Top Ten Posts Of 2014

#1 INSIDE JAPAN’S WILDEST HOST CLUBS

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Turn down the lights, hire a bunch of cute hosts, and keep the drinks coming, and it shouldn’t matter what your club looks like, right? Actually, no. Designing host clubs is a lot like designing casinos and supermarkets – if you want to inspire women to spend money like water, you better make sure you have a bunch of these… Read more

#2 WHERE TO SEE THE BEST FALL LEAVES IN TOKYO

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I hope you’re all rested up from our cherry blossom death march last spring, because it’s time to strap on your camera and a couple of extra batteries to hunt down the best autumn leaves in Tokyo! Here are my picks, from ginkgo season through momijiRead more

#3 FISHING FOR WOMEN

Of all the rakugo performances I’ve seen, Fishing For Women is my fave. It’s got great characters, including a guy who’s more of a nightmare than the worst Tinder story you’ve ever heard! In this story, a nice old fisherman is visited by a beautiful ghost, but… Read more

#4 STREET FIGHTIN’ YAKUZA ACTION FIGURES

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More than meets the eye! For hours of happy crime spree play, nothing can beat the thug rangers! Your platinum-haired chinpira will pinch Barbie’s car before she can squeal “math is hard,” the mirror-shaded loan shark can hit Ken up anytime, anywhere, for that gambling debt plus interest, and even GI Joe had better watch out for the seven-foot-tall enforcer with the… Read more

#5 THE LUCKY CAT TEMPLE

In a corner of Gotokuji Temple, I discovered a Kannon figure totally surrounded by maneki neko lucky cats! Their raised paws are believed to beckon money and good luck into the owner’s business, so shopkeepers from all over Tokyo come here to buy a cat figure and… Read more

#6 HOW TO BE A LOLITA FOR A DAY

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Admit it – don’t you want to try it, just once? Well guess what? Now you can get your Lolita on for around a hundred bucks, with professional hair, makeup, and photos! And that’s just what my friend Yuki and I did a few weeks ago! The stylistas at Maison de Julietta in the Harajuku Laforet let us choose from their closet full of the latest Lolita… Read more

#7 WHERE TO SEE THE BEST HOLIDAY ILLUMINATIONS IN TOKYO

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It’s that time of year again! Tokyo’s Illuminations are free, and they never disappoint! Here are my favorite places to see them. One of my favorite places to see cherry blossoms at night is now awesome in winter too. Right now, the bare branches of the trees along the Meguro River are all… Read more

#8 THE ROBOT RESTAURANT

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Fembots, scantily-clad taiko drummers, battling transformers…okay, I admit the Robot Restaurant is more like Vegas on steroids than ye olde Nippon, but you’ve really gotta see this extravaganza once in your life! Even the waiting lounge is entertaining – every nook and cranny is paved with flashing lights, shiny baubles, and wall-to-wall video screens showing rather puzzling footage of scantily clad women on… Read more

#9 ART AQUARIUM

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Part laser light show, part aquatic extravaganza, Art Aquarium is the newest take on the old idea of keeping cool during the steamy Japanese summertime by contemplating goldfish bowls. Over 3 million people have visited this summer-long exhibition since it started in 2008, and now I see why: giant artfully-designed aquariums use inset lenses, unusual faceted angles and… Read more

#10 SPICY TOMATO FILLED DONUTS

Aieeeee, when I saw this on the menu at Krispy Kreme, I knew I’d have to strap on my Try Anything Once Cojones and take one for the team! So I bit into it and it was… Read more

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

A young woman dressed as a Gothic Lolita is found dead in a car with two strangers. But the more Yumi Hata learns about her friend’s death, the more she’s convinced it was murder…read more