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Little Tokyo, Los Angeles

#3 of 26 in Neighborhoods in Los Angeles
Neighborhood · Hidden Gem · Other
Little Tokyo, also known as Little Tokyo Historic District, is an ethnically Japanese American district in downtown Los Angeles and the heart of the largest Japanese-American population in North America. It is one of only three official Japantowns in the United States, all in California (the other two are Japantown, San Francisco and Japantown, San Jose). Founded around the beginning of the 20th century, the area, sometimes called Lil' Tokyo, J-Town, 小東京 (Shō-tōkyō), is the cultural center for Japanese Americans in Southern California. It was declared a National Historic Landmark District in 1995.HistoryIn 1905 the area of "Little Tokyo" was described as "bounded by San Pedro, First and Requena streets and Central avenue. The Los Angeles Times added: "It has a population of about 3500 Japanese, with quite a colony of Jews and Russians and a few Americans.... there are 10,000 Japanese in the city who make this section their rendezvous."The area was a magnet for immigrating Japanese until the Exclusion Act of 1924 halted any further migration. Shops were along First Street, and vegetable markets were along Central Avenue to the south. Japanese Americans were a significant ethnic group in the vegetable trade, due to the number of successful Japanese American truck farms across Southern California. In 1941, there were approximately 30,000 Japanese Americans living in Little Tokyo.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
837 reviews
  • Visited with family on Jul 4 long weekend and the place was packed. Came here as the kids wanted a taste of Japanese culture (anime and manga) and of course some Japanese food. Little Tokyo is larger....  more »
  • I've never visited Japan, but having said that, there are numerous restaurants in Little Tokyo with authentic menu items, shops that sell specialty items that would be found if you were to travel to.....  more »

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