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
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
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?
These Japanese amaryllis bloom once a year for only a few days, right at the fall equinox. If you move fast, you can still catch the higanbana in their full … Continue Reading Where To See Magical Red Autumn Lilies In Tokyo
Just when you need a little something to lift your wilted spirits, the dog days of summer fail to dish up a single Japanese flower extravaganza. Which is why I’ve … Continue Reading Flower Dream 2017
So, everybody knows about the cherry blossoms, and I bet you flower mavens even know about the glories of the plums, wisteria, azaleas and iris. But recently a bunch of … Continue Reading Secret Flower Seasons of Japan
Every once in a while you discover a place where the photos that made you run to the nearest station and jump on godzilla-knows-how-many-trains to get there did not lie. Not even a … Continue Reading Endless Fields Of Blue
From mid-April to mid-May, it seems like there are bright pink bushes whipping by the train window everywhere you go in Tokyo, but there are a few special places that just … Continue Reading Where To See The Most Amazing Azaleas In Tokyo
It’s purple season again! Yes, the wisteria are blooming, and (did you even have to ask?) of course Japan has over-the-top displays of the good purple stuff. Peak season is mid-April to mid-May, … Continue Reading Where To See The Most Beautiful Wisteria In Tokyo
I mean, look at it. This tree is a THOUSAND years old. It has cranked out cascades of blossoms like this every spring, a thousand times. And if yesterday was any indication, the grand old lady … Continue Reading If I Were A Thousand Years Old, I Would Not Be Putting Out Like This
Did you even have to ask? It’s not enough that famous cherry blossom spots are lit up at night, now Tokyo has electric cherry blossom extravaganzas that rival the ever-more-crazy holiday light shows! • TOKYO … Continue Reading Cherry Blossom Illuminations
You know those “Top Places To See Cherry Blossoms In Tokyo” websites that always tell you to go to Ueno Park? Well, this is how Ueno Park actually looks during cherry … Continue Reading Where To Take The Best Cherry Blossom Photos In Tokyo
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 … Continue Reading Tamao Shigemune: Modern Kimonos That’ll Knock Your Socks Off
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 … Continue Reading What’s Blooming In Japan Right Now?
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 … Continue Reading Lost In A Forest Of Blooming Plum Trees
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? … Continue Reading Girls’ Day Dolls…On Steroids
All of February (and a little of March) is the best time to see fluffy pink and white and red beauties bursting like popcorn all over Tokyo. Here are the … Continue Reading Plum Blossom Countdown
On the way to the Werewolf Shrine in remote Chichibu, locals have enterprisingly turned the frozen waterfalls that spangle the cliffs and caves alongside the Arakawa River into a winter wonderland! • … Continue Reading Rainbow Icicle Wonderland
High on top of a snowy mountain in Chichibu – so far from any train station that you’ll be eligible for a senior citizen discount by the time you get off … Continue Reading The Werewolf Shrine
If you think that vast fields of blooming wildflowers are something you won’t find in Tokyo…think again! From mid-September to mid-October every year, the lowly cosmos is elevated to extravaganza status at … Continue Reading Where To See Huge Fields Of Cosmos In Tokyo
If it happens to be raining when you are invited to walk through a magical forest carpeted with five million blooming amaryllis, do not say no. Because this. If you’re in … Continue Reading The Magical Red Forest
Although by now we’re all sort of feeling like “don’t let the door hit you on the way out, you miserably hot & humid Japanese summer,” some of the various celebrations … Continue Reading Goldfish, Goldfish, Everywhere
It was the last day of the DMM Planets attraction out in Odaiba today, but if you missed your chance to roll up your pants & wade around in a cloud-like sea of … Continue Reading Wading Through A Sea Of Stars & Flowers
This waterfall made of animated LEDs is conveniently paired with a pop-up mojito stand, so you can ooh and ah at the light-up while getting lit up yourself. Which would you rather do: Enjoy … Continue Reading The Waterfall Made Of Light
Not easy, is it? The lovely specimen in the wooden saké box is a painting of a goldfish. Actually, it’s about a gazillion paintings of a goldfish. Artist Riusuke Fukahori builds these 3-D … Continue Reading Which One Is The REAL Goldfish?
