Tokyo, Japan

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  • Tokyo Station platform roof to be replaced

    News On Japan
    17 Apr 2014 | 12:18 am
    The entire roof of a JR Tokyo Station platform will be removed and replaced for first time since the station opened in 1914, according to East Japan Railway Co. (The Japan News)
  • Crumbling Mt. Gox files for liquidation

    Tokyo, Japan News
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:09 pm
    Mark Karpeles, Mt. Gox CEO, leaves the Tokyo District Court in Tokyo, Japan, after its bankruptcy filing.
  • S Korea Japan hold rare ‘comfort women’ talks

    Tokyo News latest RSS headlines - The Tokyo
    16 Apr 2014 | 9:47 am
    A demonstrator displays a placard as the group demands an apology from Japan over the comfort women issue during a rally in front the Japan Interchange Association in Taipei. Picture: Sam ...
  • Current Conditions : 66F / 19C, Partly Cloudy - 12:30 PM JST Apr. 17

    Tokyo, Weather from Weather Underground
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:30 pm
    Temperature: 66°F / 19°C | Humidity: 49% | Pressure: 29.89in / 1012hPa (Steady) | Conditions: Partly Cloudy | Wind Direction: East | Wind Speed: 5mph / 7km/h
  • THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY [2013] movie review – recommended

    Jacked-in || Movie Reviews - Florida Japan Photography - Spontaneous Prose
    Jason Collin
    29 Mar 2014 | 8:36 pm
    It was a real wakeup call watching THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY [2013].  Walter is a guy who cannot complete a dating profile because the only thing he has ever done was visit Arizona and he does not even remember why.  Thus, he daily life is filled with elaborate daydreams where he does what he actually wants.  He changes and becomes more adventurous and even he does not realize he stopped daydreaming in that time.  I am the reverse of that.  My life before now was all adventure, very similar to Walter in that I explored a volcano and even rode the one good bike available in a remote…
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    Jacked-in || Movie Reviews - Florida Japan Photography - Spontaneous Prose

  • THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY [2013] movie review – recommended

    Jason Collin
    29 Mar 2014 | 8:36 pm
    It was a real wakeup call watching THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY [2013].  Walter is a guy who cannot complete a dating profile because the only thing he has ever done was visit Arizona and he does not even remember why.  Thus, he daily life is filled with elaborate daydreams where he does what he actually wants.  He changes and becomes more adventurous and even he does not realize he stopped daydreaming in that time.  I am the reverse of that.  My life before now was all adventure, very similar to Walter in that I explored a volcano and even rode the one good bike available in a remote…
  • FLIPPED [2010] movie review – recommended

    Jason Collin
    14 Mar 2014 | 7:44 pm
    Only by absolute random looking through a list of movies did FLIPPED [2010] come on to my radar this week.  I had never heard of it at all before.  Directed by Rob Reiner I will be recommending this movie so it gets the attention it deserves.  For those looking for a pure film, one free of malice and one with clever story telling, this coming of age story about young romance set in the early 1960s will amuse and entertain you. I had been planning on watching FLIPPED this evening for the past two days, however, just as I started it and saw only the studio logo come up on screen, I paused…
  • THE SPECTACULAR NOW [2013] movie review

    Jason Collin
    7 Mar 2014 | 7:57 pm
    Really only toward the end of the movie and thinking about it afterwards did I realize that the main character, a high school senior, was an alcoholic and that no one in his life called him on it in a serious way ever.  He routinely drove drunk, worked his part-time job drunk and in his free time drank.  I guess since he was always so cheerful and not belligerent he could get away with it.  It’s just something in hindsight that could ruin THE SPECTACULAR NOW [2013] for me, as it was otherwise an intimate coming of age drama. Sutter narrates the opening of the movie via answering a…
  • NEBRASKA [2013] movie review

    Jason Collin
    5 Feb 2014 | 6:02 pm
    The two things I will remember most about NEBRASKA [2013] is the beautiful score by Mark Orton and how numerous people who had not seen each other for 20 years ran out of things to say to each other after just two sentences. However, ask how long it took them to drive to their house and they are all ears. Such is the world created by Alexander Payne in this black & white movie, and I could not imagine seeing it in color. NEBRASKA is actually a road trip movie. There are no wild teens having hijinks along the road though. In fact most of the characters are old, really old, and the only…
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    Black Tokyo

  • Parental Kidnapping Treaty in Effect for Japan

    31 Mar 2014 | 10:11 pm
    Via the Stars & Stripes – Pacific: A treaty aimed a preventing cross-border parental kidnapping takes effect Tuesday in Japan after years of pressure from the international community. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International ...
  • Kemushi Chats: What type is she?

