Hello from Little Tokyo

Ayzia King || Art Director 

 

Little Tokyo is a charming and relaxing Japanese district tucked into the overwhelming lifestyle that is Downtown Los Angeles. The 132-year old community is home to the largest Japanese-American population in North America and an open door to tourist who want to learn more about the Japanese culture.

While shopping, dining, and enjoying live entertainment is what embodies most of the district; the community had a hard time becoming what it is today.

World War II brought an unjust exclusion to the Japanese-American’s living in Little Tokyo. The U.S government forced all those who were of Japanese ancestry living in the district to domestic concentration camps until the war ended.

Once ending, many of the Japanese-Americans moved back to Little Tokyo and started rebuilding their community. The process took time and was not an easy task, but the District lived on to become the culturally rich community that we can enjoy.

Today, bustling crowds navigate their way through the communities neatly arranged shops, restaurants and offices. With upcoming events, world-class museums, and dozens of places to fill your belly, it is no surprise that people are now discovering the hidden gem that is Little Tokyo.

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Paper lanterns are found all around the Japanese Village. It is set up so that tourists can be immersed within the Japanese culture.

 

 

 

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Stop by Weller Court and grab some onigiri for a traditional Japanese snack. They are rice balls filled with kelp, tuna, and even pickled plum! There are so many options to choose from.

 

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If you’re ever bored on a Friday night, come on down because “Heck Yeah” karaoke is open mic and you can sing your favorite song to everyone who is walking by.

 

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The great thing about Little Tokyo is the fashion. These girls are expressing popular Japanese fashion while exploring the city. So kawaii!

 

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The Little Tokyo community has been through many ups and downs. Home is Little Tokyo is a mural that captures the long history and celebration that makes up the Japanese community living in Los Angeles.

 

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The Maneko-Neko or Beckoning Cat is known as a common Japanese figure. It is said to bring good luck to those who own it. They are found all over the community.

 

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Paper lanterns are sold in many of the stores surrounding the community. They are decoration to many people, but symbolize celebration and joy.

 

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Masks are very popular in Japan, especially during festivals. The masks seen her are festival masks and are often worn by children on the back of their heads.

 

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Traditional Japanese art is found everywhere in Little Tokyo and hand-fans are popular in the Asian culture, so mixing the two is a great treat.

 

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Okamoto Kitchen sells delicious Japanese comfort food. Stop by when you see the red anime truck and try something new! They also park the truck in Abbot Kinney for First Fridays.

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