Waterfall3 August 27

The Waterfall Made Of Light

This waterfall made of animated LEDs is conveniently paired with a pop-up mojito stand, so you can ooh and ah at the light-up while getting lit up yourself. Which would you rather do: Enjoy the serenity of a cascading river while sipping a cocktail? Or swat mosquitoes while smearing on blister cream after a pesky hike? They look kind of pixellated in the still photo, so […]

ShibarareJizo1 August 25

St. Bondage

One painfully, BEASTLY hot day, I was scuttling along from shade puddle to shade puddle on my way back to Kanamachi Station, and I happened to glance through the gate of a random temple I was passing. Inside, I spotted this! This saint had to have some obscure specialty, like the Wart Curing Jizo or the Scrub Brush Shrine, and […]

GoldfishFEAT August 24

Which One Is The REAL Goldfish?

  Not easy, is it?   The lovely specimen in the wooden saké box is a painting of a goldfish. Actually, it’s about a gazillion paintings of a goldfish. Artist Riusuke Fukahori builds these 3-D wonders by pouring a thin layer of clear resin, painting a slice of goldfish, pouring another layer of resin, painting the next layer, rinse, repeat, rinse, […]

NightshadeKimonoFEAT August 22

I’m B-a-a-a-c-k!

Huge apologies for being seriously AWOL lately – all three of my books just came out in paperback for the first time, and the beavering away has been pretty nonstop for the past two months (interrupted only by bouts of procrastination (see above) and happy Snoopy dances LOOKY LOOKY NEW PRETTY COVERS! (see below) Also, (additional LOOK SQUIRREL alert): hotsy-totsy book trailers are […]

First of all, I feel quite sure that Murasaki Shikibu would agree that medieval court life would have been vastly improved by collecting video cats. (On the other hand, the novel might not have been invented for a few more centuries, because the Tale of Genji wouldn't have stood a chance against attracting Mr. Meowgi) July 10

Famous Japanese Art Improved By Neko Atsume

Because procrastination is my middle name and I currently have a Boaty McBoatload of editing to do, it became clear to me that the best use of my time this morning would be to see how much Japanese art could be improved by the addition of Tubbs & Co… Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, now […]

HanabiFeat2 July 05

Big Bouquets Of Fire Flowers

SUMMERTIME! In the land where fireworks are more like giant flaming bunches of posies than boisterous, wham-bam, shock & awe, that’s what hanabi really means in Japanese: fire flowers. A summertime treat accompanied by those other traditional favorites, squid-on-a-stick & beer, the first time I saw a Japanese fireworks display, I was struck dumb with amazement. Not only did […]

Ajisai60 June 30

Hydrangeas: Gateway To A Life Of Crime

I have a confession to make. Although my job is to write about ingenious ways people commit murder and mayhem, when it comes to obsessing about how I’d commit the perfect crime, it always ends up with hydrangeas. Yes, hydrangeas. To be more specific, hydrangea smuggling. Because before I went to Japan, I never dreamed that the humble fluffballs flanking granny’s […]


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