    31 Mar 2014 | 9:38 pm
    Be sure to check out here blog here!    
  • Racism in Japan Videos Causing a Stir

    16 Mar 2014 | 6:08 am
    Another view on life in Japan: [Via Medama Sensei Channel] ”Is there racism and discrimination in Japan? I was surprised to find out that almost all of my high school students (about 1000 students) were not aware of ...
  • Japan Signs Hague Convention: Will it Stop International Child Abduction?

    26 Jan 2014 | 10:44 pm
    FINALLY! Japan has taken steps to address what has become more than a “gaijin” problem. By the way, in Japan: “The Civil Code awards custody over children to only one parent, invariably to the mother, after divorce. ...
  • Abita: A Short Film About Fukushima Children

    10 Jan 2014 | 8:48 pm
    [Via Global Voices] “Abita”, an animated short film about Fukushima children who can’t play outside because of the radiation risk, delicately illustrates their dreams and realities. The film, produced by Shoko Hara and Paul Brenner, ...
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    Little Gaijin in the Big City

  • Back to the present

    27 Mar 2014 | 9:31 am
    It's almost April, the start of the school year in Japan, and here I am in count-down mode. Ray will be starting daycare next Tuesday, and I will be going back to work soon after that. So like all newly back to work mothers I am both dreading and immensely looking forward to leaving the little one in professional care, putting on nice clothes and doing something that doesn't involve wiping things every ten minutes with a damp cloth. Ray is ONE now. Like, he wasn't even in my belly a year ago. Ok he was mostly sort of comatose at this time and squinting at us with a godfather-like 'whatsamadda…
  • On the rollercoaster

    13 Jan 2014 | 10:12 pm
    Quick! the baby's sleeping! The house is pretty messy but the sink is clear. Do...I ...gasp... have a moment to myself?? I think when I was pregnant, I posted that I was expecting having a kid to being like riding a rollercoaster. It turns out this is a pretty accurate description, and although the experience is amazing and stuff, it's hard to write while you're on the ride. I havn't seen many twitter posts or anything while actually ON a rollercoaster. just guessing, it would probably not be actually very helpful @littlegaijin: AIEEEEEE!!! #onrollercoaster So yeah. Ok. Ray is now nearly ten…
  • Backup School

    18 Nov 2013 | 10:02 pm
    Hello dear precious readers, who have all wandered away by now from the lack of posts in ... gulp. Three months! That's terrible, even for me. I'm sure you were wondering if I'm still alive. Let me assure you we are all alive and well. The tiny dictator resting on my lap now has three teeth (I see a fourth poking its way through!)and eats baby food twice a day. I've found the trick to get him to eat stuff is to keep it simple. He didn't like a mush of rice and fish and pureed dakon, but individually they were ok. Also, he likes orange foods the most. don't ask me why. The one experiment with…
  • Traditional Baby

    14 Aug 2013 | 8:04 am
    It appears the entire world is in uproar, tabloid headlines blaring, paparazzi flashes glittering in the noonday sun, all over a tiny royal baby! .. it may not be MY baby, but I like to pretend. Ray is nearly five months old now (jeez, really? where did the time go??) and oh my gosh, he is cute. CUTE! Like, all, rolling around, giggling, touching you with hands that were not a second ago in his mouth and squishing your face with them, etc. Why HELLO there sweetie peetie cutie pootie! Now that we have a baby, the frosty mask of Japan is melting away. The motto of Tokyo in particular seems to…
  • what's next

    28 Jun 2013 | 6:46 pm
    So, what have you been dong with yourself there, Kyra? Not much on the blog these days I see... you are probably asking. Hm, hm. Let me think. well, since I last left you, I decided my super old computer needed to be replaced, so I went to Tsukumo (a specialty store in Akihabara) and picked up some parts, and had a blast assembling a new one all by myself. I had to consult three or four manuals: the motherboard manual, cpu manual, basic assembly do-it-yourself manual provided by the store. All in japanese I may add, but I got it all wired up and am using it as we speak. It's alive...
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    Lets Japan

  • McDonald’s gives more pickles, onions, ketchup free on request

    15 Apr 2014 | 8:40 am
    McDonald’s in Japan is giving extra condiments free to customers who request the extras at the time of ordering. The items on the so-called “Back Menu” include pickles, onions, ketchup, tartar sauce (for the Filet-O-Fish sandwich) and teriyaki sauce (for the Teriyaki burger.) The Back Menu is not advertised and there is no information about the free extra toppings in McDonald’s stores. Word that McDonald’s will add more condiments upon request is spreading via twitter. Normally there is one pickle slice on a McDonald’s hamburger. Customers can get two…
  • Fat gal marshmallow girls are chubby idols

