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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.
LITTLE TOKYO 
EVENT CALENDAR

ONGOING ACTIVITIES

Weekly ZAZEN MEDITATION
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.

LITTLE TOKYO WALKING TOUR
Last Saturday of the Month
10:15-12:15 a.m.
Next tour: July 27
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.

HIRO'S BOKASHI CLUB
3rd Thursday of the Month
12 noon - 1:30 p.m.
Next meeting: July 18
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center
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.

LIBRARY PROGRAMS FOR ALL AGES
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.
Zenshuji Obon Carnival
123 S. Hewitt Street
July 13 & 14 - 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Bon odori dancing - Sat 6 p.m. & Sun 6:15 p.m.
Website

Nishi Hongwanji Obon Festival
815 E. 1st Street
July 13 & 14 - 3 to 10 p.m.
Bon odori dancing - 7 to 9 p.m.
Full schedule

Higashi Honganji Obon Festival
505 E. 3rd Street
July 27 & 28 - 1 to 9 p.m.
Website

St. Francis Xavier Benefit Dinner Dance
Maryknoll Auditorium
222 S. Hewitt St.
Saturday, Aug. 17 - 6:30 to 10 p.m.
Ticket information 
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.  Join TNC as they kick off a new season July 2, 7:30 to 10 p.m., ion the courtyard of the East West Playhouse, 120 Judge John Aiso Street.
Support environmental sustainability and help local food banks by taking part in one of the excellent food recovery and recycling programs or visiting the popup produce stand presented by Sustainable Little Tokyo and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center.  Visit jaccc.org for more information.
Repurposing Resources
Extended thru July 7!
Don't miss toy designer Mark Nagata's rare and unique collection of vintage Japanese toys.  Immerse yourself in the colorful universe of Kaiju (monsters) and heroes.
Welcome Anime Expo Visitors
Over 110,000 anime fans will descend on Los Angeles this weekend, July 4-7, at the L.A. Convention Center for Anime Expo, the largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in America. Shuttle buses to and from Little Tokyo ot the Expo are being provided courtesy of Metro. Look for the branded buses bearing custom anime art for a free ride & giveaways.
Celebrate in Little Tokyo: Food, Fun, Festivals!
NISEI WEEK FESTIVAL

Aug.10 (Sat) 
Nisei Week Sunset on the Plaza , 5 to 10 p.m.
JACCC Plaza, 244 S. San Pedro St.

Aug.11 (Sun) 
Aki’s Pup Up Party - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., JACCC Plaza
GRAND PARADE - Streets of Little Tokyo - from 4 p.m.

Aug. 17 (Sat)
Rubik’s Cube Open – JACCC Plaza, 8 a.m.
Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship – JACCC Plaza, 2 p.m.
Nisei Week Deko-Car Show - Nishi Hongwanji parking lot, 815 E.1st Street, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
More information.

Aug. 18 (Sun)
Nisei Week /JACCC Plaza Festival
Ondo Public Street Dancing – 1st Street, from 4 p.m.
Closing Ceremony – 1st Street, following Ondo

Click here for full Nisei Week schedule.