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Los Angeles (2) / U.S.A.

Recommended Spots in Los Angeles—Views from the Sky and the Ground

Kei Watanabe / Marubeni America Corporation Los Angeles Branch

* In this column, Marubeni Group staff members provide a glimpse of the cities in which they are living and working.

My name is Kei Watanabe. I was posted to the Paper Dept. at the Los Angeles Branch in April 2016. We mainly import various types of paper from sources in Asia, such as Japan and Taiwan, and sell to customers in the U.S.

The area I will be introducing is Los Angeles, the largest city in California (even though the state capital is Sacramento). The population of the entire state is 39 million people, or a little over 3 times more than Tokyo, with a land area that is 1.1 times larger than all of Japan.

Did you know that the southern portion of the state, where Los Angeles is located, was colonized by Spain, became a territory of Mexico after Mexico became an independent nation, and was then purchased by the U.S. for 15 million dollars at the end of the war between Mexico and the U.S?

So, what images come to mind when you think about the U.S. West Coast and Los Angeles? Los Angeles is the second largest city in the U.S. after New York City. It is a city of bright sunshine, palm trees, the Hollywood sign, and recently, the stage for movies.

For me, the image of this area is the blue sea spreading under the wide skies (stereotypical, I know).

Manhattan Beach is about 15 miles southwest of the Los Angeles Branch, and a little farther south is Redondo Beach. This is a great place to enjoy scenic views, a swim in the ocean, and some surfing.

Another scenic view of Los Angeles I would like to introduce is the night view from an airplane.

The street lights are a warm color that is a little different from the colder tones used in Japan, and are arranged in long straight lines, like a grid. When landing at the airport, from the airplane window you can even see the group of high-rise buildings of downtown LA where our office is located. I frequently travel for work, and when I see this view from the airplane now it triggers a feeling of relief, like coming home.

One more local feature is the jacaranda trees.

Starting in about March, these bloom with purple flowers, and are a local icon that heralds the spring, like the cherry blossoms in Japan.

There are also many sports teams in this area, including MLB, NBA and NHL teams. Professional sports really seem to be part of daily life here.

If you have a chance to visit this area, I hope you can discover your favorite aspect of LA.

Marubeni Group communication site “MS+ (MS Plus)” (July 4, 2017)

  • A typical LA scene
  • Manhattan Beach
  • Manhattan Beach
  • Night scene view from the air
  • Purple jacaranda blossoms

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