Author Archives: Jonelle Patrick

March 21

Tamao Shigemune: Modern Kimono To Die For

So you think you can’t rock a kimono because you’re not Japanese? Think again! Tamao Shigemune designs modern versions of traditional Japanese women’s wear with a distinctly Parisian twist, and guess what? You can see them (and try her new summer collection on!) right now in Tokyo, through Sunday March 26th. Tamao Shigemune will be showing her collection at that […]

March 15

What’s Blooming In Japan Right Now?

So, around this time of year, I get to thinking about how everybody is about to crowd into Japan to see the fluffy pink things, but that cherry blossom season is far from the only time that this place delivers yowzah-level flower extravaganzas. So I made a thing. Here’s what’s blooming when, and the best places to take photos […]

March 14

In Which We Encounter Japanese Engineering At It’s Finest

It’s always reassuring to know that the Tokyo subways are state-of-the-art. • Jonelle Patrick writes mysteries set in Tokyo. Her fourth book – Painted Doll – is just out in paperback  Watch the one-minute trailer (1:04)

March 09

Lost In A Forest Of Blooming Plum Trees

Yesterday I got to stumble around doing a 360˚ gawk in a forest of plum trees wearing all their favorite clothes at once. Kairakuen Garden in Mito was planted by a genius of a daimyo who totally got that too much of a good thing is never enough. 2,490 fluffy-branched trees later, I think I can safely say that this is the plum blossom extravaganza to end all […]

March 03

Girls’ Day Dolls…On Steroids

There’s a little town about two hours from Tokyo called Katsuura, where one a year, dolls rule. 12,000 of them, to be exact. So, how did Katsuura get so many dolls? The truth is, pretty much every Japanese girlbaby is given a set on her first New Year’s, but if you run out of girls to hand them down to, they’re really hard to […]

February 25

Rose Foam Beauty Whip!

I scoured the drugstores at obscure Tokyo subway stops so you don’t have to. This face wash disappears off the shelves as fast as it’s put out, because who WOULDN’T want to wash their face ten times a day when the foam comes out shaped like a rose? (Hey, I know you made extra-long blue poops with your Play Doh […]

February 19

Inexplicable Toy Trends Of Japan

Strolling through the toy aisles of Yodabashi camera one rainy day (as one does), I was stopped in my tracks by this. Disney goes pocchari! Mocchi-mocchi Pooh! Not to be outdone by chublet Minnie & Mickey. At first I thought this must be some sort of knock-off malfunction, but no. It’s officially licensed merch! But WHY? Lately, an “adorable chubbiness” fad […]