Nisei Week Tips in Little Tokyo, Los AngelesNisei Week Starts in August for 2 Weeks
Nisei Week Daily Event Schedule
Nisei Week is a series of events that are held in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles during the month of August.
We have basic tips for avoiding long lines and planning an incredible experience during Nisei Week.
There are so many events crammed in two weeks, so planning your trip is critical and necessary for you and your family. Most of us won't
go more than a few times during these two weeks. (As of 2015, there seems like more events have been added) With Los Angeles traffic
on the 10, 405 & 110 freeways and downtown parking, it will be crowded.
Plan 2-3 Trips
- Week 1: Saturday: JACCC Plaza, JANM Building, JANM Stage, Tanabata Festival, Go For Broke Monument
- Week 1: Sunday: Nisei Week Parade, JACCC Plaza & Building, Tanabata Festival, Go For Broke Monument
- Week 2: Sunday: Ondo dance & Closing Ceremonies, JACCC Plaza & Building, Tanabata Festival, Go For Broke Monument
There are Nisei Week events the general public are not invited or interested in: luncheons, award & coronation dinners.
Find the events you are intersted in. If there are no events listed, check back 2-3 months before August.
2018 Nisei Week Daily Event Schedule
Check out the daily performances you want to see and plan to leave early to avoid traffic and parking issues. The weather tends to be on the
warmer side so bring sunscreen, water, hats and umbrellas to avoid the heat. There's food at the JACCC (Japanese American Community Cultural
Center) Plaza where you can sit down and eat. At MOCA (Tanabata Festival) there will be eating booths along with a beer seating area.
You will be able to see the 100's of amazing streamers. Go For Broke Monument is next to MOCA Museum so don't miss it.
What to Wear at Nisei Week
This is a summer festival, so please wear your Yukata if you have one. It is so special to see these color Yukatas being worn throughout Little Tokyo.
Suggestions on Transportation & Parking Areas
All around Little Tokyo are parking garages and lots. The prices will vary between lots, Weller Court is a great parking spot.
The key: go early to avoid traffic. You can find cheaper lots further away but safetly could be a concern. It's better to pay more and
park closer due to these suspect areas.
Instead of Driving - Metro Gold Line Runs through Little Tokyo
Rather than drive downtown and park, take the MetroRail or MetroLink. The MetroRail Gold Line stops in Little Tokyo and connects with the
Metro Red Line and MetroLink trains at Union Station. A number of the MetroRail stations have free parking, and the day pass is only $5
per person (less for seniors).
Little Tokyo is located in downtown Los Angeles.
Nisei Week events are located in three main areas, all within walking distance of each other.
1) JACCC - Japanese American Cultural & Community Center
244 S. San Pedro Street, Suite 505,
Los Angeles, CA 90012, Phone: (213) 628-2725
Nisei Week Events: Food, booths, Stage for live performances and demonstrations
2) JANM - Japanese American National Museum
369 East First Street, Los Angeles, California 90012, (213) 625-0414
Nisei Week Events: Food, kids games, Japanese arts and crafts booths, Stage for performances (JANM/MOCA)
3) MOCA Building - The Museum of Contemporary Art
250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012, (213) 626-6222
Tanabata Festival will be held at MOCA. You can see the Tanabata Festival during the day or night, but at night it is a site to see.
Kazari are colorful handmade streamers made by local Japanese groups or organizations.
They are on display high above the ground in front of the MOCA building.
Things to do & see: Tanabata Festival, beer garden, food booths.
MOCA is right next to JANM Building. Also next to the MOCA building is the Go for Broke Monument. It is located on the north side of MOCA
and Japanese American National Museum. This is easily missed so pay attention.
2 & 3) Between JANM Building & MOCA Building
There is a stage with seating for live performances and stage demonstrations like martial arts.
2018 Nisei Week Events to See
1) Nisei Week Parade - plan on waiting on curb, bring snacks and/or dinner to pass time. Things to see: Nebuta Float
2) Ondo dancing on 1st Street, Los Angeles. You can watch or dance. Bring your chairs or sit on the curb.
3) Tanabata Festival at MOCA
4) Go For Broke Monument next to Tanabata/MOCA Museum
4) Live Taiko and performances at JACCC stage
5) Live performances at JANM stage
6) Japanese art and craft booths for the kids (JANM)
7) Food booths at MOCA and JACCC
8) Relax at the Beer Garden at MOCA
Things to Bring (While Waiting for Parade)
Nisei Weeek Parade Route: starts at Central Avenue traveling west on 2nd Street, right/north up Los Angeles Street, then
right/east on 1st Street and ends at Central Avenue.
Parade spots: If you come late to the parade, you can find spots along the path to sit. The popular spots you will have to stand,
but if you keep walking you will find open spots.
1) Cash: buy dinner, snacks, drinks while waiting
2) Camera, video camera, extra batteries
3) Snacks and/or dinner to pass time
4) Cooler: Drinks: water, juice
5) Book, magazine
6) Kids: electronics
7) Blankets for Parade (it will get cold)
8) Chairs for Parade or sit on curb
9) There are Japanese markets close by
Additional Nisei Week Festival Events to See
Martial Arts performances
Japanese Cultural Exhibits
Odori Dance, Hula dance