New project turns kimonos from 1950s and ’60s into high-fashion dresses


As beautiful as expensive, fancy kimono are, you may only get a handful of opportunities to wear one. They tend to be associated with special holidays like the first shrine visit of the New Year, graduation, or special events. So the sad fact is that unless your kimono is specifically tailored to be… Read


Survey picks Japan’s most attractive prefectures – Familiar spots at top and bottom of rankings


On a map of the world, Japan looks like a pretty tiny place. Zoom in to a map of just Japan, though, and you’ll see that it has 47 different prefectures, and every year Japan’s Brand Research Institute conducts a survey asking respondents to rate the attractiveness of Japan’s prefectures. To… Read


Kansai area people more genetically predisposed to liking coffee than elsewhere in Japan


As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat,” but recent research is showing that “we eat what we are” might be more accurate. In other words, our tastes and dietary habits might have more to do with what’s embedded in our DNA than we had previously thought. One… Read


How the pandemic has changed classroom learning for the visually impaired


Avoiding risk of infection during the pandemic means reducing contacts in our routines, but the sense of touch has been crucial for visually impaired people, so how have they been adjusting, particularly in the classroom? Rie Kiyono started teaching her community English class in Tokyo’s Takadanobaba area on a Saturday… Read


Ghibli Museum opens online store

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Back when the pandemic first arrived in Japan in February last year, the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo’s Mitaka was one of the first big tourist sites to temporarily close its doors. What was meant to be a three-week closure ended up being extended for half a year, and though the museum has since reopened, visitor… Read


Shinjuku’s giant 3-D cat now regularly greets and speaks to crowds every 15 minutes


Commuters in Tokyo most recently had their eyes fixated on the sky when a mysterious Junji Ito-esque floating head hovered over the city, but before that, this summer they were looking up hoping to catch a glimpse of the giant prowling lifelike 3-D cat that appeared looming over Shinjuku Station. This… Read


'Should I date this person?' Go hiking and you’ll have the answer, Japanese Twitter user says


One of the things that makes dating tricky is that first impressions can be misleading. Just about anyone can be reasonably polite and sociable over a fancy dinner or cup of coffee, so often it’s not until much later that deal-breaker-level compatibility issues rear their heads. However, Japanese Twitter user @paya_paya_kun claims… Read


Retro Japanese train is our new favorite office space


With people teleworking during the pandemic, the demand for quiet office spaces has grown, giving birth to unique working environments on Ferris Wheels and inside sento bathhouses. Now, we’ve found another unique place to park your butt and your laptop, and this time it’s onboard a retro Japanese train. Our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma was… Read


Letters from Japan: ‘Am I missing out?’


Savvy Tokyo's resident "Love in Japan" columnist, Hilary Keyes, answers anonymous questions from readers on everything from dating in Japan to women’s health issues. Got a question you’d like to ask Hilary? Email it to Dear Hilary, I’ve lived in Japan for seven years, ever since I graduated college.… Read


Sento bathhouse gets a new lease on life as a Tokyo cafe and office space


Public bathhouses, or sento, as they’re known in Japanese, used to be a thriving business back in the day, when people didn’t have baths or showers installed at home. These days, there’s not a lot of demand for public bathing anymore, and in Tokyo alone, the number of sento in… Read

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