This morning I was at the Sankei-en garden in Yokohama at the ungodly hour of 7:00 a.m. to see their field of lotus in bloom, but it was the bonus … Continue Reading Things I Did Not Know You Could Do With A Lotus Leaf
The spring rainy season isn’t the most delightful time to be in Japan…unless you’re hiking through a shady forest, surrounded by heaps and heaps of blue hydrangeas! Minamisawa Ajisai Mountain’s … Continue Reading The Enchanted Hydrangea Forest
If there’s a better way to celebrate Japan’s summer rainy season, show me! This is the latest environmental art exhibit at Metsa Village, the same place where Digitized Lakeside and … Continue Reading Under The Umbrella Sky
How did you guess that the moment I caught a glimpse of this vending machine filled with cat shaming gachagacha, all my laundry coins would be history? There was only … Continue Reading The Cat Shaming Vending Machine
Not content to merely give people taller noses, smaller faces, and glued eyelids, now there’s a Japanese beauty appliance that irons out saggy face parts! Depending on which wrinkly bit … Continue Reading The Secret Facelift Belt
I hope you’re in Japan right now, because dinosaurs are invading the Marui Annex in Shinjuku! These delightfully believable photos of the archaic denizens mingling with the good people of Earth … Continue Reading Dinosaurs Delightfully Invade The Real World
Gifting in Japan requires that the wrapping be nearly as precious as what’s inside, but I can never remember how to tie a traditional silk furoshiki without the book that … Continue Reading Japanese Gift Boxes of Overwhelming Cuteness
Inside the TeamLab Borderless digital museum is the En Tea House, where you can watch your tea bloom before your eyes. It costs an extra ¥500, but it’s worth it! … Continue Reading Fabulous Blooming Tea At The En Tea House
Sticking to the straight and narrow has never been cuter, thanks to these adorable kittycat gacha-gacha toys, and the vending machine that dispenses them on the Yanaka Ginza shopping street. … Continue Reading Move Over, Monkeys! See-no Evil, Hear-no-Evil, Speak-no-Evil Cats Are Here
Despite the fact that this new snack is called “Addictive Intestines,” I’m afraid you won’t find me bingeing a bucket ‘o crispy innards while Netflixing my way through a Saturday … Continue Reading Crispy Intestine Snacks
I had to laugh when I saw these ads on the subway for the Partner Agent dating service. It features famous manga characters who ordinarily would never meet because they … Continue Reading How Superheros Find Their Perfect Match
I know you’re exhausted after elbowing your way through the crazy crowds instagramming the cherry blossoms, which is why you should take a deep breath and go see the azaleas. … Continue Reading Azalea Pilgrimage 2019
I’m afraid this subway manners poster isn’t going to do much to convince Things That Go Bump In The Night to stop harassing passengers – in fact, it’ll probably infuriate … Continue Reading Subway Manners…For Ghosts
The leaves are greening, hangovers cured, blue tarps furled, the madness over. Right? Wrong! Because as soon as the petals begin to fall, it’s hana-ikada season: “rafts of flowers” that … Continue Reading The Best Places To See Pink Rivers of Cherry Blossom Petals
Okay, I know you think I’m a whiner because I went off on this guy wearing an orange jacket, sitting right in the middle of a shot I wanted to … Continue Reading The Scourge Of The Orange Jacket
Kicking back under clouds of pink blossoms in the warm spring sun, eating a picnic and drinking with friends – it’s something you always dreamed of doing in Japan, isn’t … Continue Reading Hacking Hanami: How To Get Yourself Invited To A Cherry Blossom Party
This yogurt-banana mash-up surfs in on the enduring popularity of the local favorite soft drink, Calpis, which inexplicably established sweetened sour milk as a delightful flavor in Japan. Peach Coke … Continue Reading Soft Drink Flavors I Do Not Want To Try
If you’re looking for a country with absolutely zero junk food guilt, you found it. Behold the bagel sandwiches available at this shop I spotted while walking through Azabu Juban … Continue Reading Spot The Elvis
The Yushima Shrine is famous for its plum blossoms, and until the end of February, you can see them lit up at night! Even if you’re a cherry blossom loyalist … Continue Reading Plum Blossoms Lit Up At Night
This year’s Flowers by Naked (at the same Coredo venue that hosts Art Aquarium during the summer) was better than last year but not as engaging as the first year I saw … Continue Reading Flowers By Naked 2019
For years, I’ve wanted to see the old-fashioned farmhouse hamlet of Shirakawa-go all lit up at night in the snow, and this week I got half my wish. It turns … Continue Reading Shirakawago In The Snow
It was so hard to choose only a few quilts to feature from the embarrassment of riches at this year’s Tokyo International Quilt Festival, but here are some of the … Continue Reading Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2019 PART TWO: Just Beautiful
If ogling giant resonating eggs and gawking at color-changing trees isn’t what you’re planning to do this weekend, cancel your plans and get thee out to Hanno to see this … Continue Reading New “Digitized Lakeside and Forest” Outdoor Art Installation!