    18 Dec 2013 | 1:38 am
    A "chubby chubby boom" of popular fat female celebrities in Japan has led to the debut of Japan’s first fashion magazine for plus-sized women. The chubby lady models of La Farfa magazine are called "Marshmallow girls."   A new idol group of heavyset female models/spokespersons called "Chubbiness" has been assembled by CanCam woman’s magazine and Avex entertainment company. The average weight of the gals in the group is 55 kilograms (121 pounds.) Anyone who drops below 50 kilograms (120 pounds)  will be fired from the group.   Big, sexy,…
  • Beauty face pack masks looks like Kabuki facial expressions

    9 Dec 2013 | 3:26 am
    Beauty face packs that look like the facial contortions of Kabuki performers are being sold by a company that specializes in Kabuki-related products. The face pack patterns mimic the bright striped makeup worn by the actors in the bold aragoto style of Kabuki.   The mask sheets contain natural moisturizers and also have a whitening effect. Usage instructions are in Japanese and English. The Kabuki 2-sheet facial packs are for sale at the Kabuki-za theater in Tokyo, Haneda Airport in Tokyo, and Tokyo Midtown Galleria. The price is JPY 880. photos: Sankei MSN
  • Disaster cape for dogs has cushioned head hood

    28 Nov 2013 | 6:56 am
    A company that makes fashions for dogs has created the "Patent DIsaster Cape" earthquake and fire protection suit for dogs. The silver flame-retardant outfit is padded on the top to protect the dog’s head and back from falling objects. The wind-resistant cape is trimmed with reflective piping and comes in a compact flame-resistant storage bag. Price: JPY 19,800   More photos
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  • Sakura Saturday

    5 Apr 2014 | 1:58 am
    I'm trying to find my way back to my blog, it has been too long! So here goes... I can't do a daily sakura this year, but here are a few cherry blossom photos from my favourite spot - Asukayama in Kita-ku, Tokyo.
  • Photo Friday - Fushimi Inari Dragon

    19 Dec 2013 | 3:26 pm
    Because I'm a few days late for a Wordless Wednesday... A dragon waterspout from Fushimi Inari.
  • Monday

    18 Dec 2013 | 3:24 pm
    I spoke at an event on Sunday and because of the post-event drinking party they put me up for the night. On Monday I was to transfer at Kyoto to the shinkansen and head home, except I couldn't. Despite the mile long to-do list waiting for me at home, I couldn't just head straight home on Monday morning, it would have been such a waste! So I stashed my bag in a locker and hopped on the JR Nara line.A few minutes later I was standing beneath the first of many bright orange torii shrine gates.Thankfully the crowds thinned out the further I got up the mountain and, although the weather was grey…
  • Fall

    1 Dec 2013 | 6:24 pm
    After work one day last week I braved the chilly Tokyo evening, hordes of old men with big cameras and tripods, and young couples with women tripping along in completely useless high-heeled "booties." A pretty little Japanese garden by day, Rikugien does a evening light-up during fall foliage season (and sells yummy grilled rice cake dango with sweet miso or soy sauce... mmmmmm!)Without a tripod, and not wanting to stop traffic by setting up such equipment even if I had it, most of my pictures turned into fuzzy blobs of bright colour, but the light up is beautiful and the garden well…
  • Hard Corners

    30 Nov 2013 | 11:56 pm
    In the shower the other day I noticed an angry looking bruise on my left thigh. I'm a klutz and I bruise quite impressively, but this one was even more colourful than usual."No wonder I squeaked at U when he cuddled up to me last night!" I thought to myself.After my shower I walked into the kitchen to get myself a glass of water. Intent on my drink I wasn't watching where I was going and bashed into the dining table."Ouch!" I said to myself and rubbed my thigh, "I'm going to have a brui- ahhH!" Cartoon style, a light bulb had gone off over my head. It sure has taken me long…
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    今古ジャパン AF's Japan Now & Then 今古ジャパン

  • Space Cherry Tree Blooms Years Earlier Than Expected

    11 Apr 2014 | 11:26 am
    via Cosmic bloom? Early blossom for cherry tree after space trip Published time: April 11, 2014 A four-year-old cherry tree grown from a pit that orbited the Earth for eight months aboard the ISS has burst into blossom in Japan far earlier than usual with very interesting flowers, a riddle that is perplexing local scientists. The ‘extraterrestrial’ cherry tree was expected to blossom in six years, in 2018, as normally it takes at least 10 years for similar sorts of tree to bear their first buds. However, in April the ‘space cherry tree’, already grown to around 4 meters tall,…
  • AF's Favorite Enka (Songs) Series

