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
A n d . . . we’re live! Japanagram is my new monthly newsletter, featuring different stuff than you’ll see here on Only In Japan or on The Tokyo Guide … Continue Reading Japanese Home Cooking, Weird Chocolate, Thousands Of Tiny Igloos & More!
The question isn’t really “Do I really need more gachapon capsule toys?” but “How did I ever communicate without them?” This series may be sold out by the time you’re … Continue Reading How Did I Survive Before There Were Standing Cat Toys?
• Hello, fellow lover of all things quirky and Japanese! Would you like a chance to win a copy of a new Japan-centric book every month? That’s one of the … Continue Reading Japanagram Book Review & Giveaway!
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
I should have guessed something was up when I spied this suspicious gathering in my office on Christmas Eve… And sure enough…DinoCon was in full swing by Christmas Day Hope … Continue Reading A Very Dinosaur Christmas
Once again, Japanese costume purveyors are outdoing themselves with even more WTF ways to impersonate Saint Nick, which (I think you’ll have to agree) is a pretty heroic effort if … Continue Reading Fresh Acts Of Santa Blasphemy
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!
Are ya feelin’ lucky? Because this vending machine dispenses fortunes, just like the ones you can buy at Japanese shrines! But that’s not all – it’s delivered by a little … Continue Reading The Shrine Maiden Vending Machine
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
I love chocolate. And I love mushrooms. But not together. Which is why, even if these displays hadn’t reared their blatantly commercial heads on the freakin’ day after Halloween, it … Continue Reading Stars Wars X Christmas Mash-up NOOOOOO
From the land that junk food shame forgot, this. A yakisoba sandwich is basically the Japanese equivalent of cold pizza for breakfast, on a bun. This is what frugal Japanese … Continue Reading One Fried Noodle Sandwich, Please
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
Tired of being the same old sexy skunk or slightly NSFW goose in a tutu for Halloween? Keep your fellow costume partiers guessing with these only-in-Japan puzzlers! I found these … Continue Reading The Most Only-In-Japan Halloween Costumes Ever
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
I had to go check to make sure that the best-dressed nude statue in Tokyo made it through the typhoon safely. And he did! Not only that, he already knows … Continue Reading This Year’s Burning October Question: What’s The Peeing Statue Wearing For Halloween?
Today when I woke up, it was hot and sunny. It didn’t seem possible that twelve hours ago, the biggest typhoon in sixty years was raging through Tokyo. So I … Continue Reading Typhoon Aftermath
FRIDAY Pre-typhoon festivities: At Meidi-ya (the swanky “Japanese” supermarket): Lines fifteen deep with bulging baskets as every Japanese person in my neighborhood panic-buys foods that still qualify as gourmet without … Continue Reading In Which We Report On Being Hammered By Typhoon Hagibis In Tokyo
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
By now you probably thought you’d seen it all when it comes to Japanese facial sheet masks – from the squicky & scary to skin treatments that turn you into … Continue Reading Intellectual Animal Beauty Masks
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
There I was, drinking in the serene green at the Kiyosumi Garden… …when I nearly stepped on this. It’s (weirdly) classified as “invasive” (because China) and “threatened.” Which shouldn’t surprised … Continue Reading I Saw Another New Wild Animal In Tokyo!
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
The must be the tool you’d need when pulling into the glamping spot in your pristine 4-wheel drive, to, I dunno…shovel a few more steaks onto the barbie? Return your … Continue Reading The Tool For All Your Chrome-plated Outdoor Needs
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…
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
I’ve got to hand it to the fearless players of Takurazuka – they might be the only women in the world who regularly get up on stage and play the … Continue Reading Viva la Revolućion…Diva Style
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
I was in the Matsuya Ginza food hall stocking up on peanut snacks, when I saw this. I tried to walk past it. I tried. To be honest, I was … Continue Reading Is This Mameshiba Cake Too Cute To Eat?
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
I was in Kamakura today, happily waiting for the arrival of my sesame soba and a mountain of crispy burdock root… …when they delivered my beer along with the usual unwanted … Continue Reading Nemesis, Thy Name Is Squid Guts
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
How did you guess that the moment I caught a glimpse of this vending machine filled with cat shaming gachagacha, all my laundry coins would be history? There was only … Continue Reading The Cat Shaming Vending Machine
Not content to merely give people taller noses, smaller faces, and glued eyelids, now there’s a Japanese beauty appliance that irons out saggy face parts! Depending on which wrinkly bit … Continue Reading The Secret Facelift Belt
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
Gifting in Japan requires that the wrapping be nearly as precious as what’s inside, but I can never remember how to tie a traditional silk furoshiki without the book that … Continue Reading Japanese Gift Boxes of Overwhelming Cuteness