a home for generations of Japanese immigrants, Alaskan fisherman and International travelers. The building houses the only remaining Japanese Bathhouse (Sento) left in tact in the United States. These Facilities served generations of Seattle’s Japanese community until closing its doors in 1950, and has remained preserved as it was to this day. 

  1. Danny Woo Community Garden: The garden is approximately 1.5 acres and contains nearly 100 plots that are cultivated and cared for by elderly Asian immigrant residents of the neighborhood. The garden is also home to a children’s garden, chicken coop, outdoor kitchen, and fruit tree orchard. 

  1. Wing Luke Museum: The Wing Luke Asian Art Museum showcases different artists and styles from the Asian community. Wing Luke Museum is named after Wing Luke, who was appointed the Assistant Attorney General of Washington State. He worked against racial discrimination in the selling and renting of real estate. The Wing Luke Museum was to fulfill his vision of keeping Asian traditions and culture alive. Purchase tickets here

  1. Hing Hay Park: Built in 1973 and includes a pavilion, community games, and two gateways. The location is the center for a lot of the festivals that take place in ID such as The Dragon Fest. Tai Chi classes and free music are presented here during the summer time.  

  1. Uwajimaya/Kinokuniya: An Asian specialty supermarket providing the widest variety of Asian groceries and gifts and freshest meat, seafood and produce. A great place to buy Asian snacks, drinks, pastries, and meals. There is an attached bookstore that is known for its collection of Asian books, magazines, DVDs, and stationary. Several times a year, there are art fairs held in the bookstore for local artists to sell their work. 

More Fun Places to Explore: 

  • Seattle Pinball Museum: Dedicated to the preservation of pinball for future generations, the Seattle Pinball Museum allows for unlimited play on over 50 different pinball machines. The owners originally collected these machines out of enjoyment and turned it into a museum for others to visit. 

  • Dim Sum: Dim sum is a traditional Chinese meal made up of small plates of dumplings and other snack dishes and is usually accompanied by tea. The dishes are shared among family and friends and are typically consumed during brunch hours. Some of the best Dim sum places include: Harbor City Restaurant, Dim Sum King, and Jade Garden  

  • Hot Pot: Hot Pot is a dish whereby a heat source placed on the dining table keeps a pot of soup stock simmering, and a variety of Chinese foodstuffs and ingredients are served beside the pot for the diners to put into the hot stock. Some of the best Hot Pot places include: Chengdu Memory and Happy Lamb

  • Yummy House Bakery: A bakery serving healthy Hong Kong style cakes, buns, pastries and drinks. Yummy House Bakery was chosen as favorite bakery of The International Examiner’s Reader’s Choice Awards 2016. 

  • Musashi’s Sushi & Grill: A restaurant known its high-quality and delectable range of sushi, featuring traditional and modern rolls, sashimi, and more, made with the freshest ingredients. 

  • Oasis Tea Zone: This boba shop is a family-owned, Seattle-based tea and smoothie cafe, crowned “The premiere late-night boba and tea cafe” 

  • Lumen Field: Lumen Field is the home field for the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders, and OL Reign. It is a modern facility with views of the Downtown Seattle skyline and a seating capacity of 68,740 spectators for NFL games. Seahawks fans at Lumen Field have twice claimed the Guinness World Record for loudest crowd roar at an outdoor stadium, first at 136.6 decibels in 2013, followed by a measurement of 137.6 decibels in 2014. 

  • T-Mobile Park: Home of the Mariners, T-Mobile Park is a 19.59-acre outdoor ballpark that features real grass, a retractable roof designed to cover but not enclose the ballpark, and state-of-the-art amenities. The ballpark has a seating capacity of 47,929. 

  • Amtrack: use your UPASS here to get discounts on train tickets.