Enjoyed by thousands every summer, Nisei Week in Little Tokyo is one the nation’s longest running cultural festivals of its kind. From August 19 to 27, participate in free Japanese cultural events, activities for all ages, and live music and dancing.
The Tanabata Festival kicks off the festivities on August 19 & 20. Big, bright, and colorful kazari—decorative lanterns adorned with streamers—will line Central Avenue in a one-of-a-kind display. At the nearby Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) free exhibits showcase bonsai, calligraphy, and more.
The most popular Nisei Week event is the Grand Parade, on August 20. The parade includes traditional Haneto dancers, majestic floats, and Japanese taiko drums.
The festivities continue August 26 & 27 with a full schedule of events at JACCC, including the 11th Annual Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship. YouTube sensation Matt Stonie defends his champion title with 323 gyozas consumed in 10 minutes. The week closes out with Ondo street dancing on August 27 all down historic First Street.
The most convenient way to get to the 77th Annual Nisei Week festival is to take the Metro Gold Line and get off at Little Tokyo/Arts District Station. Learn more at golittletokyo.com.