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Soaring Through Little Toyko's Upcoming Budokan Center

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Take a 3D tour of the not-yet-built community center's garden and sports courts

Progress on the Budokan of Los Angeles community center continues to creep forward at a snail's pace. For several years now, Bill Watanabe, the executive director of the Little Tokyo Service Center, has been raising the $23.5 million needed to transform a parking lot at 229-49 S. Los Angeles Street into a three-story community center. When completed, the Budokan will bring with it basketball courts, rooftop gardens, playgrounds, community meeting rooms, and a plethora of other goodies for the neighborhood. LTSC announced in August the project was now 80 percent funded, and Watanabe himself has targeted 2016 as a start date for several years now. This place looks like it might soon be a reality.

The Little Toyko Service Center is marking the accelerating progress by offering more than just run-of-the-mill renderings of the Budokan. They're actually letting people experience the feeling of touring the halls of the unbuilt community center—digitally of course. LTSC just posted a video (via Urbanize LA) that allows viewers a first-person walkthrough of a 3D model of the center. It's like Hardcore Henry, except instead of committing acts of gratuitous violence, he's touring a state of the art community center in Little Tokyo.

A funky beat underlays the trip through Budokan's athletic facilities and playground, complete with piped-in basketball noises and the laughter of children to convey the full effect. Then it's up to the rooftop garden, where the music switches to a decidedly more serene soundtrack. This center seems to have something for everybody, and certainly offers more than the dilapidated parking lot it will soon replace.

Take a look: