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A World of Simple Pleasures

Amid the intense activity of Downtown Los Angeles' current development boom, the 132-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 131 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.
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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Ongoing - Daily Monday thru Friday, 6:20-7 a.m.
Zenshuji Soto Temple
123 S. Hewitt St. 
Everyone is welcome. By donation. For more information, visit www.zenshuji.org.

Ongoing - Tours of MOCA (Grand Ave.) and MOCA at the Geffen Contemporary (Little Tokyo)
Thursday evenings 6 & 7 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays 12 noon & 2 p.m.
Educators offer conversational walk-throughs of current exhibitions at either of the Downtown Los Angeles museums.  Tours begin int he lobby and last about 45 minutes. No reservations are required for individuals, but groups should call (213) 621-1745 or email 
education@moca.org. Additional information.

Saturday, June 18
1-3:30 p.m.
Little Tokyo Branch Library
203 S. Los Angeles St.
Prepare to get a job by learning interview skills and helpful hints. Open to work-ready teens and adults ages16-24.  Click here for flyer. Register.

Monday, June 20
6-8 p.m.
Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple
815 E. 1st St.
Learn about the Emergency Security Operations Center at 410 Center St. that is being designed by Metro. The new facility will serve as the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and central location for Metro security operations, radio dispatch, and emergency coordination. Metro is also planning to integrate Rail and Bus Operations Centers into the facility. 

Thursday, June 23
Panel discussion 3 p.m., film screening 4 p.m.
Aratani Theatre
244 S. San Pedro St. 
PERSONA NON GRATA: The Story of Chiune Sugihara
Come to a special screening of director Cellin Gluck's film about the Japanese diplomat who risked his life to save thousands of Jewish refugees during World War II.  The screening will be preceded by a panel discussion featuring Akira Kitade, author, "Visas of Life and the Epic Journey;" Nathan Lewin, Columbia Law School; and Oriha Sugihara, great granddaughter of Chiune Sugihara.  This event is presented free of charge by the Japan America Society of Southern California and will be in English.  No reservation is required.

Saturday, June 25
Doors open 6 p.m.
Aratani Theatre
244 S. San Pedro St.
A concert featuring many of America's leading jazz artists, including Michael Paulo, June Kuramoto, Grace Kelly, Charmaine Clamor, Kimo Cornwell, Boy Katindig, Tateng Katindig, Fred Schreuders, and Kelly Che.  Ticket information.

Now thru June 26
MAKING WAVES: Japanese American Photography, 1920-1940
Japanese American National Museum
100 N. Central Ave.
An in-depth examination of the contributions of Japanese Americans to photography, particularly modernist art photography, much of which was lost as a result of the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. The exhibition presents 103 surviving works from that period.​ More information.

Now thru June 26
East West Playhouse
120 Judge John Aiso St.
Director Tim Dang brings to the stage the multiple Tony award-winning musical about what happens when young man brings his fiance to meet his father, a gay man who operates a glitzy night club. Presented in partnership with the Los Angeles LGBT Center.  Ticket information.
Details about special performances and events are available here.

Now thru July 11
DON'T LOOK BACK: The 1990s at MOCA
152 N. Central Ave.
Mon-Tues-Wed-Fri 11-6; Thu 11-8; Sat-Sun 11-5
Comprised of works from MOCA's permanent collection, DON'T LOOK BACK identifies key concerns and transformations of the 1990s. Many of the works are large-scale and have not been on view since they were originally acquired and shown. Included are works by Catherine Opie, Cady Noland, Sarah Sze, and Paul McCarthy, among others.
                          LITTLE TOKYO 

Eat, Shop, Play Local is Metro’s campaign that promotes the unique and culturally-rich businesses located adjacent to the construction route of the new Regional Connector Transit Project.

Don’t wait for the new rail line to open! You can participate and support Little Tokyo and Downtown Los Angeles businesses and be entered to win cash prizes today. Learn how.

Follow Metro on Facebook and Twitter for more information on:

Lunch Meet-Ups*
- Special Events
- Quarterly Drawings
                                                      -- Photo by Rudy Serrano
See What's New at MOCA's Geffen Contemporary
There is still time to check out "Don't Look Back: The 1990s at MOCA," a selection of works from MOCA's permanent collection now on exhibit through July 11. 
New Exhibition Space Dedicated to Veterans Opens 

The new "Defining Courage" exhibition dedicated to the courage and loyalty of the Japanese American veterans, will debut with a ribbon cutting and celebration on Saturday, May 28  at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy next to the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. The entire event is free and open to the public.

 To see the exhibition itself, timed-entry tickets are required as admittance is limited. Our advance tickets for opening day have sold out, but we will have limited wait-list tickets available on the day of the event at the entrance of the exhibition. All music, films, and food are free of charge and require no advance tickets!

Learn more.