Ring in the New Year Little Tokyo Style January 1—3

Photo courtesy of Go Little Tokyo

Celebrate 2019, the Year of the Pig, with Go Little Tokyo, the community campaign offering insights into one of LA’s most lively neighborhoods. Known as Oshogatsu, the New Year is one of the most important holidays in Japanese culture. As an exceptional time of the year, the historic shopping district and neighborhood is highlighted with celebratory cultural events, including the free all-day Oshogatsu Festival on New Years Day! Usher in the first day of 2019 with Go Little Tokyo’s stimulating mix of sights, sounds and savory flavors with these five events:
  1. Oshogatsu Family-Festival Fun: With three different locations across Little Tokyo, experience all the magic of a traditional Japanese New Year. Enjoy an energetic day full of live entertainment, traditional food vendors, music and more! Presented by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California, this can’t miss event will delight the whole family!
    Tuesday, January 1, 2019 from 10:50 a.m.-4:00 p.m. various locations, free. Weller Court, Japanese Village, and Frances Hashimoto Plaza.

  2. Delight in Delicacies: Stop by Tanota, one of Little Tokyo’s newest walk-up hotspots, for a popular New Years treat. As masters of takoyaki, a delectable snack traditionally filled with octopus, Tanota will be a featured vendor at the Oshogatsu Festival. Osechi ryori is a meaningful twist on the bento box – every dish within is imbued with meaning and meant to bring happiness and good fortune for the New Year.
    Murakai Market, open 9:00 a.m.—10:00 p.m. on New Years Day.

  3. Let Them Make Mochi: Japanese American Community Cultural Center’s (JACCC) annual day-long event for little ones inspires children’s creativity with the Children’s Oshogatsu Workshop. Lessons include modern calligraphy, gyoza-making, taiko drumming, t-shirt screen printing, and traditional mochitsuki-making! Reward a well-earned appetite with a bowl of buckwheat soba noodles at Suehiro Cafe, a classic dish to welcome in the New Year.
    Children’s Oshogatsu Workshop, Friday, December 28, 9:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m. Ages 7-13, (Tickets, Early Bird JCCC Members, $35, Early Bird Public, $40)

  4. Reflect and Remember: On New Years Day, participate in the time-honored ritual of Hatsu Goma (first fire rite) at the Koyasan Buddhist temple, and up until January 3 ceremonial charms and amulets are available for purchase to help usher in a fresh start. Remember hope and strength in the face of adversity at Gombatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit Exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum. Fascinating photographs of Japanese Americans detained during World War II highlight the sacrifices made and the rich legacy left behind.
    Koyasan Buddhist Temple 341 E. 1st St, Jan. 1-3 from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
    Gombatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit, Nov. 17-April 28, 2019. General Admission: $12

  5. The Celebration Continues: The festivities don’t stop on New Years Day! Venture back to Little Tokyo on January 6 for a stunning display during Kotohajime. In its 36th year, Kotohajime is a feast for the eyes and ears with visionary dance performances and mesmerizing music.
    January 6, 1:00 p.m., Artani Theatre, JACCC. Tickets available for $18 for JACC members and $20 general admission.


Credit: Go Little Tokyo.

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