Like nearby Chinatown, this redeveloped ethnic neighborhood isn't home to the majority of Angelenos of Japanese ancestry; suburban Gardena has that distinction. But Little Tokyo functions as the community's cultural focal point and is home to several malls filled with bakeries, bookshops, restaurants, and boutiques, as well as the occasional Buddhist temple. The Japanese American National Museum is here, as is the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St. (tel. 213/628-2725; www.jaccc.org), which regularly offers traditional Kabuki dramas and modern music concerts.
Unfortunately Little Tokyo is shabbier than almost any district in the Japanese capital, and it has difficulty holding a visitor's attention for much longer than the time it takes to eat lunch. Exceptions to this rule come twice yearly, during the Cherry Blossom Festival in spring and Nisei Week in late summer. Both heritage festivals celebrate Japanese culture with parades, traditional Ondo street dancing, a carnival, and an arts fair. The Japanese American Network provides a community calendar, a map of Little Tokyo points of interest, and useful Web links online at www.janet.org/janet_little_tokyo/ja_little_tokyo.html.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- E 1st Street & S San Pedro Street
- Downtown, southeast of the Civic Center; bounded by 1st, 2nd, San Pedro, and Los Angeles Sts
- Los Angeles, CA 90012
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