SUMMERTIME! In the land where fireworks are more like giant flaming bunches of posies than boisterous, wham-bam, shock & awe, that’s what hanabi really means in Japanese: fire flowers. A summertime treat accompanied … Continue Reading Big Bouquets Of Fire Flowers
I have a confession to make. Although my job is to write about ingenious ways people commit murder and mayhem, when it comes to obsessing about how I’d commit the perfect crime, … Continue Reading Hydrangeas: Gateway To A Life Of Crime
If you’ve never walked among peonies that stand shoulder-high, with flowers as big as your head, get thee to these Tokyo gardens right now and prepare to be amazed! NISHIARAI-DAISHI TEMPLE … Continue Reading Where To See The Most Gorgeous Peonies In Tokyo
Whether you’re all about the beer drinking or just want to win a few photo contests, first you gotta find the big pink things. Here’s a list of my all-time … Continue Reading The Best Cherry Blossom Spots In Tokyo – With Maps!
Is your favorite lipstick color black? Do net quizzes always sort you into Slytherin? Would you rather eat deep fried cod testicles than be seen in a pink kimono? Then this set … Continue Reading Finally, Girls’ Day For Goths!
I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I finally made it to Zao Fox Village last spring, but it’s a good thing I didn’t actually shuffle off this mortal coil due to fox-induced … Continue Reading Fox Village: Even Better With Snow On Top!
Because what do snow and tropical fish have in common? They both make killer themes for a bar! Yes, this aquarium has a bar (because Japan). Usually it’s called the Coral Bar, but until mid-April, the same artists … Continue Reading Snow Aquarium
Let me just say right up front that this quilt show exceeded expectations in every way. Something I really love about Japan is that Art-With-A-Captial-A is defined so generously, and artists whose work … Continue Reading Epic Japanese Quilt Show
Q. What’s got four wheels and sparkles and can totally give you ear damage? A. The cars on display at Tokyo Auto Salon, of course! Yes, there’s a gigantic car show dedicated … Continue Reading Bling ALL The Rides
(I put together this one-minute video because seriously, stills just couldn’t capture how awesome this show is YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY) The name of this exhibition only makes sense if you recognize … Continue Reading Flowers By Naked
By the time I took four trains and a bus to the gates of the aging amusement park Yomiuri Land, I had already decided that no illuminations could possibly be worth the … Continue Reading Yomiuriland Illuminations
Are you ready once again to have holiday lights spoiled for-e-ver by the insanely great Tokyo Illuminations? This year, the old favorites do not disappoint, but there are a couple of … Continue Reading The Best Tokyo Winter Illuminations 2015
Obscure seasonal references to geese and crows? So tenth century! Leaf viewing and strolling beneath the cherry blossoms? Been there, called it a cab. Let’s strap on our princess kimonos and hit the animal cafés instead! … Continue Reading Princess Kimono, Animal Style
If someone says “hydrangeas” and you think “boring white puffballs,” you haven’t seen the outrageous ones in Tokyo yet! Here are my favorite hydrangea garden extravaganzas, and they’ll be blooming ’til the end of June, just … Continue Reading Great Balls O’ Flowery Fluff: Tokyo’s Best Hydrangea Gardens
OK, I admit, I did not make this lollipop. I went to the workshop taught by the artist who made it, but the thing I ended up making did not remotely, remotely, REMOTELY resemble … Continue Reading How To Make The Most Beautiful Lollipops In The World
Fields of riotously blooming purple, blue & white iris? Yes, please! Here are the best places in Tokyo to see the iris extravaganzas of your dreams. New for 2020! HASEDERA … Continue Reading Where To See The Best Iris Gardens In Tokyo
Outside of Japan, nobody has heard of shibazakura, but they should! Check out the rolling hills covered with pink flowers that bloom in the middle of May! (They’re actually a … Continue Reading Vast Carpets Of Lawn Cherries!