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California, U.S.A.
Welcome to Gardena, California.
Gardena is a city in South Bay, Los Angeles County. The city is home to around 60,000 people and has the highest percentage of Japanese Americans in California. While Native Americans lived and hunted in the area for thousands of years, the contemporary history of Gardena begins in 1784, three years after the foundation of Los Angeles. At this time, a Spanish soldier named Juan Jose Dominguez received a land grant, Rancho San Pedro, in recognition of his military services. The land grand spanned across 43,000 acres and contained what became known as Gardena Valley. After the American Civil War, veterans purchased part of the land and ranchers and farmers followed. Gardena proper began in 1887, and the first settlement is credited to Civil War veteran Spencer Roane Thorpe. With the arrival of railroads, the real estate market boomed in the Los Angeles, and Gardena subsequently thrived. Some believe that the city was named Gardena because it was the only green spot in the dry season between Los Angeles and the sea, and thanks to its many acres of berries the city was called Berryland. While the berry industry suffered a decline during the World War I, Gardena's history is celebrated with the Strawberry Day Festival and Parade held in May each year. Gardena's central location makes it an excellent city to live and do business in. Residents have just 15 minutes to Downtown Los Angeles and Los Angeles International Airport, and 20 minutes to Long Beach Municipal Airport and the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In addition, Gardena is placed with easy access to every major Los Angeles County Freeway, including the 405, 105, 710 and 110. With the completion of the Alameda Corridor project, Gardena will boast one of the most envied locations in the west as a key point on the Golden Triangle. The project will provide truck and rail access to the largest shipping ports on the West Coast of the United States. And with just 20 minutes to the beach, residents can enjoy a true Southern California lifestyle any day of the week! Gardena's neighborhoods are friendly and attractive with a hometown feel, and residents can choose from an array of housing options. About half of the residences are single-family homes, but there are also numerous apartment complexes and multi-family homes, as well as subsidized senior housing units in the city. Most of the neighborhoods are very pretty with lush landscaping and well-maintained buildings and large yards, making the area popular with families. Gardena has earned the prestigious award All-America City, thanks to its ethnic diversity and quality of life, and the community spirit is evident throughout the city. There are numerous volunteer groups and community programs, and the Japanese Cultural Institute offers many cultural and social activities for Japanese Americans.
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