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Escape to Little Tokyo

Amid the intense activity of Downtown Los Angeles' current development boom, the 131-year old community of Little Tokyo has become a really cool place to be and is home to some of Downtown's newest hot spots.  

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 130 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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--Photo by Brian Forrest
Geffen Contemporary at MOCA Celebrates Artists

While in Little Tokyo, don't miss William Pope.L: Trinket, an exhibition of new and recent work by Chicago-based artist William Pope.L, an essential figure in the development of performance and installation art since the 1970s. 

The exhibition explores the impact of American history and politics on the social and psychological body in an ensemble grouping of large-scale installations, videos, paintings, photography, and performance works, including a new performance and sculpture work made especially for the exhibition.

Learn more about this and other outstanding exhibitions at the Geffen.
Live Samurai Action
Coming to   
Little Tokyo 

The Little Tokyo Business Association proudly presents a unique theater experience, BURAI: Standing All Alone for three performances, Aug, 28, 29, and 30 at the Aratani Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St.

Don't miss the opportunity to see this live performance featuring an outstanding Japanese cast and authentic fight scenes staged by one of Japan's leading swordplay choreographers, Keiya Tabuchi (Katana, The Last Samurai).

Set in 19th century Japan, BURAI is the gripping story of family honor, loyalty, pride, and a samurai warrior’s struggle to hold on to his inner spirit amid incredible odds. This original play is written and directed by Naoki Fujiyama.

Tickets are $35 for general admission, and $25 for JACCC members, seniors over age 65, and students with current school ID.

To reserve your ticket,
email tickets@visitlittletokyo.com.
LITTLE TOKYO EVENT CALENDAR

Ongoing - Daily Monday to Friday 
Morning Meditation
Zenshuji Soto Temple
123 S. Hewitt St. 
6:20-7 a.m. 
Everyone is welcome. By donation. For more information, visit www.zenshuji.org.

Now thru June 28
William Pope.L: Trinket
Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
152 N. Central Avenue
 Centerpiece of this exhibition is Trinket, a monumental, custom-made American flag (approximately 54 x 16 feet). During the museum's public hours, the flag will be continuously blown by four large-scale industrial fans and will be illuminated from below by a bank of custom theatrical lights.Tickets can be purchased for same-day admission at the box office. For ticket prices, museum hours and parking information, click here.

Saturday, June 20
Author Talk with Luis Rodriguez
Little Tokyo Branch Library
11 a.m.-12 noon
Author of Always Running, Luis Rodriguez is renowned as L.A.'s poet laureate. Free parking is available two lots south of the library, 203 S. Los Angeles St.

Saturday, June 20
Asian Heritage Jazz Festival
JACCC Plaza & Aratani Theatre
244 S. San Pedro St.
Jazz at its best featuring acclaimed Asian American artists, including Pauline Wilson, June Kuramoto, Jeff Kashiwa, Michael Paulo, Derek Nakamoto, and more.

Extended thru Sunday, June 21
East West Players present
THE WHO'S TOMMY
Showtimes: W-Th-F-Sa 8 p.m. & Sundays 2 p.m.
120 Judge John  Aiso St.
The classic rock musical arrives for the first time at East West Players in an electrifying new production. Ticket information.
​  
Sundays, July 5, 12, 19 & 26
TWILIGHT IN THE GARDEN: Little Tokyo Concert Series
James Irvine Japanese Garden
244 S. San Pedro St.
5-9 p.m.
Each Sunday during the month of July, the music and cultural communities of Southern California come together the share their talent and heritage.  July 5 - Quartetto Fantastico multi-genre string quartet; July 12 - Buyepongo roots & cumbia; July 19 - Ethio Cali jazz; July 26 - Shafiq Husayn & Dove Society future soul.  Dublab Collective DJs are featured.  Admission $10.  Must be 21 and over.  Click here for ticket information

Saturday, July 25
J-Town Jazz Club
Aratani Theatre
2 p.m.
A musical drama recreating a little known chapter in Little Tokyo's post-World War II history when the area was dubbed "Bronzeville" and jazz legends like Charlie Parker introduced their special brand of the blues to Los Angeles. Ticket information.

Aug. 15-16 & Aug. 22-23
JACCC Salutes the 75th annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival
JACCC Plaza
244 S. San Pedro St. 
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Enjoy live outdoor entertainment and view indoor exhibits by skilled artisans as JACCC joins in celebrating the 75th annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival, one of L.A. most enduring cultural events.  Performing will be taiko drummers, dancers, musicians, DJs, and martial artists.  Inside the center, find ikebana, bonsai, hand-made Japanese dolls, callligraphy, and tea ceremony displays and demonstrations.  Far Bar of Little Tokyo is providing Japanese fusion food and beverages.

Nisei Week Book Fair
Aug. 15 & 16
JACCC Plaza & James Irvine Japanese Garden
244 S. San Pedro St.
11 a.m.. - 6 p.m.
Heritage Source and Kinokuniya bookstores join in presenting authors Marsha Aizumi, Naomi Hirahara, Kerry Yo Nakagawa, Lora Nakamura, Stan Sakai, Todd Shimoda, Amy Uyematsu, and others for book-signing and discussion of their works.
L.A.'S MOST ENDURING CULTURAL CELEBRATION, NISEI WEEK JAPANESE FESTIVAL (AUG. 15-16, 22-23) MARKS ITS 75TH ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR WITH MANY NEW AND TRADITIONAL FEATURES, INCLUDING THE NEBUTA, A SPECTACULAR LIGHTED FLOAT RARELY SEEN OUTSIDE OF JAPAN. For details, visit niseiweek.org