Riding on the Metro
from North Hollywood
We took a small tour by foot through Little Tokyo. We opted to make this a half day trip and drove ourselves to the North Hollywood station. Side note: The Orange Line goes to Universal Station (add an extra hour or so).
Our trip downtown was an experiment since we have never used the metro red line before. We started our day trip around 11:30am on the weekend, and there was plenty of parking at the station (for rail schedules, you can check the metro online rail schedule, however, most trains run about every 10-15 mins). Inside the station, there are ticket machines which were fairly simple and easy to use. If you do not have exact change, the machine does give change. Per person, for an all day pass, the cost is approx. three dollars.
The closest stopping place was at Civic Center. Once you exit the subway, you can walk two short blocks down 1st Street. Along the way, you will pass the LA Times building and City Hall. We noticed a few signs pointing towards ‘Little Tokyo’ and continued to follow them.
Once we were in the Japanese Village Plaza, we tried a few snacks from the smaller stands. Shrimp on a skewer to sweet bean pancakes were great and about $3 per item. We continued through and perused the Japanese anime/comic book shop at the end of the village.
Outside the village, we made a point to visit a few points of interest. At the entrance of Onizuka Street at San Pedro and Second Streets, you will see the Friendship Knot by Shinkishi Tajiri. Originally this piece was located at Tajiri’s home in the Netherlands and titled Square Knot. It was renamed by the Friends of Little Tokyo Arts to transform the sculpture into a symbol of “Unity between two cultures.” This piece was presented as a bicentennial gift to the City of Los Angeles on August 5, 1981.
Behind the Friendship Knot is Ellison S. Onizuka Street, named after the first Japanese American astronaut. Walk down the street and find a model of the Space Shuttle Challenger, in which Onizuka launched on his second and last space mission.
Around 3:30pm, after walking the area and we finished sight-seeing, we decided to head back. We went back to the Civic Center Metro train station and had a smooth train ride back to Universal station. It was more crowded but we all found seats.
Points of interest
Los Angeles City Hall
Sister Cities Sign
Downtown LA, Little Tokyo via Metro
Total trip time approx. 3 -4 hours
cost via Metro, approx. $5 p/person all day pass
approx. total cost: $45 for 2 adults and 2 kids
(trinkets, snacks, drinks and rail fare)