DOWNTOWN L.A. LITTLE TOKYO
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Little Tokyo Downtown LA:
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Little Tokyo in Los Angeles is considered by many to be the central base for the Japanese community in Southern California. All along California, there are centers of Japanese culture and heritage documenting the rich history of their contributions to our state’s development. The Japanese immigration on the west coast began in the late 1800’s when most Asian immigrants worked in the great gold rush. The immigrants in the early twentieth century worked in farming communities and canneries in Los Angeles, Monterey, San Jose, and San Francisco. As far north as Eureka they worked with the Huntington Family and laid railroad track for the Pacific Electric Railroad.
Today, Little Tokyo commemorates the immigrant history through the art displayed in local museums, the areas unique architecture, and shops and restaurants that celebrates Japanese culture.
The Japanese Village Plaza is located roughly in the center of Little Tokyo. There are several restaurants in the plaza, plus a number of shops geared towards tourists. First Street and Second Street border the Japanese Village Plaza and have a number of restaurants that are open later than those in the court.
Inside the Japanese Village Plaza is a history of invention. Here is where the fortune cookie and the California Roll were invented, and where mochi ice cream was introduced to the United States.
Throughout Little Tokyo there are numerous Japanese restaurants, catering to both Japanese and non-Japanese clientele. Some restaurants specialize in assorted types of noodles, shabu-shabu, Japanese Curry, sushi or yakitori.