When your parents agonized over the perfect name for you, I hope they avoided all the usual pitfalls—initials that accidentally spell swear words, traumatizing nicknames, monikers that belong to disgraced … Continue Reading How lucky is YOUR name?
If you’ve ever wished you could shrink yourself and live in one of the amazing model worlds Japan is so famous for…now you can! Small Worlds—a vast, animatronic, model-trains-on-steriods theme … Continue Reading Live Your Best Miniature Life for a Year in Tokyo’s Small Worlds Theme Park
I don’t usually reveal my guilty-pleasure bingewatches here, but pandemic is pandemic, and Giri/Haji (Duty/Shame) is the best Japanese drama I’ve ever seen (even though it was produced by the … Continue Reading TMOT: You will totally thank me for making you watch “Giri/Haji”
Hi, it’s me again, Jonelle How are you doing? I hope that you and yours are finding new ways to enjoy life while we weather the current storm! In case … Continue Reading April Japanagram Preview
One of the most entertaining things you can do in Tokyo is wander around the city after the sun goes down, if you know where to look. The wizards of … Continue Reading Every year, in every season: These lovely Tokyo sites light up at night
If you have to postpone your Japan trip and miss the cherry blossoms this spring, don’t despair! There are other flower seasons you can catch after the current contagion dies … Continue Reading Five Japanese flower seasons that will make you happy you missed the cherry blossoms
Just when you’re beginning to long for spring but it’s still shivery and damp and gray outside…Flowers By Naked arrives! The projection-mapping environment group Naked is staging its annual flower-themed … Continue Reading Spring Arrives Early: Flowers by Naked 2020
I won’t be in town for the Tokyo International Quilt Festival next week <sob!> but if you are, go. The hundreds of quilts on display will be world-class quality, and … Continue Reading If You Miss The 2020 Tokyo International Quilt Festival You Will Have REGRETS
If it’s mid-January, you know where to find me: Tokyo’s biggest eye-candy car event of the year, Tokyo Auto Salon! Unlike the more stuffy Tokyo Auto Show (where big makers … Continue Reading It’s Time For The Craziest Car Show In Tokyo
Ever since I discovered that one of the most inspiring kimono stylists I know offers private tour and photo sessions, I’ve been dying to swan around Tokyo in a gorgeous … Continue Reading Kimono Princess For A Day!
As the old year draws to a close (and we say good riddance to all that was disappointing and discouraging), and a new year is about to begin (along with … Continue Reading The One Word Saint
The Mori Museum’s current exhibit, Future and the Arts: AI, Robotics, Cities, Life – How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow pushes all my favorite buttons: food, fashion & WTF! It’s a satisfyingly … Continue Reading At The Mori Museum: 3D-Printed Sushi & Other Glimpses Of The Future
The frenzy of building bigger, newer, better illuminations with which to charm shoppers during the holiday season has died back a bit in Tokyo, but there are still plenty of … Continue Reading Where To See The Best Holiday Illuminations In Tokyo 2019!
The hot new trend of holiday illuminations in Tokyo has spread to the gardens and parks, with more and more lighting up their naturally spectacular autumn leaves and opening for … Continue Reading Where To See The Best Autumn Leaves In Tokyo…Lit Up At Night!
It’s that time of year again, when the chrysanthemum wranglers of Tokyo liberate their flower-of-choice from ragtag funeral bouquets and show the world they can hold their own with far … Continue Reading Killer Chrysanthemums 2019
Last fall on this exact day, I was ogling some of the most gorgeous autumn leaves in Japan, and I’ve been WAITING for the season to roll around again, so … Continue Reading The Most Beautiful Autumn Leaves In Japan
This year, there were fewer artworks at the Yokohama Smart Illuminations, but the ones on exhibit were SO worth seeing! Or – more accurately – worth DOING. Because this year … Continue Reading Smart Illumination Yokohama 2019: WOW
From the nation of insane Japanese modelmakers, this. The artist known as “Karabako Shokunin Harukiru” (That’s “Empty Box Craftsman Harukiru” to you), snips and folds and glues the unlikely medium … Continue Reading Insanely Detailed Sculptures Made From Japanese Snack Packages
How can you tell a professional baking conference is in Tokyo? Because among the fantasy wedding cakes, there’s a Shinto shrine wedding, complete with marzipan bride and groom. And then … Continue Reading Tokyo Cake Show: So Gorgeous, So Japanese
Every fall, this exquisitely curated exhibition happens at the Toshogu Shrine in Ueno Park, at the same place that hosts the eye-popping peony specimens in May. If you haven’t got … Continue Reading Dahlia Bonanza At The Toshogu Shrine
Tokyo is stuffed with gorgeous shrines and temples, but some of the gods in residence have hilarious and entertaining specialties! Here are the ones dedicated to my favorite kami-sama and … Continue Reading The Eleven Strangest Shrines In Tokyo
Usually you’d have to hie yourself all the way up to rural Aomori* to catch a glimpse of these epic glowing floats, but lucky for me, last fall I happened across an outpost of … Continue Reading Giant Paper Lanterns On Wheels
If you love kimono – and especially if you love Taisho and Showa-age kimono – don’t miss this exhibition! Right now, the Yayoi-Yumeji Museum – where over 3,000 of artist/illustrator … Continue Reading Jazz Age Paintings Of Beautiful Women And The Real Kimonos They Were Wearing
Riusuke Fukahori paints 3-D goldfish so real you can’t believe they’re not wriggling. And I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but the exhibit of his work going on RIGHT … Continue Reading 3-D Goldfish Art: Wait, Those Are PAINTINGS?
Art Aquarium, I’m going to miss you! <sob!> Yes, this is the last year they’re going to produce this eye-popping cross between goldfish and SFX, and they’re making up for … Continue Reading The Last Art Aquarium
Oh. Wait. At Tokyo Midtown this summer, they are! On the lawn that hosts those amazing winter illuminations, they’ve constructed a wide wooden veranda enclosing a “rock garden,” complete with … Continue Reading If Only Japanese Rock Gardens Were Filled With Cooling Mist & Illuminations…
In what has to be the weirdest creative medium next to the Seed Art Pavilion at the Minnesosta State Fair, Japanese farmers have taken to making large-scale art by planting … Continue Reading Rice Field Art
Candle-lit lanterns floating across a pond in the moonlight? Yes, please! This Toro Nagashi lantern ceremony was at the Ueno temple that sits amid the nodding lotus heads of Shinobazu … Continue Reading Floating Lanterns
Fireworks happen all over Tokyo in the months of July and August, and if you haven’t been to see them yet, go. Last weekend I went to the Adachi Fireworks … Continue Reading Japanese Fireworks: The Many-Splendored Fire Flowers Of Summer
Most flower seasons in Japan are like hitting the jackpot, but lotus season is more of a treasure hunt. Instead of fields of I-can’t-believe-my-eyes color, you have to hunt for … Continue Reading Where To See The Most Divine Lotus Blossoms In Tokyo
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“I just couldn’t put it down…a ‘must read’.” Okay, what do you think THIS floral designer got in trouble for drawing in the margins of his schoolbooks…? If I’d come … Continue Reading Gateway To Chrysanthemum Bliss?
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