Come join your fellow Angelenos for the annual Nisei Week Festival taking place in the heart of historic Little Tokyo.
“It is with great pride that we present to you the much-anticipated return of our beloved festival to the streets of Little Tokyo,” shared co-presidents Nancy Okubo and Cory Hayashi last year in a statement. “The past two years marked only the second time that the Festival was not held. The first time was during World War II (1941-1948), when Japanese Americans were unjustly sent to U.S. incarceration camps. During both these times, Little Tokyo was affected by economic uncertainty as well as political and racial turmoil.”
Nisei Week is a nine-day festival honoring Japanese culture and roots. In fact, it’s one of the longest-running ethnic festivals in the U.S. — and the celebration returns this month.
“Our 2023 theme is Turning the Corner,” states Foundation President David Yamahata. “It is our hope that as the threat of the pandemic stabilizes, we can return to celebrating the Nisei Week Festival as we have done in previous years.”
Little Tokyo is inviting Angelenos to celebrate and learn about Japanese history and culture through beautiful events and installations — happening throughout the district from Saturday, August 13 to Sunday, August 20. Guests can expect a lovely plaza festival, Japanese cultural exhibitions, traditional ondo street dancing, and more! As always, the event is free and open to the public.
Along with these festivities, Little Tokyo’s restaurants, shops, and museums are offering special products, deals, and programs during the Festival dates. So come on down and celebrate culture!
Nisei Week Events:
Sunday, August 13, 2023 at 4 to 6 p.m. – The Grand Parade: Featuring traditional Japanese dancers, taiko drummers, community groups, and the newly crowned Nisei Week Queen and Court, the Grand Parade will make its way around the streets of historic Little Tokyo.
August 19-20, 2023 at 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day – Plaza Festival: The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) will once again host the annual Plaza Festival. Attendees can shop with local merchants and purchase delicious Japanese foods, beers, and sake while taking in live entertainment.
Sunday, August 20, 2023 at 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Taiko Gathering: As part of the Plaza Festival at JACCC, attendees will be treated to hours of boisterous energy and music from local taiko groups of all ages.
Sunday, August 20, 2023 at 3:45 to 7 p.m. – Closing Ceremony and Street Ondo: Nisei Week’s closing ceremony and street ondo will take place on historic 1st Street, where the entire community is invited to join in the annual festival-style dancing.
Get the full parade route here, and be sure to visit the official Nisea Week Japanese Festival to get the full schedule here.