“What if Tokyo became a city that could coexist with nature?” is the question that sits at the heart of “Tokyo Hotaru” (Tokyo fireflies), a light and sound festival to be held along the Sumida River on May 5 and 6 during this year’s Golden Week.
Of course everyone knows that coffee shop chain, Starbucks – good coffee, delicious food, comfortable atmosphere, top-notch service. If I had more money, I’d go everyday. Now we can all get a few steps closer to realizing this dream using these secret hacks: Read More
Among both train nerds and the general public, the bright red 300-series cars that originally ran on the Marunouchi subway line in Tokyo are much beloved. This year, that line celebrates the 50th anniversary of the completion of its full length, and someone has fittingly made it a cake. Literally.
The cakes, called Marunouchi Line 300-Series 3D Cake, are being sold for a limited time at the price of 7980 yen (about $97).
You have to say 25 years – a quarter of a century – is a very long time to be working on a single story telling project. Well, that’s exactly how long manga artist Hirohiko Araki has been producing the series “JoJo no Kimyo na Boken – or JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure”, commonly referred to as “JoJo” by fans.
Not surprisingly, after 25 years in the making, the comic has a huge following of loyal fans of varying ages. The story line, which revolves around battles of good vs. evil fought between characters with supernatural powers spanning over several generations, is certainly unique, but the comic is also loved for Araki’s distinctive sense of graphic style and color, which leaves quite an impression and which once seen, is not easily forgotten.
Fans of the comic will be delighted to hear that a special exhibition of original JoJo artwork by Araki will be held later this year in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture and in Tokyo to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the series.
Who doesn’t love cherry blossoms (sakura) and cherry blossom season? That exquisite pink everywhere. Refreshing, energizing, even. It’s fun just to wander around checking out the different parks with cherry blossoms. Sadly, time flies and the petals blow away… Read More
Since March 8, you may have been seeing umbrellas around Tokyo printed with graphics for a new Xbox 360 and PS3 mahjong game.
There’s a shocking video that has people talking. Titled, “緊急走行を妨害する歩行者Unreasonable walkers interfering with an urgent run“, it shows an ambulance with its sirens blaring. But the thing is, when it comes to a six-way crosswalk (likely in Shibuya, Tokyo), the pedestrians just keep walking, preventing it from going through.
And it’s not just one or two people either, but dozens, maybe hundreds of people completely ignoring the ambulance, crossing the street at a normal walking pace. Read More
Starbucks is quite nice, isn’t it? Their shops provide a comfortable, non-smoking place to enjoy a delicious coffee, they have a hip food menu, and you can even get a hundrend yen refill on the day’s coffee. The service isn’t half bad either. Of course, there’s the fact that it’s not exactly cheap, but we’ll forgive them that little foible.
There are six Starbucks locations in Tokyo that have just gotten even cooler, though. What’s so special about those six shops, you ask? Well, let me tell you! In short, the six stores listed below will allow you to take books from their attached bookstores to read while you enjoy your coffee.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Pakistan began. Since then the two countries have maintained a very strong diplomatic and economic relationship. However, culturally the two countries haven’t gotten as close as they could have.
Thankfully the Pakistan Embassy in Japan along with members of the Pakistani community in Japan have organized the Pakistan Bazaar in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo. Anyone in the Tokyo area on 24-25 March is welcome to experience the historical and cultural beauty that fills Pakistan with free admission.
Tokyo. Japan’s capital and home to roughly 12,790,000 people, making it the world’s most populous metropolis.
Running through this great city is one of the world’s most extensive urban rail networks, composed of surface trains and subways that carry some 40 million passengers daily. Cheap, safe and efficient, trains are undoubtedly the most convenient form of transportation in this concrete labyrinth—if you know how and when to use them.
Depending on what lines you take and when you take them, boarding a train in Tokyo can easily feel like voluntarily walking through the gates of hell.
This is especially true of the crowded cars of the morning and evening commuter rush and many people therefore try to avoid these trains when possible. This is not only because they are packed shoulder-to-shoulder with passengers, oh no. Even more unpleasant are the bizarre and unnatural creatures that lurk exclusively on these trains.
