Little Tokyo's seasonal celebrations are legendary, with Nisei Week festooning the warm August days like so many tanabata lanterns, to the costume-driven delights of Halloweentime.
But come December?
It's all about a very special figure, and the felicitous cheer he delivers to those who'd like to sit for a picture at his side.
We're speaking of Shogun Santa, a yuletide icon around the downtown neighborhood. Of course, Shogun Santa is busy this time of year, so he isn't at the Japanese Village Plaza stage every afternoon, but you can find him there over four photo-fun occasions, during four hours each day.
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Be there on Dec. 14, 15, 21, or 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and wear your Christmas card best, in case you'd like to include the picture of you and Shogun Santa in your holiday greetings.
Something sweet about this tradition? It's totally free, but donations are welcome (they'll support Little Tokyo in numerous ways, so that's very nice).
Other vibe-raising happenings around the historic district including a concert and a gift-making workshop.
And, of course, when New Year's Day arrives, there is the auspicious and most excellent Oshogatsu Family Festival, which includes lion dancers, Taiko drummers, and more.
So what dearest wishes will you share with Shogun Santa? He is ready to listen, to be a friend, and to share a merry moment with you at this long-running, blithe-of-heart Little Tokyo tradition.