Big Trouble in Little Tokyo

In a city of almost 4 million. In a town built on the facade of Japanese culture, you would think it would be easy to find a damn pack of smokes. I am sure if you are a local, spent years here, or even a week for posterity’s sake; you could find a pack of smokes. For all the mystic Japanese herbal markets and Anime shirt shops, there was but one shop to find cigarettes, Family Market. These guys are probably the closest to an authentic Japanese corner store, as this writer could conjure up having never been to Japan. They had the smokes, and candy, and not-so-mainstream sodas and chips.

Little Tokyo, located in the Downtown area of Los Angeles, has its charms. Not to mention food. All the Ramen and sushi you could ever eat are all located within a few blocks. If you are a food junkie, this is an excellent place to stuff yourself. The price, fairly reasonable, with a large bowl of ramen going for between $16 and $30. The smells of the marketplaces around Little Tokyo can be summed up as alluring. Every corner is another whiff of garlic and chicken stock, egg rolls, and fresh-baked bread.

Not here for the food. How about people watching. Every sidewalk in town is overrun by the dad and his kids, and the freaks with the blue hair, the frat boys, and high-end lady’s on a date out in the cool, humid LA air. The marketplace has people from all different persuasions. The majority just your average guy or girl eating and drinking. There are, However, Peacocks. Their feathers are bright…I mean, their hair and combat boots are essential to their attire. They have at least one anime character-adorned piece of clothing, and their general continence is disinterest. These, however, aren’t the only rare birds in the meadow. The restaurant staff is the real treasure to behold. Working tirelessly to fulfill the needs of the mob. Often dressed head to toe in black. With a standard black COVID protecting mask draped from their face. The restaurant staff around here can almost always be seen busily working hard to keep the sidewalks clean, the tables ready to go and the food meticulously prepped. Some of these businesses and restaurants have been in operation with the same family’s running them since the early part of the 1900s.

Little Tokyo is not just another neighborhood in LA. On the contrary, it seems to be a point of pride for LA residents. It would be silly to think you could find an LA guide that doesn’t mention the handful of city blocks amongst the oldest parts of LA and has since become less an attraction and more of a tradition in keeping the area alive and preserved. On the other hand, if you’re looking for names and places to visit here. This blog is the wrong place for that. We will leave you, the reader, to make your way here, explore this place, and come to your own conclusions.

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