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Holiday Shopping in Little Tokyo West

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LAist realizes that it is entirely possible, and even mildly enjoyable, to do all of your holiday shopping on-line without bothering to leave the house or change out of your pajamas. You could also head to the local mall, buying gifts from the Gap and Banana Republic.

But you don’t have to resign yourself to buying gifts from faceless corporations. You don’t have to give a gift that’s been seen on TV. No one needs another damn sweater from Old Navy. You live in LA—a shopper’s Mecca, a spender’s paradise! Why not act like it? Get out of the house, drive right past the mall, and hit a local neighborhood to do your holiday shopping, supporting small businesses and giving cool, unique gifts.

LAist suggests you visit "Little Tokyo West" for one of the best local shopping experiences. Head over to Sawtelle Boulevard south of Santa Monica Boulevard, where you’ll find an array of cool shops with Japanese flair.

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Find the perfect gift for the kid who has everything, or the kid inside your favorite grown-up, at Giant Robot. The store is owned by Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong, co-founders of Giant Robot magazine, a celebration of Japanese pop culture. The store carries anime and zines, Gama-Go clothes and accessories, Uglydolls (which really must be seen and not explained), and so much more. Every visit unearths new and increasingly interesting toys, books, and clothes. A second store, GR2, is located just down the street on the opposite side and has awesome art, t-shirts, and assorted kitsch. You’ll be hard-pressed not to buy something for yourself.