Welcome to Little Tokyo
Little Tokyo Business Association
Little Tokyo Business Improvement District
​Little Tokyo's Key Role in L.A.'s History

Behind the bustling crowds and neatly arranged rows of restaurants, shops, offices, and residences is a colorful history that has shaped Little Tokyo since the late 1800s. For 139 years, this hearty community has survived everything from world wars to a roller coaster economy to emerge as one of Southern California's most popular cultural communities. Learn how it all began.

Read the full story.


Gaman is the Japanese word for "patience." It can also be translated in American parlance as "hang in there" or "stay strong." 

Little Tokyo Strong encapsulates our community's commitment to face the challenges before us as we survive the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis together.

Since its founding in 1884, Little Tokyo has enthusiastically welcomed all to shop, dine, worship, do business, and live here. We have survived for 136 years, through the Great Depression, World War II, the economic downturn of 1990-92, and the financial crisis of 2008. Each time, Little Tokyo has come back, stronger than ever.

While we can't predict the exact day that health restrictions will be lifted and life will return to some type of normalcy, we promise that Little Tokyo will once again be the community you have come to love and enjoy. In the meantime, "Gaman!"
In the 1960s, buses on electric rails carried folks to and from Little Tokyo. This one is heading west on 1st St. and Central Ave.
Questions about this website?  Contact Little Tokyo Business Association, 250 E. First Street #201, Los Angeles, CA 90012 - 213-880-6875.