Los Angeles Little Osaka Now Officially Called “Sawtelle Japantown”

We’ve written before about the marvelous location that our West Los Angeles apartment building is in, a neighborhood that has for a long time been referred to by locals as Little Osaka.  We are now excited to report that after last week’s City Council vote that the city of Los Angeles has officially designated this neighborhood known as Sawtelle/Little Osaka/West L.A. as Sawtelle Japantown!


Located off of Sawtelle Boulevard between Santa Monica and Olympic Boulevards, this neighborhood has a diverse population but is richly dominated by Japanese culture. There are specialty shops, sushi bars, karaoke bars and markets that specialize in other Japanese goods.

But why such a concentration of Japanese businesses within such a small parcel of land? Historian and author Randy Sakamoto has written that the large concentration of Japanese businesses in the area is due to the unfortunate and unfair race-based restrictions Los Angeles had on buying homes from the early 1900s to the 1950s.

little osaka los angeles map

Greg Ericksen of the West L.A. Neighborhood Council said the renaming will “honor the historical and cultural roots of our Japanese American citizens and also bring together synergies around our community to engage new residents and new community members to participate in our neighborhood council and participate in our city.”

Congratulations to the area of West Los Angeles now officially known as Sawtelle Japantown and the many men and women behind the businesses that have contributed to the continued growth and regeneration of such a historic neighborhood!