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
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
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
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
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?
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 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
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
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
…this. • When not craving sushi delivery, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo
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!
“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
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
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
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
Don’t you just hate it when your kittehs get a touch of the walkabout? Well now you can do something about it. A quick prayer at the Tachikawa Suitengu Shrine … Continue Reading The Lost Cat 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 … Continue Reading The Dish-Breaking Shrine
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 … Continue Reading New Red Hats
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 … Continue Reading Why I’d Totally Follow This Guy’s Instagram If He Hadn’t Died In 1889
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 Kimono To Die For
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?
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
Just think, if the author of The Pillow Book were alive today… • @seishonagon When the ornamental comb one has ordered turns out to be pretty #pleasingthings • @seishonagon One has gone to bed and … Continue Reading Tweets From The Pillow Book
-1- Make a wish that you could draw as well as the other visitors at the anime & manga shrine Where: Kanda Myoujin Shrine (Kanda) • -2- Get your warts disappeared by the … Continue Reading 25 Obscure & Amazing Things To Do In Tokyo
Inside this telephone booth of yore lies the Miroku Stone. For hundreds of years (since the time of the venerable Kobo Daishi*) it has been known that if a virtuous … Continue Reading In Which An 8th Century Monk Trolls Us All
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
One painfully, BEASTLY hot day, I was scuttling along from shade puddle to shade puddle on my way back to Kanamachi Station, and I happened to glance through the gate of a … Continue Reading St. Bondage
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
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’d heard about the Boroichi Flea Market for ages, but never made it to one until today. Yikes, it filled every street and alleyway for BLOCKS! In classic flea market style, there … Continue Reading Setagaya Boroichi: The Grand Pooh-bah Of All Flea Markets
Middle school boys in foxface and golden skirt-pants carrying gigantic fox heads through the streets of Tokyo? Can you think of a better way to ring in the new year? Every … Continue Reading Midnight Fox Parade
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
On my way to check out the rooster shrine, I chanced upon these sight-challenged Jizos and a celebrity Kannon, chilling in a parking lot. • Read a novel set in Tokyo…
When winter finally lets go of Tokyo and the days start to get long and warm, it’s time to take the local deities out and show them a good time! But … Continue Reading Partying With The Gods
I knew I was going to love the Sasuke Inari Shrine from the moment I saw the long tunnel of red lacquer torii gates leading into the deep, dark woods. … Continue Reading The Fox Shrine To End All Fox Shrines
In Japan, the frenzy of weird Santas and blue poinsettias are whisked away the day after Christmas, and replaced with something far better…new year’s decorations! I never saw them before I … Continue Reading I Love Japanese New Year’s Decorations!
There’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned fire ceremony to get your year off to a blazing start! Flaming prayer sticks, drums being pounded by ultra-buff young priests, the chance to get … Continue Reading Get Your Wallet Blessed By Fire & Drums