Japanese American National Museum

Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles: Hours, Address, Japanese American National Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Japanese American National Museum

Japanese American National Museum
4.5
Speciality Museums • History Museums
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12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Friday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
The mission of the Japanese American National Museum is to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. As the national repository of Japanese American history, JANM creates groundbreaking historical and arts exhibitions, educational public programs, award-winning documentaries, and innovative curriculum that illuminate the stories and the rich cultural heritage of people of Japanese ancestry in the United States. JANM also speaks out when diversity, individual dignity and social justice are undermined, vigilantly sharing the hard-fought lessons accrued from this history. Its underlying purpose is to transform lives, create a more just America and, ultimately, a better world.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Downtown
Downtown Los Angeles is a busy metropolis of towering buildings, bustling streets, and industrial warehouses. There is a distinct multiplicity of cultures here with a growing influx of business professionals and hipsters. Many call the evolution of Downtown over recent years gentrification. New lofts, bars, hotels and restaurants are popping up regularly. Downtown is home to some of the very best restaurants in the city leading the LA foodie scene, plus it is the location of cultural and sports venues including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Staples Center, and the Coliseum at the University of Southern California.
How to get there
  • Little Tokyo/Arts District • 2 min walk
  • Union Station • 10 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
371 reviews
Excellent
217
Very good
123
Average
25
Poor
6
Terrible
0

leigh732 Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA53 contributions
Downtown LA has become a cultural treasure of the US with various experiences and world-class museum collections, and the Japanese American National Museum is a treasure often undiscovered by locals and visitors. Don't rush, take the time to slowly walk through and read the enlightening signage with the exhibits. It's a humbling experience, mainly when you read about and see the exhibits of the WWII internment.

Before or afterwards, enjoy Little Tokyo, and have a nice meal:).
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mary C
Los Angeles, CA109 contributions
This museum is not huge, but it is wonderful. Expect to spend about 2 hours. Parking is convenient and the admission is fair. It is all about Japanese American's and it is so very interesting. Have fun.
Written October 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MD_T0urist
Atlanta, GA213 contributions
Family
Don’t expect Sanrio or anime when you come to this Smithsonian affiliate: the Japanese American National Museum is a reminder of the unthinkable discrimination Japanese Americans faced before and during WWII. There were many precious & household items, documents, and photos from America’s concentration camps which imprisoned over 110,000 Americans. There were first and second hand accounts of dissent, patriotism, and perseverance in the face of bigotry and hatred. There was a re-creation of a camp housing to add to the photojournalistic experience, but what will stay in my mind for a long time are the children’s faces peering out of formations led by soldiers and concentration camps surrounded by barbed wires. Yes, Ronald Reagan did sign the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 to superficially apologize for what the US government did, but many others in California, Oregon, and Washington were co-conspirators as well as beneficiaries.

Please leave your toddlers at home if you are not willing to control their tantrums - this place deserves decorum to respect the memories of those who lost so much.
Written July 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KelvinRyan
Omaha, NE45 contributions
Solo
The museum is located just across the street Little Tokyo and very close to the Gold Line station, so it is very easy to access without having to drive. However, if you have to drive there is parking all around the area. I paid $8 for a spot across the street. The museum itself is very new and modern. The first floor is made up of a few temporary exhibitions and the second floor is made up of all the main exhibitions.

As you walk upstairs, you begin a journey back in time...a very sad portion of American history that should not be forgotten. The main portion of this museum is comprised of artifacts and stories from the WWII Concentration campus the US placed hundreds of thousands of Japanese Americans in. What really made this museum stand out to me are the docents. The docent I was privileged with talk to me for over an hour telling stories about his occupation and daily life in the concentration camps.

Admission is only $9 (Students $5 w/ID). On Thursdays between 5pm and 8pm it'[s free to get in. The 3rd Thursday of every month is free all day. They are closed on Mondays.

If you happen to be in the Little Tokyo area of downtown LA, this is a great museum to check out.
Written December 21, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jonathan
Los Angeles, CA112 contributions
Family
Take a tour of the museum and be sure to visit the Hapa Exhibit, very moving and the longitudinal project is well done. Whether you're Hapa or not, go on a Saturday, take a polaroid and contribute a personal reflection on your identity.
Written October 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

wbullseye
Windermere, FL1,362 contributions
Solo
The Japanese-American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles provides an excellent historical background on how the Japanese influenced the country's growth and history. The museum is located in the Little Tokyo section and is easy to find. It is a good sized two-story complex with exhibits, a tea room, research center, conference room and a store. It costs $9 for an adult. The museum is open everyday except Mondays and certain holidays. There are also certain times where the admission fee is waived. It is best to check the website for these times Photography is not allowed inside.

All of the exhibits were located on the second floor. You start by briefly learning the early times when the Japanese first came across the Pacific to the Kingdom of Hawaii (before it became a US state) and the mainland of the US. Most of the exhibits are tailored towards WWII and the US Internment of Japanese Americans on the west coast. They have part of one of the original cabins used at one of the camps on display where you can get a sense of what it might have been like.

You can walk through the museum on your own, but you'll get more out of your visit if you take a tour from one of the docents. While I had read most of the information already in the first part of the exhibit, the docent provided more details that filled in the gaps. The second part that focuses on WWII and afterwards show how the Japanese Americans helped the US succeed.

While I thought that the museum focused too much on the internment during WWII, I still learned a lot and would highly recommend visiting the museum. Even those who've been there before will find temporary exhibits that change.
Written April 7, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SeminarTrekker
Sacramento Valley2,999 contributions
Friends
September 2012. Great museum and facilties. You can hold conferences and workshops at their conference center and have receptions inside and outside of their facility. There are few Asian American & Pacific Islander American museums in the States. This museum also has a library that features many genelogy of Japanese American familes that have been in the United States since the early 1900s. They also have great doscents. Some revolving exhibits. But...the bulk of the museum displays have remained unchanged since early 2002, so we found this visit not to be anything new. Photography is not permitted within the museum. There is a great gift shop inside the museum. There were not too many visitors there as well. Still if you have never been here and want to learn about Asian American history then I recommend this museum.
Written November 24, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sruthp
Duarte, CA99 contributions
We came on a free day. The activities were great. Drummers and kids crafts were well planned. Would go again when it is less crowded.
Written February 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SFO45
Virginia766 contributions
JAMM has two primary exhibits: one on the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and one on the Japanese experience in the US internment camps following Pearl Harbor. Both exhibits have extensive photographs and narratives. The museum is spacious and should not be missed if you are interested in these topics. It is located in Little Tokyo in LA.
Written November 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brian S
Phoenix, AZ841 contributions
This is a great museum. A lot of exhibits over several floors. It has some very well put together exhibits that are very visual. It shows the history of a people from many points in time and many locations. This is definitely one of the better museums that I have visited in LA.

This is right next door to the MOCA. Also there is a small Japanese American museum across the walk that seems to focus on WWII. I believe it is a separate museum and also worth stoping in to see.
Written November 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Japanese American National Museum

Japanese American National Museum is open:
  • Tue - Wed 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thu - Thu 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Fri - Sun 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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