Walking tour #37
Starting point: 3.8 miles South East of Baxter 5 (Vacation Rentals, Corporate Suites & Hotel)
Santa Monica Pier & Boardwalk
Historic Little Tokyo has much to offer, whether you're looking for a tasty bowl of udon noodles, world-class art, or the latest anime collectibles.
- From the corner of S. San Pedro and E. 3rd Sts. (reached via bus #34, 41, 341, or 342), head north up S. San Pedro to the Japanese American Cultural and community Center (1; 244 S. San Pedro). Explor the adjacent plaza, designed by Isamu Noguchi, and the tranquil James Irvine Japanese Garden. Continue north on S. San Pedor, then check out the symbolic Friendshp Knot sculpture on the northwest corner before turning right at E. 2nd St. to enter the
- Japanese Village Plaza Mall (2; 335 E. 2nd). Here you’ll find shops selling everything from footgear popular with Asian hipsters to high-end sake. Continue north toward the traditional fire tower and cross to the north side of E. 1st St. to reach the modernist
- Japanese American National Museum (3; 369 E. 1st). Located directly across a courtyard is it’s annex, housed in a 1920’s era Buddhist temple. Modern art aficionados should continue 100 yards north to the adjacent Frank Gehry-designed
- Geffen Contemporary Art Museum (4; 152 N. Central Ave.). Return to E. 1st St. and turn right, wher long-established restaurants and noodle shops like
- Mr Ramen(5; 341 ½ E. 1st) make perfect pit stops. (Note the history of structures engraved in the sidewalk, such as “1914 Sato Shoten Books” in front of Mr. Ramen.)
- Panawest(6; 319 E. 1st.) (the storefront with the sign reading “DVD Zippo”) carries Japanese action figures and Asian Kitsch. Finish in a half-acre urban haven at the Japanese garden located on the third level of the hotel once known as the New Otani Hotel now called
- The Kyoto Grand(7; 120 S. Los Angeles St.) at S. Los Angeles and E. 1st. Catch Bus #30, 31, 40 or 42.