    11 Apr 2014 | 12:07 am
    Tsugaru Strait - Winter Scene Tsugaru Kaikyō - Fuyu-geshiki | 津軽海峡・冬景色 Ishikawa Sayuri(石川さゆり), singer Miki Takashi (三木たかし), composer Morioka Ken'ichirō (森岡賢一郎), arranged Aku Yuu (阿久悠 ), lyrics The single was released on 1st of January, 1977 by Nippon Columbia. Together with “Amagi-goe,” the song is Ishikawa’s most popular from her career. (wiki) To me, this song is about equal parts defiance and pathos. The refrain is, colloquially, “So, goodbye you, dear. I’m going home!”(Sayonara, anata. Watashi wa kaerimasu.)…
  • AF's Favorite Samurai (Jidaigeki) Movies 4

    28 Mar 2014 | 1:27 am
    I decided to post my favorites, in no particular order. Sword of Desperation (必死剣鳥刺し Hisshiken Torisashi) *Sorry, only trailer available. ** Then again, try this Hisshiken Torisashi(2010) From IMDb Sword of Desperation (必死剣鳥刺し Hisshiken Torisashi) is a 2010 Japanese film directed by Hideyuki Hirayama. A talented but troubled Edo Period swordsman, Kanemi Sanzawmon. Three years earlier, Kanemi killed a woman, Renko, the corrupt mistress of the powerful daimyo Tabu Ukyou. Unexpectedly, Kanemi received a lenient…
  • AF's Favorite Samurai (Jidaigeki) Movies 3

    28 Mar 2014 | 1:14 am
    I decided to post my favorites, in no particular order. The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei たそがれ清兵衛) *Sorry, only trailer available. The Twilight Samurai (movie) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Twilight Samurai or Tasogare Seibei (たそがれ清兵衛, literally "Twilight Seibei") is a 2002 Japanese film directed by Yoji Yamada. Set in mid-19th century Japan, a few years before the Meiji Restoration, it follows the life of Seibei Iguchi, a low-ranking samurai employed as a bureaucrat. Poor, but not destitute, he still manages to lead a content and…
  • AF's Favorite Samurai (Jidaigeki) Movies 2

    28 Mar 2014 | 1:05 am
    I decided to post my favorites, in no particular order. When the Last Sword Is Drawn (壬生義士伝 Mibu Gishi Den) When the Last Sword Is Drawn From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia When the Last Sword Is Drawn (壬生義士伝 Mibu Gishi Den) is a 2003 Japanese movie directed by Yōjirō Takita loosely based on real historical events. When the Last Sword Is Drawn won the Best Film award at the 2004 Japanese Academy Awards, as well as the prizes for Best Actor (Kiichi Nakai) and Best Supporting Actor (Koichi Sato). It received a further eight nominations. The film…
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    Japan Blog - Tokyo Osaka Nagoya Kyoto

  • A Walk Around Kyushu Day 30 Across Kagoshima City

    16 Apr 2014 | 4:17 pm
    A Walk Around Kyushu Day 30Across Kagoshima CityTuesday July 30th, 2013 I am going to be based here in Kagoshima for another two nights, so for today's completely urban section of the walk I can leave my heavy backpack in my room.By now the oppressive summer heat has become bearable and today's clearing skies offer a slight reduction in humidity. The plan is to head back out to the northern edge of the city and walk across it visiting the two pilgrimage temples here and head south out of the city as far as I can.Hemmed in between the mountains and the sea, Kagoshima is not very wide, but very…
  • Yatsushiro Grand Hotel

    15 Apr 2014 | 6:16 am
    八代グランドホテルThe Grand Hotel in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto, is a full service hotel offering wedding and banquet services, but has rooms priced less than a budget business hotel. Yatsushiro is the terminus of the privately owned Hisatsu Orange Railway Line which runs down the coast to Satsumasendai, the JR Hisatsu Line which runs up the Kumagawa River to Hitoyoshi, the JR Kagoshima Line which runs up to Kumamoto and beyond, and Shin Yatsushiro Station on the Kyushu Shinkansen Line.The hotel is situated on the main road less than 1km from JR Yatsushiro station and 1.5km from…
  • "Back where we belong" in Japanese: yori o modosu

