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​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 132 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.
Little Tokyo: 
Urban Adventure

Amid the intense activity of Downtown Los Angeles' current development boom, the 135-year old community of Little Tokyo has retained its enduring authenticity and emerged as one of L.A.'s coolest places to dine, shop, find entertainment, and live.  

Charming, walkable and friendly, Little Tokyo is setting a new, more relaxing pace and invites everyone to experience its charm sometime soon. Visitors will find dozens of delectable food options, great bars, live performances, world-class museums, and shopping that is not only eclectic but also affordable. 

It is no wonder that new residents are moving into the area every day, and visitors in increasing numbers are discovering Little Tokyo's many hidden gems.
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.

Oct. 11 (Fri) - 8 p.m.
Oct. 12 (Sat) - 8 p.m.
Oct. 13 (Sun) - 7 p.m.
East West Players
120 Judge John Aiso St., Little Tokyo
Sketch and improv comedy performances featuring OPM, Propergander, Cold Tofu, Room to Improv, Asia Street Comedy, Stir Friday Night, LAPU, Coyote That Cries, and more. Tickets.


Ongoing - Saturdays 6:30 a.m.  ~ Sundays 8 a.m.  ~ Mondays 6:30 p.m.
Zenshuji Soto Temple
123 S. Hewitt St. 
Everyone is welcome. By donation. 
For more information, visit www.zenshuji.org.

Last Saturday of the Month
10:15-12:15 a.m.
Next tour: Oct. 26
Starting point: Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave.
Learn about Little Tokyo's fascinating history and discover what's new about this culturally rich and emerging community.  Guided by knowledgeable docents, this walking tour is conducted the last Saturday of every month, weather permitting.  $15 fee includes admission to the Japanese American National Museum.  Reserve a space.

3rd Thursday of the Month
12 noon - 1:30 p.m.
Next meeting: Sept. 19
244 S. San Pedro St.
Learn how to compost food waste organically in a small space by taking part in this fun get-together. Learn more.

Little Tokyo Branch Library
203 S. Los Angeles St.
Mondays & Wednesdays 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Tuesdays & Thursdays 12 noon - 8 p.m.
Fridays & Saturdays 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Closed Sundays
The Library is brimming with activity throughout the year, including teen game nights, anime club, anime drawing, Nisei story-writing, origami, English conversation classes for citizenship, computer classes, preschool storytime, toddler and infant storytime, Japanese storytime, and more.  Click here for a complete schedule.
Presented on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, Tuesday Night Cafe is one of the longest running public art performance series in Los Angeles.  Enjoy TNC in the courtyard of the East West Playhouse, 120 Judge John Aiso Street, 7:30-10 p.m.
Haunted Little Tokyo Returns on Oct. 26!
Exhibit Focuses on Emergence of APA Identity 
The Japanese American National Museum joins with Visual Communications in presenting At First Light, a multi-media exhibition that draws from hundreds of thousands of photographs and more than 100 videos in the VC collections. The exhibition seeks to strengthen current resistance and resolve by evoking the legacy of Asian Pacific American activism.

Don't miss this outstanding exploration of the emergence of a politically defined APA consciousness and identity. 

Click here for museum hours and admission prices.
Haunted Little Tokyo returns for the third consecutive year with a variety of activities during the month of October.  

A highlight will be the block party set for Saturday, Oct. 26. Join the fun after dark when 2nd St. between San Pedro St. and Central Ave. will be devoted to one of Downtown L.A.'s biggest Halloween parties.  

Trick-or-treat in Japanese Village Plaza, attend screenings of classic Japanese films, visit a pumpkin patch, and try Halloween-themed beverages in the days leading up to Halloween. Click here for a complete schedule.​
Sponsoring organizations and businesses (partial list):

Little Tokyo Community Council
Cafe Dulce
Wolf & Crane
Anime Jungle
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center
Little Tokyo Business Association.
Calligraphy  on Display Thur Oct. 20
at JACCC Doizaki Gallery

An exhibition of shodo, the art of Japanese calligraphy, opened Saturday, Oct. 5, in the George Doizaki Gallery, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC).  

Presented by the Beikoku Shodo Kenkyu Kai, the exhibition is free and open to the public and will continue through Oct. 20. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 12 noon to 4 p.m., and closed Mondays, Tuesdays, and holidays.  

For information about events, Metro transit, parking, and walking tours, click here. Go Little Tokyo is a Little Tokyo Community Council (LTCC) project developed and produced by Community Arts Resources (CARS) and made possible with support from Metro.