With the aftermath of Covid-19 not fully seen yet, it can be certain that some shops will be closed, perhaps for good, once the quarantine is over. California is set, I believe, to lift the state-wide lock-down on the 15th (next Friday) and, with that, I won’t lie–I’ve been planning on where to visit, which brought me to writing up this post.
If you live in or close to the LA area and are interested in Japanese culture, I highly recommend checking out the Japan House in LA on Hollywood Blvd for your next visit. With no traffic, the drive from Little Tokyo (another favorite if you’re interested in Japanese culture) is a little over 10 minutes.
This multi-level Japan House outpost offers an experience among the other shops within the Hollywood and Highland Center (a shopping mall and entertainment complex). There, you can enjoy a gallery of Japanese art, a library of books, in addition to events that are hosted year-round.
In response to Covid-19, the Japan House is currently closed. However, when it opens back (hopefully later this month), I highly recommend taking some time to visit and support the shop. While most shops will need an added revenue, it’s cultural establishments like this, along with museums, local historical hot-spots, and such, that I feel are particularly worth an investment when you have some cash to spare given their educational benefits to the community.
Why am I discussing this location on an anime-centric blog? The Japan House, especially online, often highlights the more elegant side to Japanese culture. Their vision of the project even states that they seek “to foster awareness and appreciation for Japan around the world by showcasing the very best of Japanese art, design, gastronomy, innovation, technology, and more.” Some may see this as an exclusion of anime/manga (the major focus of this blog), but that would be incorrect. Since the start of 2019, one at least three major events and one exhibition, manga and anime have been highlighted, celebrated, and–in some cases–taught to visitors. Online right now, on Instagram at @JapanHouseLA , they’re advertising their anime/manga online course for those interested.
Note that while not all events or exhibitions are free, they tend to be reasonably priced. Moreover, you can enjoy shopping, movies, and more right outside the door when you are done.
For updates on when Japan House LA will be re-opening, definitely check out their website (https://www.japanhouse.jp/losangeles/index.html), consider signing up for their newsletter (https://www.deliver.japanhouse.jp/m/losangeles-nl-sub) and their social media (@JapanHouseLA).