Living in Cali. [week 8] Little Tokyo

Nishi Hong Wanji Temple

So continuing my train adventure ride, I went to Little Tokyo. I got to know about Little Tokyo on KTLA TV one morning, where they inform that there will be a Martial Art demo.

1st Street, Little Tokyo

1st Street, Little Tokyo

Little Tokyo is a Japanese Town in downtown Los Angeles. You can get more info from wiki. What attracts my interest is the annual cultural event in Little Tokyo called Nisei Week.

Japanese American National Museum

New Japanese American National Museum

I started my trip from Union Station LA, walk along the streets to Little Tokyo outskirt to check out Nishi Temple (1st pic) on 1st Street. Besides this temple, all other attractions are focused near Little Tokyo Mall.

Old Temple

Old Temple

Walked along 1st street, and there the new and the old Japanese-American Museum. Since im on a budget, I did not enter the museum =__=

Old Museum

Old Museum

Then in between these 2 museum, walked towards the back, you can see Go For Broke Monument, to remember the veterans of WW2.

Go for Broke

Go for Broke

And they has this war vehicle parked nearby.

Real bullets yo!

Real bullets yo!

I was told these are real bullets.

Outfit preparation

Outfit preparation

And some of the people here putting up makeups and yukatas/jinbeis before strolling around Little Tokyo
.

Shops alley

Shops alley

The shop alley in Little Tokyo. If you are into Japanese foods and delicacies, this is a place to checkout. Theres like more than 15 restaurants here.

Saw this 2 cosplayers. They told me there will be a contest on a small stage here at around 3pm. Cool. My 1st USA cosplay mini event. *I’ll cover this in another post*

Guy playing Shimasen

Guy playing Shimasen

Down the alley, saw a guy playing a shimasen. He’s good. Also saw an art/doujin booth.

That stage That stage That stage

That stage That stage That stage

Collectors/Otakus stop

Collectors/Otakus stop

Fellow collectors and otaku wont be missing out too, as Little Tokyo do have hobby shops around.

1st Street

1st Street

This is the old Koban/Police Station. Now it got turned out to be a Visitor Center. If you want to get info on LT, public transport, you are lost etc, you can seek help and information here. They are very friendly.

Futaba? on your lamp post?

Futaba? on your lamp post?

Fireman putting up banner

Fireman putting up banner

East West Players Art Theatre

East West Players Art Theatre

If you notice, some of these buildings are actually and old church and temples, and they got converted to art center.

Weller Court

Weller Court

Across Pedro St, you can see modernized buildings, such as Weller Court. along the alley, theres Friendship Knot sculpt and Onizuka Memorial.

Friendship Knot

Friendship Knot

Astronaut Onizuka, 1st Japanese-American to space

Astronaut Onizuka, 1st Japanese-American to space

Theres also a food and stuff bazaar along Pedro St. I got myself a Mokona hat here for cheap.

JACCC

JACCC

Continue to JACCC(Japanese American Cultural and Community Center). The martial art demo was held here. Theres a bunch of stuff showcased.

JACCC showcase sections

JACCC showcase sections

In JACCC building itself, theres a lot of cultural stuff showcased. They had flower arrangements section, caligraphy, shogi, pottery and many more. But since i do not have a good flash and limited of time to catch cosplay stuff, i didnt take pics and visit them all. I kind of regretted ;__;

JACCC had a preserved Japanese garden. It nice and scenic. If you were to come to LT, you must check this out.

Little Tokyo Tower

Little Tokyo Tower

I was told to visit Little Tokyo Tower. And I went searching for the tower, least expecting this to be the said tower =__=

Higashi Honganji Temple

Higashi Honganji Temple

Going along 3rd Street after Little Tokyo Tower, theres Higashi Honganji Temple.

LT Shopping Center

LT Shopping Center

At corner of 3rd St, the Little Tokyo Shopping Center. It was kind of dead in there, besides a Japanese market on the ground floor, theres nothing much.

Going through Central Ave into 2nd Street, this is Honda Plaza. On the left, you can see Bar C, a maid cafe bar. But its closed when i was there.

Overall, Little Tokyo is a nice experience visit for me to see some Japanese cultures and heritages. I’m looking forward to visit Japan to see the real thing. But it was a little sad that the town looks dying.

Look forward for my cosplay coverage, and the Nisei 68th Grand Parade on my next posts.

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6 responses to “Living in Cali. [week 8] Little Tokyo”

  1. Persocom says :

    While the pictures are really cool it is sad to see it looking like it is dying. I can’t believe I lived in Hollywood for a while and never made it that way. One thing is for sure, if I get back to LA again I’m going there.

  2. e-jump says :

    @Persocom: Yeap, it was dying. But the mayor of that area seems to try hard to retain it. I heard there was a petition to preserve this area as it is.

    If im free, im looking forward to check out Chinatown and Koreatown nearby.

  3. suneo says :

    Even though it looks like it’s dying, it still looks a bajillion times better than the japantown in San Francisco -_-

    I dunno if it’s maybe I just never walk around that much in J-Town, but all there is is a little indoor mall with a Kinokuniya, a dollar store, some japanese restaurants….one hobby shop, umm…a pirated video/dvd store……and across the street there’s a Nijiya Market somewhere. And that’s it… Not a whole lot for an otaku to do there — maybe spend a few minutes in the hobby shop and a lot more in Kinokuniya reading manga and whatnot, but that’s about it lol.

    No Jungle, no maid cafe, no museum, no “little tokyo tower”, though there are apartments near the area lol. Even the japanese garden looks a bit nicer than the ones I’ve been to here… -_- though that’s only judging from a couple photos haha

    I heard though at the last Sakura Festival there were some cosplayers. I didn’t go though. I hate going to SF anyway lol.

  4. meronpan says :

    as suneo said, it does seem to look better than jtown in sf. the hobby shop they have is incredibly tiny and you can’t even get to the figures (they’re behind the counter).

    i end up going just ‘cuz there’s no other place with a decent japanese manga selection and plus they’ll order anything not in stock for you at no additional charge. oh, and for ramen ^_^

    alas, the last time i was in la my otaku fever had not yet fully developed. next time i’ll have to check it out.

  5. e-jump says :

    Aww, at least you guys has a Japan town too. I wonder do Malaysia has such town? I do know we have Chinatown and Portuguese town.

  6. Parrot says :

    We have an itsy bitsy Little Korea somewhere close to PJ or something.

    But a J-Town? No no no no…

    Even Kiasuland stands a better chance having one.

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