Stores are scattered all around the plaza and people enjoy its variety of restaurants and shops. Photo essay by Humberto Ramirez part of Boyle Heights Beat Summer 22 photo workshop.

Photo Essay

The Japanese Village Plaza is a little hub for many to enjoy.

In 1885 Little Tokyo was settled by Hamanosuke Shigeta; before WWII it was the largest Japanese community in the U.S. It’s often seen as a little hub where people go to enjoy a piece of Japanese culture that has integrated itself in Los Angeles. It’s a place where people around the city can visit to explore Japanese history and food. The plaza is instantly recognizable with its unique architecture that isn’t seen anywhere else besides the Japanese Village Plaza with its bright red and white lanterns that welcome you upon arrival.

People often visit the Japanese Village Plaza to enjoy the various Japanese restaurants that it has to offer. Whether it be to hangout with friends after school, a fun trip, or just another walk passing through the Japanese Village. It feels like a whole new world when you enter. Many who do go to Little Tokyo often visit due to its  anime stores which sell many collectable items for fans all around Los Angeles. Even with the hot summer weather there are still many people that visit the plaza to enjoy all that it has to offer.


Many people enjoy these pin boards that sell a lot of pins.

A man playing the Kokyū, which is a unique instrument from Japan, on a busy sidewalk.

People having a great time exploring the Japanese Village Plaza.

Taking a break, chatting with friends, spending quality time with those around you in the Plaza.

Unique roofs, unique culture, unique food all in L.A.

Stores are scattered all around the plaza and people enjoy its variety of restaurants and shops.

Many restaurants are available in Little Tokyo, with many unique Japanese cuisines, and many other stores.

During the hot summer weather the trees in the plaza make a good resting spot.

The plaza gets busier as the day goes by with many people excited to come and visit for the first or 100th time.

See other Photo Essays:

Changed by faith by Terra Alvarez

The places that made me by Hailey Guerrero

Edwin Ramirez

Edwin Ramirez graduated in 2022 from Felícitas and Gonzalo Méndez High School in Boyle Heights.

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