August 17

The Last Art Aquarium

Art Aquarium, I’m going to miss you! <sob!> Yes, this is the last year they’re going to produce this eye-popping cross between goldfish and SFX, and they’re making up for the last few lackluster seasons by putting on the equivalent of a fireworks grand finale! And they added one installation that put a crink in […]

August 13

When The Gods Decide To Plant A Lotus Garden, They Don’t Mess Around

It was construction as usual in the town of Gyoda, until an excavation for a new building hit a layer of lotus plants that had been dead for thousands of years. They didn’t think much of it, until the rain came, and the ancient lotus seeds began to sprout. When the plants bloomed, the flowers […]

August 07

If Only Japanese Rock Gardens Were Filled With Cooling Mist & Illuminations…

Oh. Wait. At Tokyo Midtown this summer, they are! On the lawn that hosts those amazing winter illuminations, they’ve constructed a wide wooden veranda enclosing a “rock garden,” complete with clouds of mist and a fireworks-themed lightshow. And the best part is, you can sit and dangle your feet for as long as you like, […]

August 04

Rice Field Art

In what has to be the weirdest creative medium next to the Seed Art Pavilion at the Minnesosta State Fair, Japanese farmers have taken to making large-scale art by planting some of their fields in different strains of rice. The only problem is, in order to even see what the picture is of, you have […]

July 30

Floating Lanterns

Candle-lit lanterns floating across a pond in the moonlight? Yes, please! This Toro Nagashi lantern ceremony was at the Ueno temple that sits amid the nodding lotus heads of Shinobazu Pond, and it was lovely. What I didn’t know was that it signals the end of annual O-bon festivities, the three days in summer when the […]

July 24

Japanese Fireworks: The Many-Splendored Fire Flowers Of Summer

Fireworks happen all over Tokyo in the months of July and August, and if you haven’t been to see them yet, go. Last weekend I went to the Adachi Fireworks Festival (13,000 gorgeous explosions!) but they’re just the first in a parade of splendor, and the biggest is yet to come. And even though this […]

July 20

Viva la Revolućion…Diva Style

I’ve got to hand it to the fearless players of Takurazuka – they might be the only women in the world who regularly get up on stage and play the parts of men with iconic beards and legendary moustaches. Their current musical production features everyone’s favorite Cuban revolotionary, who rocks the glam eye makeup a […]