Founded in 1934, the Nisei Week Festival has seen only two disruption in its history: the internment of Japanese American during World War II and the pandemic. Its return this year is a chance to celebrate gathering together again. (1934 photo from Toyo Miyatake Studio)

The energy of dancers performing on the streets of Little Tokyo, the sounds of kachi kachi and taiko drums. After a two-year hiatus, Nisei Week Festival returns as an in-person event, a testament to the enduring spirit of the Japanese American community.

Once again, there will be a chance to see smiling faces and new and old friends. For the 80th time, Nisei Week will be celebrated, and to all the volunteers who have worked so hard to bring it back —GANBARE!

We’re back! After two years of virtual experiences, the Nisei Week Japanese Festival will take place – in person – Aug.13-21. 

Enjoyed by thousands during the summer, come join the Downtown Los Angeles community at the 80th Nisei Week Japanese Festival, one of the nation’s longest-running ethnic festivals of its kind. The festival showcases free Japanese cultural events, activities and exhibits, including music and entertainment, food, and fun spanning two weekends.

Aug. 13-14

On Saturday, Aug. 13, the Nisei Week Car Show will be held at the Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple parking lot. Admission is free this year.

Routed through the streets of Little Tokyo, the Grand Parade will begin at 4 p.m., on Sunday, Aug. 14. The parade will include Japanese traditional dancers, taiko drums, Haneto dancers preceded by a Nebuta float, and special guests and honorees, including Grand Marshal George Sugimoto and Parade Marshals Maia and Alex Shibutani, Olympic ice dancing medalists, and Honorary Parade Marshal Kellyn Acosta, member of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team and Los Angeles Football Club.

Aug. 20-21

Plenty of entertainment such martial arts and activities will be available for the entire family at the Plaza Festival held at the Japanese American Community and Cultural Center (JACCC), Saturday and Sunday. On Aug. 20, come experience a Nisei Week food event, sponsored by Day-Lee Foods, which will include local chefs as well as a beer and sake garden. Additionally, free cultural exhibits such as bonsai, calligraphy, ikebana, and more will be on display both days. In addition, the Taiko Gathering will be held on Sunday at the JACCC Plaza.

To close another year of Nisei Week, Ondo street dancing will be held on Aug. 21 at 5 p.m. on Little Tokyo’s First Street. The public is encouraged to join in this Japanese street dancing ritual. Nisei Week activities will be held in various locations throughout Little Tokyo, including the JACCC at 244 S. San Pedro St. Pre-Ondo taiko will be start at 4:30 p.m.

For parking, visit the Nisei Week website. For further information and tickets to paid events, visit www.NiseiWeek.org, call the Nisei Week office at (213) 687-7183 or email info@niseiweek.org.

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