February 20

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Big Red Underwear

This store is called Red Underpants, and as you can see, we’re not talking lacy thongs, here. It’s in Sugamo, a neighborhood that caters to the post-retirement crowd. Wearing red after you turn 60 is considered auspicious here in Japan, and thanks to this shop, no matter what size or shape you are, if you’re over 60, you can get lucky.

The more full-fashioned, the better

These beauties may be a little scratchy, but they’ll keep you warm in your traditional wooden house.

This store is on a street called Koshinzuka, lined with shops that sell goods from a bygone era. If you go on a day that ends in “4” there’s a fab street market with vendors selling everything from custom-blended shichimi spice to homemade squid snacks. If you’d like to visit Koshinzuka Street the next time you’re in Tokyo, directions are on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, now out for the first time in paperback

More Nightshade book goodness here, in case you think you might want to, you know, read it or something

A young woman is found dead in an abandoned car, with a pair of strangers old enough to be her parents. Their suicide note apologizes for a disaster that hasn’t yet happened. And someone is stalking the…read more

…or watch the book trailer (0:52)