Los Angeles is a melting pot filled with people from so many cultures and parts of the world. When you stay in The L.A. Grand Hotel Downtown, you’ll find yourself conveniently located near some of the best cultural neighborhoods such as Little Tokyo. The name of this community comes from the Japanese immigrants who settled there and the traditions that they brought with them. You can learn more about Little Tokyo and some of the things that you can do there in this Little Tokyo Guide.
National Historic Landmark District
Little Tokyo is one of the only designated National Historic Landmark Districts in the downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) area. It received this designation because of the cultural and historic buildings and attractions in the neighborhood. Located east of the Los Angeles Basin, it includes East 1st Street and some surrounding roads. Right in the center of the district is the Japanese American National Museum. This museum helps you learn about the Los Angeles culture and traditions that Japanese immigrants brought with them. One of the exhibitions that the museum had on Hello Kitty was so popular that it became a traveling museum that hits destinations around the world.
Nisei Week Japanese Festival
While Little Tokyo is a popular destination on any day of the year, it becomes even more popular in August when visitors come for the Nisei Week Japanese Festival. You will see people doing authentic dances in the street and beating on Taiko drums as they celebrate their heritage. The festival boasts many cultural exhibits that let visitors learn about the Japanese people who came to Los Angeles, the artwork that they created and the homes that they built. You’ll also find tons of authentic Japanese food for sale.
Best Places to Eat
No Little Tokyo guide would be complete without a look at some of the best places to eat such as Shabu Shabu House. The restaurant’s menu features authentic hot pot dishes. You can order off the menu to add anything you want to your hot pot to create a custom soup. Daikokuya Little Tokyo is one of the top places in DTLA for ramen. Not far away is Marugame Monzo, which offers delicious handmade traditional Sanuki Udon noodles that you can watch being made. Both of these restaurants are on East 1st Street.
Other Things to Do
When visiting DTLA, you may want to head over to PopKiller, a store filled with collectibles, clothing and other items from Japan and influenced by the culture of that country. POP Tee Shop is a spin-off store that sells clothing and apparel. At the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, you can visit the James Irvine Japanese Garden to enjoy some peace and quiet in the heart of the city. For unique gifts that you won’t find anywhere else, head to the Tokyo Japanese Outlet. If you ever wanted to bring home a life-size Hello Kitty doll, now is your chance. Using this Little Tokyo guide is the easiest way to make sure that you see the best of this DTLA neighborhood on your trip.