Category Archives: Traditional Stuff I Love

May 31

The Dish-Breaking Shrine

This spring, the ever-impish kami-sama apparently thought I was in need of some sort of life lesson. Because every time I set out with a well-planned, perfectly-timed plan, it was like this: “You know that amazing thing you traveled three hours on four trains to see? Well, forget it. You’re not going to see it. Instead […]

May 12

New Red Hats

Yesterday as I was cutting through the grounds of Zojo-ji temple, I noticed that all the Jizo-sans had bright new hats. In all the time I’ve been going there, they’ve never gotten new hats all at once. I don’t know why they suddenly all got new hats at once. But even the ancient ones whose weathered caps […]

March 31

Why I’d Totally Follow This Guy’s Instagram If He Hadn’t Died In 1889

Kawanabe Kyosai. He’d have had the best instagram ever. Of course, these are just a small appetizer – the show is HUGE, and so full of great stuff, it took me over an hour to see it all. If you’re in Tokyo before “This is Kyosai: The Israel Goldman Collection” ends on April 16, 2017, GO. It’s […]

March 21

Tamao Shigemune: Modern Kimono To Die For

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 can see them (and try her new summer collection on!) right now in Tokyo, through Sunday March 26th. Tamao Shigemune will be showing her collection at that […]

March 15

What’s Blooming In Japan Right Now?

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 from the only time that this place delivers yowzah-level flower extravaganzas. So I made a thing. Here’s what’s blooming when, and the best places to take photos […]

March 03

Girls’ Day Dolls…On Steroids

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? The truth is, pretty much every Japanese girlbaby is given a set on her first New Year’s, but if you run out of girls to hand them down to, they’re really hard to […]

February 08

Plum Blossom Countdown

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 best places to see them, in order of when they bloom: Note: These photos were all taken from 2014-2016, so depending on how warm or cold […]