    13 Apr 2014 | 8:01 am
    よりを戻す"getting back together," "turning the clock back," "starting over" are sentiments of one-time friends, partners and lovers  the world over.A common way of expressing this feeling in Japanese is the phrase yori o modosu よりを戻す.To those who know a little Japanese, the yori might seem unintuitive as it is usually encountered with the meaning of "more than," e.g. Kocha yori kohi ga suki (I like coffee more than tea.) But actually yori/yoru  has all sorts of meanings, backed by various different kanji.For example, there's yoru 寄る that's all about drawing near,…
  • Japan News This Week 13 April 2014

    12 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    今週の日本In a Test of Wills With China, U.S. Sticks Up for Japan New York TimesJapan’s biggest pop star right now is a fetishized hologram Global PostPlay on Japan's Singaporean legacy BBCMassive scale of Toyota recall down to increase in common car partsGuardianActivists sue over Abe’s ‘unconstitutional’ Yasukuni visitJapan TimesJapan’s Energy Policy Impasse 日本のエネルギー政策、行き詰まる Japan FocusJapan’s Foreign Minister Says Apologies to Wartime Victims Will Be Upheld New York TimesLast Week's Japan News on the JapanVisitor blogStatisticsRanking of…
  • Ibusuki Sand Baths

    11 Apr 2014 | 6:23 am
    指宿の砂むし温泉Ibusuki in Kagoshima Prefecture is known for its volcanic sand baths (砂むし).About 10 minutes walk south from Ibusuki Station, the Saraku Sand Bath Hall or Sunamushi Kaikan Saraku is the biggest sand bath facility in the area. Here the sand on the beach is infused with hot water from deep underground.After taking off all your clothes and donning a yukata, you are buried in the sand by an attendant. 10 minutes is the recommended limit before you push yourself out and walk back to the Saraku Sand Bath Hall to shower and take a water hot bath and sauna if you so…
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    TABlog EN

  • 10 Things in Tokyo: April Round-up

    Emily Wakeling
    10 Apr 2014 | 8:42 am
    Normally held during the chilly month of March, this year Roppongi Art Night has been put forward in the year to Saturday, April 19th. Starting in 2009, it is a one-night event held in the streets and art venues in Roppongi. Katsuhiko Hibino will once again direct the event. Video artist Yu Araki is having a solo exhibition The Container. The video on show is “Angelo Lives”, a mix of footage taken from Japan, Spain and Italy with a strange narrative surrounding the history of Christianity in Japan (until May 19). Three artists in their thirties- Takahiro Iwasaki, Ryuta Iida and…
  • Public Art #6: Choi Jeong Hwa’s “Fruits Tree”

    Nick West
    27 Mar 2014 | 4:16 am
    Ten imitation wooden logs encircle a sculpture at the edge of Rinko Park, Yokohama. An earthy, brown rope is threaded through them, politely separating a quiet public garden from a bumper crop of jumbo plastic fruit and vegetables. Stuffed between large leaves, its harvest is so densely packed that any branches are obscured and its structure is concealed. Commissioned as part of Yokohama’s first Triennale of contemporary art in 2001, the five metre-tall Fruits Tree (2001) by the Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa is one of several public art projects envisaged to continue after the festival.
  • Art Fair Tokyo 2014

    Rachel Carvosso
    12 Mar 2014 | 8:32 pm
    The 2014 preview of Tokyo Art Fair at the Tokyo International Forum was packed and bustling with 145 galleries and numerous designers, craftspeople and artists. Divided into two halls, most of the major galleries of Tokyo and the rest of Japan were represented. Whether as a buyer or an interested art lover, it was a good opportunity to take in the best of Japanese contemporary art and a chance to see new work from contemporary Asian galleries. While Japan sometimes struggles to make its mark on the international stage, here many Japanese artists and works demonstrated an attention to detail…
  • Hi-Red Center

    Jessica Jane Howard
    7 Mar 2014 | 3:07 am
    In 1994 Alexandra Munroe organized the milestone exhibition “Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky” in New York, the first of its kind to introduce a broad survey of modern and contemporary Japanese art to American audiences. Despite coverage alongside contemporary Japanese artists, historic avant-garde collectives like Hi-Red Center and Gutai received little international recognition thereafter. Instead, it was contemporary pop art successors such as Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara that began their overseas boom in the mid-to-late nineties. These relatively new…
  • 10 Things in Tokyo: March Round-up

    Emily Wakeling
    3 Mar 2014 | 6:45 pm
    To start, March is the time for Tokyo’s largest gathering of collectors and dealers, with Art Fair Tokyo happening over the weekend of Friday March 7th until Sunday the 9th. Local galleries will be represented next to some international counterparts, alongside the fair’s side-event talks and special exhibits. Over the same weekend, “3331 Art Fair -Various Collectors’ Prizes” will be held at 3331 Arts Chiyoda. The event is a aimed at being a casual, approachable format for first-time buyers and those interested in knowing more about the art market. Outside of these…
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    Japan Zone - Entertainment News from Japan