The 2012 Tokyo Marathon, which took place last Sunday, February 26, saw a record total of 35,000 participants run the 42.195-kilometer course through city streets normally crowded with pedestrians and cars.
While a popular format for sushi restaurants in some foreign countries like America, it’s much more difficult to find all-you-can-eat sushi in Japan than one would think.
If you are in Japan and are looking to gorge yourself on maguro, saba or whatever else floats your sushi boat, look no further than Tabehodai Sushi Club, a little place in Ueno, Tokyo that has all-you-can-eat sushi for only 1050 yen (US $13).
When western people visit Japan they often complain about the small size of the portions served to them at restaurants, especially when it comes to steak. The average Japanese steak weighs in at around 150-200g (5-7oz) which would make for a decent sized American hamburger but little more than a frozen dinner-caliber steak. Read More
Our correspondent who travelled to North Korea recently met with an unwelcome reception at Narita airport as he returned via Beijing. “Customs officials, without any idea it was about to happen, spent about 10 minutes going through my things” he described. “It’s a sketchy country, so I guess they have to do these things, but still – it’s disappointing.”
The result of the search was that he had to give up every single souvenir he got in North Korea.
Believe it or not, your reporter (Chie Nomura, pictured above & below) has always had a taste for insect cuisine and it’s been a long-held dream of mine to try scorpion. After all, while you sometimes see variety shows with some talent scowling as he reluctantly lowers a giant black scorpion into his mouth, here in Japan, they’re not the kind of bugs we can try everyday.
Well, after doing some searching, I found a Chinese restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo that serves scorpion! Who knew that the key to realizing my long-cherished dream was so close at hand!
I wasted no time in scuttling on over to try the dish myself!
On the 16th of this month, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department announced the results of a bicycle safety enforcement campaign they implemented on the 10th. In those six days, 1571 people were issued warnings for illegal behavior, and over half of those were to people wearing earphones or headphones while riding. An additional 27 people were issued tickets. Read More
There is a ramen shop in Japan that will pile the sliced pork higher than anything you’ve ever seen. It’s name, fittingly enough, is Niku-ya (Butcher Shop), and according to their sign, “We’re not a ramen restaurant, we’re meat specialists.” It definitely seems like they want to emphasize that end of the business rather than the noodles.
While it does look like a ramen shop and their customers are there to order ramen, their main selling point is definitely their meat. It’s said that their pork ramen has the largest portion of roasted pork slices of any shop in Japan! Well, we had to go check that out. Read More
Many Tokyoites caught up in the hustle and bustle of the city life would like nothing more than to kick back and spend the day fishing. Yet while fishing can be a very rejuvenating sport, preparation and travelling can require a lot of effort, especially for city-slickers exhausted by long work weeks.
Well don’t cut your line just! It just so happens that there is an Izakaya (Japanese pub) in the heart of Tokyo where customers can fish for their own dinner!
Many of you may remember hearing about the full scale RX-78-2 Gundam model erected at Shiokaze Park in Odaiba, Tokyo last summer.
The Gundam, standing 18 meters tall and weighing 35 tons, was constructed as a part of an environmental awareness campaign called Green Tokyo Gundam Project and drew 5,120,000 visitors during the 52 days it was on display.
Now, after a 2 year hiatus including a brief stint in Shizuoka, RX-78-2 is finally coming back to Odaiba!
January 21 marked this year’s Daikan, the coldest day in winter according to the traditional East Asian calendar. True to its prediction, Japan was hit by a cold wave on that day and many people, your reporter included, found themselves craving something warm and toasty to heat their bodies and fill their stomachs.
And nothing warms the body on a cold winter day like oden, a Japanese winter soup dish prepared by boiling ingredients like winter veggies, tofu, eggs and fish cakes in a soy sauce-flavored broth.
Using Daikan as an excuse, I decided to treat myself to a desert-themed variation of oden I had recently heard about that swaps out the standard oden ingredients for fruit and sweets and boils them in a hot little clay pot of spiced oolong tea and happiness.
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