Kellen Tomiyama, GVJCI Social Media & Community Outreach Intern
The Japanese American National Museum gives visitors an in-depth look at the culture and heritage of Japanese Americans. It offers a wide range of exhibits from modern art to historical documents that embody the culture of Japanese Americans. One of the most famous past exhibits include Folding Paper: The infinite Possibilities of Origami, Marvel & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Image in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986. These exhibits inspire dialogues on important social issues and the impact of Japanese culture in the United States. The well-known HELLO! Exploring Supercute World of Hello Kitty originated at the museum and it now travels to museums across the nation.
Daikokuya is a must try ramen spot in downtown LA, and a local favorite. They are famous for tonkotsu (Pork Bone) soup based Daikoku Ramen which is rich and creamy in flavor. It is a perfect balance between the stock, vegetables, meat, and noodles. Daikokuya also offers a variety of food options aside from ramen, including spicy mayo, yakisoba, rice bowls, and more. One of their specialty appetizers, takoyaki: grilled pancake octopus balls is a popular snack in Japan and the perfect starter to any meal.
No meal is complete without dessert! Milkawaya is the birthplace of mochi ice cream. This popular dessert item has a chewy mochi exterior and a creamy ice cream center. They have tons of different flavors, like the traditional green tea, strawberry and red bean. Or if you are feeling more adventurous, try flavors like plum wine or black sesame. These little mochi treats are a must have when visiting Little Tokyo.
During the summer, Little Tokyo hosts its annual Nisei Week Festival to celebrate the culture and heritage of the Little Tokyo community. This Festival takes place in August and features free outdoor entertainment, music, cultural exhibits, food, and is an event for people of all ages. Highlights of the week includes, Taiko Drums, Dai Dengaku Street Dance, art displays and delicious food. Come and join the celebration to learn more about Japanese American Culture, meet new friends, and partake in the festivities.