  • Japan: a journey between tradition and modernity

    25 Mar 2014 | 8:00 am
    <p><img src="" width="450" height="309" align="left" hspace="5" vspace="5" style="border: solid black 1px;" title="AmnesiArt" alt="AmnesiArt"> <br clear=all> AmnesiArt is a film and Fine Art photography production composed by Nick Arcivos and Ryan Earl. This film gives you the opportunity to explore the country through Tokyo, symbol of modernity, Nara and Kyoto, the...<br clear=all>
  • Sakura on the way

    14 Mar 2014 | 5:33 am
    <p><img src="" width="450" height="276" align="left" hspace="5" vspace="5" style="border: solid black 1px;" title="Sakura, Cherry Blossoms, Mt. Fuji" alt="Sakura, Cherry Blossoms, Mt. Fuji"> <br clear=all> The Japan Weather Association has announced the news that's eagerly awaited across Japan every winter - the expected arrival of the "sakura kaika", or the opening of cherry blossoms. The sakura is of...<br…
  • Hikki's Getting Hitched Again

    4 Feb 2014 | 2:40 am
    <p><img src="" width="450" height="255" align="left" hspace="5" vspace="5" style="border: solid black 1px;" title="Utada Hikaru" alt="Utada Hikaru"> <br clear=all> J-pop superstar Utada Hikaru (31) is getting married again. The singer-songwriter posted yesterday on her Hikki's Website that she and her Italian fiance will be tying the knot on May 23. Media reports describe the lucky guy as a 23-year-old barman working…
  • End of the Road for Waratte Iitomo

    22 Oct 2013 | 4:26 am
    <p><img src="" width="450" height="253" align="left" hspace="5" vspace="5" style="border: solid black 1px;" title="Waratte Iitomo, Tamori" alt="Waratte Iitomo, Tamori"> <br clear=all> A Japanese TV institution is coming to an end. On the Tuesday afternoon edition of “Waratte Iitomo” (It’s Okay to Laugh) comedian host Tamori (real name Morita Kazuyoshi) confirmed rumors that the live studio show will...<br clear=all>
  • RIP Anpanman creator Yanase Takashi

    15 Oct 2013 | 6:31 pm
    <p><img src="" width="450" height="316" align="left" hspace="5" vspace="5" style="border: solid black 1px;" title="Yanase Takashi, Anpanman" alt="Yanase Takashi, Anpanman"> <br clear=all>After all the updates on the damage being caused by the biggest typhoon to hit Japan in 10 years, today's morning variety shows discussed the sad loss of animator Yanase Takashi. He died of heart failure on Sunday at the ripe old age of 94. Energetic and…
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    The Tokyo Reporter

  • Hostess culture mag Koakuma Ageha to suspend publication

    Tokyo Reporter
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:55 pm
    Koakuma Ageha MayFollowing the bankruptcy of publisher Inforest Publishing earlier this week, Koakuma Agega, a glossy magazine that features hostess culture, will suspend publication, reports Sports Hochi (Apr. 17). Inforest Publishing, which has an accumulated debt of three billion yen, announced on Wednesday that the company would seek to sell the company’s approximately 20 titles, which are mainly culture and fashion publications. According to credit research company Teikoku Databank, Inforest Publishing was founded in 2002. The first issue of Koakuma Agega was released in October of…
  • Shots fired day after yakuza members stabbed in Tochigi

    Tokyo Reporter
    16 Apr 2014 | 2:06 am
    The symbol of the Inagawa-kaiUTSUNOMIYA, TOCHIGI (TR) – In what police believe is connected to a stabbing incident on Monday evening in Utsunomiya, shots were fired into an apartment early Tuesday morning, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Apr. 16). At around 5:00 a.m., a resident in the Hiramatsu Honcho area called law enforcement to report being awoken by gunfire. Officers from the organized crime unit of the Tochigi Prefectural Police arriving at the scene found single bullet holes in a window of a house and the hood of a car. The 66-year-old male resident of the unit was unhurt. The…
  • Inagawa-kai members injured in stabbing in Utsunomiya