I didn’t think it was possible to be more blown away than I was in 2016, by the sheer artistry and sewing chops I ogled at the Tokyo International Quilt … Continue Reading Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2019 PART ONE: Eyepopping Japanese Motif Quilts
Because I’m helplessly drawn to things that glow in the dark (gee, ya think?), I recently returned to two of my favorite lit-up-for-winter amusement parks, because I’d heard that they’d … Continue Reading Lighting Up The Winter Night
…this. • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon “A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist •
The only thing in all of Japan that might be cuter than huskies in kimonos is a parade of shiba inus in kimono. Shibas are well-known for making like the Petrified … Continue Reading Dogs In Kimonos: Shiba Edition!
In for the gold by a mile: the Electric Sweet Potato Roaster In the steamy competition for Most Japanese Appliance Ever, I think you’ll have to agree that the electric sweet … Continue Reading And This Year’s Winners In The Tournament Of Weird Japanese Appliances Are…
Seriously. The fear is real. New Year’s is one of those times in Japan when it’s a real liability to be thousands of miles away from people who might loan … Continue Reading How To Survive New Year’s In Japan
These days, everyone wants “experiences,” not “stuff,” so how about digging into your Santa sack for presents that deliver #youllneverguesswhatwedids that could only come from (where else?)…Japan! This year, give … Continue Reading Top Ten Crazy Holiday Gifts From Japan 2018
Sporting all the premium quality you’d expect from a ¥400 vending machine, this Santa Claws capelet just might be the perfect gift for someone who dreams of #catsofinstagram glory (and … Continue Reading Department Of Seasonal Pet Humiliation: This Year’s Santa Cat Costume
I know that you’ll be super envious to hear that my kitchen chairs are now prancing around on little cat feet! Gone are the days when the awful screeching sound … Continue Reading Cat Feet Chair Socks!
Seriously, if you come to Tokyo and see nothing else, see THIS When was the last time you went to a museum and totally lost track of time because it … Continue Reading TeamLab Borderless: Best Digital Museum EVER!
Free displays of holiday illuminations have become a huge attraction in Tokyo – probably because they’re the most instabae invention since selfie sticks – and every year they get bigger and … Continue Reading Where To See The Best Illuminations In Tokyo 2018
Okay, what do you think THIS floral designer got in trouble for drawing in the margins of his schoolbooks…? If I’d come in through this portal, I might never have … Continue Reading Gateway To Chrysanthemum Bliss?
On Tuesday I arrived at a fabulous onsen in Tateshima, expecting to simmer in their hot spring, gaze at splendid autumn leaves in luxurious quietude, and stuff myself with regional … Continue Reading Remote Control Hell At The Traditional Inn
The fall leaves aren’t winning any awards this year in Tokyo, so thank whatever gods are in charge of making autumn insta-worthy that there are still chrysanthemums! Yes, it’s time … Continue Reading Chrysanthemums Like You’ve Never Seen Before
Woo hoo, it’s time for the annual art-as-entertainment Yokohama Smart Illumination 2018! This year, for some reason it took a giant leap in quality, and although the artspeak “explaining” each … Continue Reading Smart Illumination Yokohama 2018: ALL THE YES
Finally! A series of shiba inu gachagacha toys made by an artist who understands that these devilish dogs are not just unbearably adorable, they come packed with a level of … Continue Reading The Shiba Inu Vending Machine
Come on, even you exquisitely jaded experience junkies want to do this, admit it! I’ve been to TeamLab’s “Planets” exhibition before, but this week I jumped into the newest version … Continue Reading Swimming With The Neon Fish
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… … Continue Reading Failed Rock Gardens Of Japan
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 … Continue Reading The Fox Wedding Vending Machine
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 … Continue Reading Totoro Cream Puffs
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 … Continue Reading Cherry Blossom Report 2018
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 … Continue Reading Jobs I Do Not Want To Have When I Grow Up
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 … Continue Reading Things I Never Envisioned Myself Owning
I know you’ve just been WAITING for more amusing observations and subtly ironic drawings about modern life from Yamada Zenjido (the artist who goes by y_haiku), so for those of … Continue Reading More Hilarious Haiku About The Small Mysteries Of Modern Life
Ah, New Year’s, when everyone in Japan visits their local kami-sama for the first time and gets a glimpse of their fortune for the coming year! But if you’re geographically … Continue Reading Are Ya Feelin’ Lucky?
It’s that time of year, when everyone who’s easy to buy presents for already has a big satisfying check mark next to their name, but the ones who don’t are … Continue Reading Top Ten Crazy Holiday Gifts from Japan 2017!
There’s a little shop near Sendagi Station called Amezaiku-ya where you can order the ultimate sweet selfie! Most often commissioned for wedding cake toppers, all the resident artists need is … Continue Reading Sweet Selfies On A Stick