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Spend a Full Day in Little Tokyo: Here are 18 Things To Do

Tucked away in DTLA lies one of Los Angeles’ most historical and cultural towns: Little Toyko. A visit to this hidden gem of a town will transport you to Japan (minus the airfare of course). Little Tokyo offers a variety of things to do for visitors, from shopping for Japanese beauty products, picking up trinkets or fashionable and nostalgic clothing, to feasting on some delicious authentic cuisine. You could get lost here the entire day and we’d recommend it too. So get ready to discover one of LA’s best city within a city, here’s our ultimate guide to spending the entire day in Little Tokyo.

Morning: Japanese Garden Stroll & Tea Time

Mornings are all about relaxation, and you’ll find plenty of opportunities for that in Little Tokyo. Start your day off with a stroll through the James Irvine Japanese Garden located in the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. The garden is a spot for peace in the bustling city. Take in the greenery surrounding you, and enjoy the sounds of nature and a small waterfall. The garden is FREE to visit but is sometimes closed to the public for special events, so be sure to check in at the front desk for more information when visiting.


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Afterward, grab a cup of tea at one of Little Tokyo’s delicious tea houses. Spots like Tea Master and Midori Cafe offer tastes of authentic Japanese Matcha drinks and delicious treats. 

Afternoon: Shop Japanese Village Plaza & Get Crafty

You’ll forget you’re in Los Angeles while browsing the shops at Japanese Village Plaza. Pro-Tip: Many of their shops offer validation for their parking garage! We love the traditional Japanese architecture and decor(makes us feel as if we’re vacationing in Tokyo). On the list of things to do in the afternoon, shop the plaza for Japanese toys, accessories, and beauty products at shops like Maneki Neko, and Make Asobi. Grab all the Hello Kitty merch you can dream of at the Sanrio Store too. Score some sweet clothing finds at Kools, Hob Nob, and Japangeles. Then, hit up Nijya Market for some Japanese groceries to bring home! Japanese Village Plaza is also home to various events and festivals throughout the year. Stay connected to @golittletokyo on Instagram for more info.

Next, head over to PINKU to craft adorable cake-themed accessories! This ultimate thing to do is trending big everywhere on IG ad TikTok. Decorate and take home a frosted jewelry box, hair clip, photo frame, or cell phone case. PINKU is appointment only, and they book fast – so be sure to visit their website to schedule your visit.


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Evening: Best Japanese Dinner

Make sure you come to Little Tokyo hungry, because you’ll want to try all of its mouthwatering restaurants! Enjoy some authentic sushi and ramen at Ramen Maruya. Try a Bento Box or Katsu Set at T.O.T. Or, you can dig into Hiroshima Okonamiyaki (a layered dish of carbs, veggies, and other delights) at Chinchikurin.


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Late night: Drinks & Conversation

End the night with some drinks and conversation at one of Little Tokyo’s best bars and lounges. we found many “bar” things to do here. Have a unique experience at SIP Boba Lounge where you can dance the night away with an alcoholic boba tea in your hands.


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Then have a late night bite, like wasabi fries, teriyaki mango sliders, and cocktails at Far Bar. In the mood for a beer? They’ve got an extensive list of brews on tap!


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And, if you’re a whisky aficionado, Wolf & Crane is a total vibe. Their site boasts the largest Japanese whisky collection in the United States. You’ll be surprised on what you discover.

Once you’re done exploring Little Tokyo, check out our guide to spending a day in the rest of DTLA.