    Tokyo Reporter
    14 Apr 2014 | 11:22 pm
    2 Inagawa-kai members were found stabbed Monday in a parking lotUTSUNOMIYA, TOCHIGI (TR) – After what police believe was a gang dispute, two organized crime members were found stabbed on Monday evening in Utsunomiya City, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Apr. 15). At about 8:00 p.m., officers from the Tochigi Prefectural Police arrived at a restaurant parking lot in the Motoimaizumi district to find two members of the Inagawa-kai — aged 44 and 34 — with stab wounds to their abdomens. The male perpetrator fled the scene following the incident. Police suspect the stabbing occurred…
  • Shimane man accused of killing college co-ed met on ‘suicide site’

    Kenji Nakano
    13 Apr 2014 | 11:33 pm
    Shukan Jitsuwa Apr. 24On the morning of April 2, officers from the Shimane Prefectural Police arrived at a vacant building in Matsue City. Upon reaching a room on the second floor, police found a dead 18-year-old female college student from Nagoya, a collapsed 31-year-old male, a charcoal stove and five briquettes. Alerting the authorities to the grisly discovery was the mother of the girl, who told authorities that her daughter had engaged in a forced double suicide, reports Shukan Jitsuwa (Apr. 24). “The day before, the girl left her parents home in Nagoya, saying she was off to meet…
  • Is your daughter working in the sex trade?

    Amy Takahashi
    13 Apr 2014 | 7:13 pm
    A fuzoku club featuring college girlsWith the economy continuing to slump, college co-eds are continuing to feel the pinch. A recent study by the Japan Federation of Private University Teachers and Employees indicated that the average monthly allowance provided by parents to their children enrolled in a university dropped to 89,000 yen, a figure that has fallen for nine consecutive years. A similar study conducted by the Japan Student Services Organization revealed that students taking up part-time work is on the rise. For many college gals, Nikkan Gendai (Apr. 13), employment in the…
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    TOKYO ezine

  • Moving to Tokyo? Here The Three Cheaper Districts

    10 Apr 2014 | 12:34 am
    Looking for an apartment in Japan can be unnerving. The positive side is that there is no penalty if you break the lease, but on the other hand you may find yourself to pay, including commissions and other deposits, between 4 and 6 months of rent in advance to your real estate agent or to the landlord. Being in Japan, it means you need to pay in cash, and before entering the house, of course. In short, you may find yourself bouncing from one apartment to another because often the cost is prohibitive. For all those who are looking for a place to live in the capital of Japan, here’s a…
  • Have Fun at Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant

    9 Feb 2014 | 6:44 am
    In the summer of 2012, a camouflaged Hummer wandered the streets of Tokyo with an unusual cargo : a pair of giant robotic female with arms raised as if to say ‘Irasshaimase‘. It was a particular advertisement, for an even more particular place : the Robot Restaurant, opened in Kabukicho area of Shinjuku. With a name like that, you’re probably thinking of a futuristic restaurant where they serve you the food of the cyborg, but that’s not the case . The robots are actually huge battle machines, made ​​by girls in bikini, who “fight” each evening for the…
  • Satisfy Your Gambling Needs when Travelling in Tokyo

    16 Dec 2013 | 3:11 am
    If you are looking to go on holiday and want to combine your hobby of gambling, there are many places to choose from all over the world. Las Vegas is an obvious hotspot-it’s casinos and night-life have been featured in many famous Hollywood films and it is a well know destination for hen and stag parties and people in search of excess. In Las Vegas you will find people from all walks of life. If you are looking for something upmarket you might turn your attention to Europe. Monte Carlo is a well-known playground for the rich and famous and contains some of the most opulent casinos…
  • Meet the Next Poker Superstar: Naoya Kihara

    10 Dec 2013 | 7:13 am
    Japan finally makes a name in the poker world In time for the 2020 Olympics, Japan has been finding ways to increase its tourism, and one of that is by getting a license for their casinos. News 24 reported that Japan is one of the world’s last untapped gaming markets and, with a wealthy population and proximity to China, could generate $15 billion (or approximately 1.5 trillion Japanese Yen). If ever that happens, this country will be the world’s second-largest gambling destination after Macau. One of the most popular casino games in Japan is poker and there’s a place in Tokyo where…
  • Autumn 2013 in Tokyo

    10 Oct 2013 | 2:39 am
    The autumn is arrived also in Japan and Tokyo, while the leaves are already changing color, creating breathtaking panoramas. This season is considered by many the second best season in which to visit and see Japan, after the blooming period of sakura. The Japanese are very attached to the cherry blossoms, not only for pure aesthetic sense, but just because the cherry blossom perfectly represents the transience of human life. In addition to a pure aesthetic taste, many travelers believe that the fall season is by far the best place to visit Japan, also because this season represents well the…
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  • NOA CAFE Ginza, The Waffle District

