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
Today I was beelining toward a garden, through a neighborhood I never visit, when I was stopped cold by the kimono lovers’ equivalent of Aladdin’s Cave. Before I knew it, … Continue Reading Feast Your Eyes On This: A Shop Full Of Taisho, Meiji & Showa Era Kimonos
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
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!
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
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
It was construction as usual in the town of Gyoda, until an excavation for a new building hit a layer of lotus plants that had been dead for thousands of … Continue Reading When The Gods Decide To Plant A Lotus Garden, They Don’t Mess Around
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…
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
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
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
Machines may not be able to find you the date of your dreams, but they sure can paint. This art is being made by an algorithm. A “life game” algorithm, … Continue Reading A Portrait Of The Algorithm As A Young Man
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
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
It’s time again for the best free holiday light show ever! Here are this year’s Tokyo Illuminations offerings, some of them even better than before: • TOKYO MIDTOWN This year’s … Continue Reading The Best Tokyo Illuminations 2017
The season has arrived, and in somewhat strange order this year. The ginkgo trees are full-on gold and already carpeting their surroundings with fallen leaves, but most Japanese maples are … Continue Reading A Feast Of Autumn Leaves
I know it seems like all I do these days is frant about looking at stuff lit up at night, but there’s been a sudden rash of illuminations events in … Continue Reading Yokohama Smart Illumination 2017: Even More & Better Than Before
Level up, holiday lightshow fanboys & girls! This digital greenhouse ups the ante in the illuminations game, bigtime. First of all, you can go inside and LIVE THE KALEIDOSCOPIC DREAM. … Continue Reading The Digital Greenhouse: Interactive Illuminations, I Am In You!
There’s a secret walled garden at the Ueno Toshogu Shrine that’s only open once a year for peony season, but guess what? This year they’re letting us come in to … Continue Reading In The Japanese Dahlia Garden
Okay, I really want to hate the Mitsui Memorial Museum (because see below) but they keep putting on shows like this. The idea behind “Amazing Craftsmanship!” is to pair mad … Continue Reading Obsession, Thy Name Is This Exhibit
Went to check on whether the cosmos were blooming yet at Hama-Rikyu Teien garden last week and discovered that the lovely fields of gently nodding multicolored blooms I remembered were looking … Continue Reading Who Knew There Was A Butterfly Season In Tokyo?