Author Archives: Jonelle Patrick

September 22

Failed Rock Gardens Of Japan

Nobody’s going to deny that rock gardens are one of the great art forms of Japan. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy an exquisitely designed miniature landscape of meticulously raked gravel… …swirling around a few mindfully placed boulders? Plus, compared to even your most basic Japanese garden, they’re really low-maintenance. I mean, once you plant a […]

September 12

The Fox Wedding Vending Machine

Move over Angry Ghost Cats and Drunken Pets! The Fox Wedding vending machine takes tiny collectible toy obsession to a whole new level. Take my coin purse, foxen! Take all of it! And by the way, if you don’t already have a name for that thing where it rains while the sun is shining, from […]

September 01

Totoro Cream Puffs

I feel kind of sorry for the staff at the Tolo Bakery & Cafe, because how many times can you hear, “Kawaiiiii!” in one day without checking yourself into the loony bin? Seriously, even if you’re not at all the sort of person who squeals it all over everything from coffee foam to pit bull […]

June 26

Funeral For A…What?

So, I was walking through the stately Ikegami Hongan-ji temple grounds this spring, and I saw this sign. I guess with the shrinking population and all, the number of regular funerals is going down, so they’re branching out into…pet funerals. Yes, for about $350, you can have a real priest chant real sutras over your […]

March 26

Cherry Blossom Report 2018

Yikes, everything is blooming crazy early this year! Here are a few highlights, as each day unfolds. For directions and maps, head over to The Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Tokyo For where to take the best photos of both early-blooming and late-blooming cherry blossoms, along with maps of where to find each variety in […]

March 18

Jobs I Do Not Want To Have When I Grow Up

Walking back from the Nezu Museum this week, I was crossing the street behind this official government worker. Yes, his job is to walk around my neighborhood in a flourescent yellow windbreaker, picking up soggy cigarette butts with industrial-sized tongs. • Jonelle Patrick tries to avoid all gainful employment by writing novels set in Tokyo When Detective […]

February 25

Things I Never Envisioned Myself Owning

Yes, it’s exactly what it looks like. A fuzzy green polka-dot toilet seat cover. Because Japan delivers a whole new level of hurt to the concept of freezing your butt off: the fact that I actually went out and bought this is a testament to the truth that no toilet seat is as cold as […]