    Lynn Allmon
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:41 pm
    Ginza is best known as a shopping district, with streets upon streets of expensive, brand-name stores to back up this perception. Personally, though, I’d like it to be known for its small, cozy cafes. Those with a sweet tooth will be delighted to know that Ginza’s cafes have a strong focus on dessert. From cakes to parfaits, there’s no shortage of sweets to choose from in Ginza, but one of the items most favored by locals is the humble NOA CAFE waffle. NOA CAFE has a very popular morning set which consists of a drink, waffles or toast, and a salad. The morning set is only…
  • The Sake Breweries of Hida Takayama

    John Asano
    14 Apr 2014 | 6:22 pm
    Hida Takayama is an Edo Period castle town tucked away in the beautiful Japan Alps. It is located in northern Gifu Prefecture in an area known as the roof of Japan. One of the great things about Hida Takayama is that it can be tackled on foot or bicycle with most of the main sights located around the center of town, and within easy walking distance from the station. It has a unique culture that takes influence from both Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo) along with its own unique customs and traditions. A great stop on the way to Hida Takayama is the onsen resort town of Gero Onsen. Hida Takayama is…
  • Tiny Trees: The Art of Bonsai in Omiya-Koen

    Cynthia Popper
    13 Apr 2014 | 7:07 pm
    Festivals, tea ceremony, hanami: any research you do on cultural goings-on in Japan will turn up a load of options and activities, but one that most Westerners know about yet few have really experienced is the art of bonsai. While researching this article, I told a few friends living here what I was up to, and their responses were something like “Oh YEAH…bonsai. Tiny trees. Cool.” Cool indeed. The legacy of bonsai has real historical underpinnings to Japanese culture, and the once flourishing practice of bonsai making has dwindled down to a very small, but incredibly impressive…
  • Tokyo’s Pedestrian Paradises

    Lynn Allmon
    12 Apr 2014 | 7:04 pm
    Finally, spring has graced Tokyo with its presence. Evenings may still require a coat, but afternoons are warm enough to walk around outside with just a light jacket between you and the atmosphere. Some may be content to spend their free afternoons this spring exploring Tokyo by walking along the sidewalks. For those who aren’t content with only sidewalks, Tokyo has another option: Pedestrian Paradises. The Japanese word for these majestic once-a-week occurrences is 歩行者天国 (hokousha tengoku). If you want to sound hip, you can used the shortened version, ホコ天 (hokoten). Of…
  • Kickstart Your Japanese: How To Speak Without Fear

    Olly Richards
    10 Apr 2014 | 5:35 pm
    In the last post we looked in detail about gathering materials and resources that match your interests. That was all about helping you to get as much language input as possible. Of course, this is only half the equation, and in this post we’re going to look at output. The opportunity for output, usually speaking, is where you get to apply what you’ve learnt, experiment with different ways of communicating, make mistakes, learn from them, and generally take ownership of the language. No-one starts off great. A writer learns to write by writing. An athlete becomes great by putting in the…
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    Tokyo Cheapo

  • Cheapo Weekend for April 19-20: Art Night and More

    Frances Maeda
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:49 am
    With some big events lined up for this weekend, it’s a great time to be around Tokyo. If you don’t have anything too hectic planned for Sunday (or even if you do), head over to one of Tokyo’s biggest events [...]
  • Tenya: Cheapo Tempura Chain

    Frances Maeda
    15 Apr 2014 | 1:56 am
    Adopted and adapted from a Portuguese recipe in the 16th century, tempura has become a signature part of Japanese cuisine. Thin slices of veggies and seafood are lightly battered then deep fried, and the (ideally) hot and crispy product is [...]
  • Antenna America: Unpretentious West Coast Craft Beer

    Greg Lane
    13 Apr 2014 | 11:16 pm
    Antenna America is not what you’d expect from a craft beer bar in Japan. First, it’s on the 5th floor of a nondescript office building in Kannai (a couple of stops from Yokohama station). Second, there’s no pretension that this [...]
  • Raion Ramen – West Tokyo’s King of Noodles

    Erin Emocling
    9 Apr 2014 | 5:22 am
    Whoever invented ramen is a mad genius. Seriously, have you met anyone who dislikes the stuff (except maybe vegetarians and the gluten-intolerant*)? To me, it’s the new chicken soup for the soul. So when our cheapo editor asked me how [...]
  • Cheapo Weekend for April 12-13: Sayonara, Sakura

    Frances Maeda
    9 Apr 2014 | 2:54 am
    The forecast says we’ve got a warm and sunny Saturday and Sunday to look forward to, and there are plenty of reasons to get outside for some fresh air. Although the short sakura season has all but ended, you can [...]
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