Little Tokyo Business Association
Little Tokyo Business Improvement District
Amid the intense activity of Downtown Los Angeles' current development boom, the 134-year old community of Little Tokyo has 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.
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.
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.
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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.
LITTLE TOKYO WALKING TOUR
Last Saturday of the Month
Next tour: Oct. 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.
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.
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.
After the forced removal and incarceration of all persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast during World War II, there was an unspoken shedding of openly Japanese cultural practices in America. Many Sansei (third-generation Japanese Americans) like Mark Nagata experienced only cursory participation in Japanese culture--mostly eating food and celebrating holidays.
When Nagata was 9, an aunt and uncle serving on a U.S. military base in Japan sent him a box filled with colorful figures packaged with art-laden header and backing cards featuring alien-looking beings—kaiju (monsters) and heroes—engaged in battle. That seemingly simple gift sparked a passion that inspired Nagata to study art, to zealously collect vintage Japanese vinyl toys, to become a toy designer himself, and to help him recover his ethnic heritage.
JANM Braces for Japanese Toy Invasion
Shogun Santa is Coming to Little Tokyo
He is the world's only Shogun Santa, and he will bring holiday joy Japanese-style to Japanese Village Plaza in Little Tokyo.
Saturday, Dec. 15
Sunday, Dec. 16
Saturday, Dec. 22
Sunday, Dec. 23
Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day
Take a photo with Shogun Santa. It's free if you use your own camera or cell phone.
Bring the family!