Photo essay: spotlight on Little Tokyo during Nisei Week

Nisei Week in Little Tokyo is one the nation’s longest running cultural festivals of its kind. From Aug. 19 to 27, take the Gold Line or Metro Bus 30/330 to Little Tokyo to participate in free Japanese cultural events and enjoy live music and dancing. 

As we get ready to start Nisei Week, we’re spotlighting a few of the businesses in the area. Many of these businesses have been helped by Metro’s Business Interruption Fund*, a program that provides financial assistance to small ‘mom and pop’ shops that have been impacted by transit rail construction. For more information on Nisei Week activities, continue reading after the photos.

Photos by Steve Hymon/Metro unless otherwise noted.

The Tanabata Festival kicks off festivities on Aug. 19 and 20. At the nearby Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC), enjoy free exhibits that showcase bonsai, calligraphy, and more. The Grand Parade will take place on Sunday, Aug. 20. The parade includes traditional Haneto dancers, majestic floats, and Japanese taiko drums.

The festivities continue Aug. 26 and 27 with a full schedule of events at JACCC, including the 11th Annual Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship. The week closes out with Ondo street dancing on Sunday, Aug. 27 down historic First Street.

In addition to public transit, you can also park and ride to Little Tokyo during Nisei Week. The free Nisei Week Festival Shuttle will operate from the SP+ Parking Lot located at 428 E. Temple St. on the following days:

  • Sunday, Aug. 20: Shuttles will be operating from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The shuttle will drop off visitors at the Nisei Week Grand Parade.
  • Saturday, Aug. 26: Shuttles will be operating from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The shuttle will drop off visitors at the Nisei Week Japanese Festival at the Japanese American Community and Cultural Center, as well as the Nisei Week Car Show.

Parking at SP+ Parking Lot is $6 a day. The free shuttles will run every 15 minutes. Shuttle service and parking rates are subject to change without notice.




*Metro’s Business Interruption Fund (BIF) provides financial assistance to small “mom and pop” businesses directly impacted by transit rail construction along the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, the Little Tokyo area and 2nd/Broadway segment of the Regional Connector, and Section 1 of the Purple Line Extension.  For more information about the BIF, visit  To apply for a BIF grant, visit Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corp (PCR) at

Visit to view additional business spotlights in the BIF’s Community Footprint.