Let’s Explore — Little Tokyo

Little Tokyo

One of my favorite places in LA is Little Tokyo.

Peter and I are big anime fans, love Japanese food, and the atmosphere in the neighborhood is just so cool. Peter spent a month in Japan a few years ago and I’m dying to go — but Little Tokyo is the closest I can get right now! It was a gloomy day in LA, which actually made it a perfect day to stroll under the bright lanterns and colorful shops.MuseumJapanese VillageThere was a chance of rain, so I wasn’t trying to be super fashionable on this visit. And since it was Thursday, I obviously had to wear my Thor shirt!

If you’ve never been to Little Tokyo, the draw is the unique shopping and the variety of restaurants. Most of the shops and eateries are Japanese or Korean, but over the last few years, more trendy (aka “hipster”) places have popped up, as well. I have a few favorite stores that I visit every time, but my must-stop is Maneki Neko. Maneki Neko ShopManeki Neko is a beauty and trinket store across the way from the Japanese convenience store. The Japanese beauty industry is HUGE, and most of the products are perfectly suited for pale-skinned ladies like me. One of the distinguishing factors of Japanese and Korean beauty products is that they’re high quality for a small price. My favorite products are eyeliners, mascaras, and face cleaners.

A photo posted by Emily Kelley (@thatemilykelley) on

I also got some super cute cat-eye sunglasses from this cool store called PopKiller. They have a lot of vintage clothing and funky accessories. Zencu RestaurantThere are a lot of great places to eat in the neighborhood, but our usual place is Zencu Sushi & Grill. The food and service is excellent and more than fairly priced (hard to beat half-price sushi, and Peter assures me it’s delicious). It’s on the top floor of the main Village Mall, so it’s a bit out of the way and a low key place to have some lunch and a drink after some shopping.

But before we had lunch, I treated myself to one of the best chocolate croissants I’ve ever had. The bakery that makes them has a variety of Japanese and other desserts and foods.

I can’t wait to go back! For more information on Little Tokyo, visit its website.

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