With the holidays coming around the corner, I wanted to do a little holiday gift guide on a few of my favorite places in Little Tokyo! As a resident of the area, I often find myself walking through the streets looking for more low key and hidden spots on 1st and 2nd Street. Here are some of spots I want to share:
Japangeles - I always find myself in this store as they have new arrivals coming in all the time. They are a lifestyle streetwear brand that really emphasizes Japanese culture and being a Japanese American. They have a cult following and they really focus on the Japanese community in Los Angeles. After starting out as a pop up stand in the plaza, they eventually moved to a brick and mortar after a few years. I like supporting them because they are a family run, local shop who gives back to the community!
For something more traditional, I discovered Bunkado recently on 1st St! I just came back from Japan so the Japanese goods really reminds me of my trip there. They have a lot of small trinkets and cute little items that are perfect for stocking stuffers.
As you walk through the plaza, there are numerous shops you can stroll through and pick up some goodies! A classic for me is definitely the Sanrio Life store, as they have anything and everything Sanrio branded (Gudetama, Hello Kitty, Keroppi, and more). There’s also Tokyo Japanese outlet across the street that also has a variety of accessories.
A store that recently opened, Jason Markk, really emphasizes on the shoe culture that is very prevalent in Little Tokyo. Right across the street from Shoe Palace, Jason Markk offers shoe cleaning services as well as kits and materials to take care of your shoes. Lots of cool holiday packages you can pick up there!
I also wanted to mention The Uprising pop up that is now open until January 4th, 2019! The Uprising has a lot of cool collaborations with local artists in Little Tokyo and the LA community. Their clothes have a streetwear vibe, and I personally love the looks! They’re also doing a little Christmas giveaway on each day - so pop in to see what you can get!
Across the street from all these shops is Weller Court - a plaza filled with restaurants and cafes! I usually stop by the plaza to grab a latte or matcha soft serve from Midori Matcha. For dinner, I really enjoy eating at the traditional AYCE shabu, Kushi Shabu. There’s also a Marukai if you’re looking for Japanese snacks and candy!
Little Tokyo is filled with a plethora of shops and restaurants; I could spend hours there and always find something new! It’s also right next to the metro station which is very convenient during traffic time. Catch me in Little Tokyo wandering the streets and eating all of the food! ;)