Los Angeles Neighborhood Travel Guide: Little Tokyo

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mural in Little Tokyo los angeles
Beautiful Mural on Parking Structure

Cheers to the weekend! I’m so happy to share my trip from Little Tokyo with you all. For those that don’t know, Little Tokyo is a Los Angeles neighborhood in the northern part of Downtown Los Angeles. If you happen to stop by the area here’s a list of things to do in Little Tokyo that will make your trip enjoyable.

little tokyo los angeles neighborhood guide

Little Tokyo is a national historic landmark district with tons of cultural, shopping, and foodie spots for when you want a little taste of Japan. I spent some time here last weekend and I thought I share with you a couple of my favorite things to do in Little Tokyo if you ever plan to visit in the future.

Little Tokyo: Favorite Eats

bae coffee little tokyo
inside bae coffee
bae dirty charcoal latte
“dirty bae” aka charcoal latte with cookies and cream doughnut and lemon blueberry muffin at Bae.
outside midori matcha cafe
midori matcha ice cream
Matcha soft-serve ice cream
midori matcha drink and croissant
Matcha drink and matcha croissant. So delicious!
midori matcha drink and soft serve ice cream
kagura tokyo cuisine spicy chicken ramen and shrimp udon
Spicy Chicken Ramen and Shrimp Udon at Kagura Tokyo Cuisine.
  • Bae– A new coffee shop that’s bae. Had the Dirty Bae ☕ aka “charcoal latte.” A visual beauty that’s delicious. Definitely worth the hype!  While you sip on one of their lattes, try a cookie and cream filled donut. You won’t be disappointed.
  • Midori Matcha– For all you matcha lovers out there, I found a spot for you. This cafe serves only the ceremonial grade matcha so you get to enjoy every sip of the purest form. They even make matcha-flavored soft serve ice cream and the matcha croissant blew my mind!
  • Daikokuya– One of my favorite things to do in Little Tokyo is to stop by this ramen hotspot. I’ve been here a few times and I swear it’s the best ramen I’ve ever had. You must try the Daikoku ramen if you ever visit. The only downside is that there’s always a long line because everyone knows this is the best spot for Japanese ramen and noodles.
  • Kagura Tokyo Cuisine– Looking for another good ramen joint without the long wait? You’ll love, love, love this place!  I ordered the spicy chicken ramen and my mom got the shrimp udon and both were soooo good! I haven’t tried their other options so I only recommend this place if you want ramen.
  • Mikawaya Mochi– Came here for a quick snack because I was craving mochi. They pretty much invented mochi ice cream and they offer a variety of flavors. Beware during the weekends because lines can be long.

Little Tokyo: Where to Stay

lit neon hallway in wellington plaza little tokyo
Went through a lit neon hallway in Wellington Plaza on my way to DoubleTree Hotel.
doubletree hilton downtow la hotel little tokyo

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Little Tokyo, the Double Tree by Hilton Downtown LA is the perfect spot. It’s right in the middle of Little Tokyo so it’s close to everything! All the recommendations listed in the post is a short walk from the hotel, no more than two blocks. The hotel is lovely on the inside, friendly staff and the rooms are clean and comfortable.

Little Tokyo: Where to Shop

poketo little tokyo
tony moly little tokyo store
blooming art gallery little tokyo
  • Poketo– They have some of the best stationery, home decor, and fashion items. Each piece they have is so beautifully designed, and the shop is pretty spacious itself too! This location is a pop up shop for now and will relocate to the ROW DTLA sometime this month.
  • Tony Moly (319 E 2nd St Ste. 117, Los Angeles, CA 90012) – One of my favorite things to do in Little Tokyo is hit up Tony Moly. If you’re a Korean beauty enthusiast, then this store is a dream. It’s one of my favorite Korean brands that sell sheet masks. I usually buy them at Sephora, but when I’m in the area, I check out its own standalone shop. They always have great weekly deals and sales. I stocked up on sheet masks since they were offering a buy 5, get 5 free deal!
  • Blooming Art Gallery (inside Japanese Village Plaza) – They had a lot of neat stuff outside the store so I decided to go inside and I must say it’s an exceptional Japanese gift store. It’s definitely a must-stop for anyone visiting Little Tokyo who would like to learn more about Japanese fine art.
  • The Little Tokyo Galleria– It’s a spacious mall with a supermarket and a couple of restaurants. Definitely stop by to snack or have lunch as there is a variety of options available.

Things To Do In Little Tokyo

doubletree kyoto garden
DoubleTree Kyoto Garden
japanese village plaza little tokyo
Japanese Village Plaza
wishing tree japanese village plaza
A wishing tree in Japanese Village Plaza
wellington plaza
  • Double Tree Kyoto Garden– If you’re looking for an escape from the excitement of Downtown L.A., then stop by Kyoto Garden. It’s located on the top floor of the Double Tree by Hilton hotel. It’s a beautiful little oasis recreated from ancient Japanese Garden in Tokyo. A very calming and tranquil place.
  • James Irvine Japanese Garden– Another garden that gives visitors a peaceful and zen space so you can relax, reflect, and spend time on your own or with friends and family. One of the more relaxing things to do in Little Tokyo.
  • Japanese American National Museum– I didn’t have to check it out but I plan to when I come back. It offers a wide range of exhibits from modern art to historical document plus admission is free.
  • MAX Karaoke Studio– Went with a group of friends a couple months ago and we sung our hearts out. They have a great selection of songs from English and German to Japanese and Korean. We had so much fun!
  • Japanese Village Plaza– Decided to stop by and explore the plaza. A lot of shops and eateries. I walked around for a bit and it is pretty big. A lot of the shops I mentioned earlier are here plus you’ll find tons of dining and entertainment.

I hope this L.A. neighborhood guide of things to do in Little Tokyo was of some help for those planning to visit the area for the first time! Definitely one of my favorite neighborhoods.

READ: 48 Hours In Koreatown Los Angeles

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