Go Little Tokyo Holiday Marketplace

Shogun Santa will bring cheer to the weekend-long fair.

While most of the big-name shop days cluster around Thanksgiving Weekend, from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, you can confidently count on the weekend that follows to be especially shoppable in its own regional right.

Yes, we pulled out "regional" there on purpose, for while there is no catchy handle for the shopping events that pop up over the first weekend in December, they tend to be pretty local at heart. And funky. And handmade-oriented, or artisanally focused, or they elevate a specific theme or district.

One of the stand-outs is the Go Little Tokyo Holiday Marketplace, a two-day celebration of the downtown neighborhood, an area rife with shops and eateries and the Japanese American National Museum (as well as a host of cool galleries).

You can find Japanese toys and straight-from-Ginza fashions any time of the year around the general nexus of E. 1st and S. San Pedro Streets, but on Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4 a flurry of extra-fun, seasonal-shiny gewgaws and goings-on and cameos will make the second annual Holiday Marketplace even merrier.

Shogun Santa will be in the house, or rather Japanese Village Plaza, for photographs, while a Green Tea & Matcha Fair will give strollers a chance to sip some lovely brews at Little Tokyo Market Place.

Other happenings dotting the weekend calendar include a class devoted to floral arrangement, a holiday nail art demonstration, a ukulele jam session (carols and seasonal songs will be the theme), a cocktail demo, and all sorts of entertainment.

Guided tours will also give visitors a deeper understanding of this vibrant, delicious-foodstuff-filled, oh-so-historic neighborhood.

Want to make sure you arrive at the right time to meet Shogun Santa or try out the Furoshiki cloth-wrapping workshop? Peruse the whole schedule before legging it for Little Tokyo.

And keep those same eyes peeled for more local holiday fairs over the first weekend in December (and even the second). The Thanksgiving shop days are done, but the craft-nice, demo-cool, neighborhood-y festivals are just revving up.

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