This article is being made possible by Metro.
It’s easy to support local businesses this holiday season, especially in the extremely walkable Little Tokyo. Take the Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station and find gifts for yourself or others while enjoying the rich cultural institutions of this historic Downtown L.A. neighborhood. Read on for our Eat, Shop, Play guide to Little Tokyo.
Fugetsu-Do just celebrated 115 years in business and it’s easy to taste why. Be the hit of the party with a box of delicious, chewy mochi and manju, treat yourself to one of their washagi mixes featuring Japanese Sweet Cakes, or surprise someone with beautiful kiku, molded into the shape of flowers. Third-generation owner Brian Kito is running the family business, serving loyal customers while welcoming new visitors.
Less than half a mile away, upstairs in the Little Tokyo Galleria sits the elegantly unassuming Shojin, a vegan macrobiotic sushi restaurant known for its “dynamite” rolls and exceptional customer service. Make a reservation—limited seating and an innovative menu make them busy on weekends!
Toy lovers already know of Bunkado, a staple situated in the heart of Little Tokyo since 1946. Offering much more than their popular Buddha figurines, the store’s eclectic selection runs the gamut from kitschy wind-up robots and kewpie dolls to traditional Japanese kitchenware, origami paper, lanterns, chopstick holders and other adorable gifts for any occasion. Collectors come to sift through their Japanese laserdiscs, CDs, cassettes and vintage postcards.
Scoot on over to Make Asobi if beauty products are more your thing. Facial masks, false eyelashes, makeup, skincare products and more will have you ready for your close-up in no time.
The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) is not to be missed, located in the heart of Little Tokyo across from the Metro Gold Line Station. Its latest exhibition, Kaiju vs. Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey Through the World of Japanese Toys offers fun for the whole family, with the museum offering one-of-a-kind Marusan Shōten toys designed by Mr. Nagata himself. Stop into the Chado Tea Room inside the museum for a warm sip of holiday cheer.
- Eat Shop Play Local is a business mitigation program meant to bring focused attention to local businesses affected by Metro construction. Metro reminds you to Eat, Shop, Play as local businesses remain open during construction of the Regional Connector Transit Project.