Slow design: Everyday objects that make us rethink our lifestyle

Jun 21, 2012

Slow design: Everyday objects that make us rethink our lifestyle

If you’ve never been to the 21_21 Design Sight exhibition space in the Tokyo Midtown complex, and have even a passing interest in craftsmanship, now is the time to pay a visit. Just touring the building, which was designed by famed architect Tadao Ando ...

Seaweed Salt

| Jun 19, 2012

Seaweed Salt

Dear Alice, I recently received a gift of some special kind of Japanese salt. If I understood correctly, this particular salt is made from seaweed and by some ancient Japanese production method. It’s beige in color and has a nice, rich taste. But I ...

Kura

| May 15, 2012

Kura

Dear Alice, I love to wander around Tokyo, particularly the older neighborhoods where small shops and little factories are mixed in among homes and schools. Every now and then I spot a strange sort of structure, obviously quite old, that is completely different from ...

Pampered pets

| Apr 17, 2012

Pampered pets

Dear Alice,Don’t you think it’s time you did a column on the crazy pet products and services available in Japan? I can’t believe the lengths some dog owners go to — dressing their pets in frilly clothes, pushing them around in baby carriages and ...

Mar 22, 2012

Photographing history: pioneers of technique

A good retrospective presents an artist’s full career, challenges our preconceptions and encourages us to rethink his or her work and contributions. Two new exhibitions at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography do just that, shedding new light on two very different photographers: Felice ...

Photographing history: pioneers of technique

Mar 22, 2012

Photographing history: pioneers of technique

A good retrospective presents an artist’s full career, challenges our preconceptions and encourages us to rethink his or her work and contributions. Two new exhibitions at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography do just that, shedding new light on two very different photographers: Felice ...

Randoseru

| Mar 20, 2012

Randoseru

Dear Alice,As a parent of two children who negotiated the Japanese educational system from day care to university, I’ve always been curious about “randoseru” — those box-like leather schoolbags used by every primary school student in Japan. First-graders nearly topple over from the weight ...

Miso's 'moya moya'

| Feb 21, 2012

Miso's 'moya moya'

Dear Alice, My wife and I have been married long enough that our meals can be largely silent affairs, giving me plenty of time to contemplate the mysteries of my miso soup. I’d like to know what’s in the cloudy bits and how the ...

Platform doors

| Jan 17, 2012

Platform doors

Dear Alice,As a longtime resident of Japan, I have watched with interest the recent installation of barriers on the platforms of many of our subway and train lines. These barriers run the full length of the platform and have sliding gates at just the ...

Jan 5, 2012

Exposing new spins on old-school photography

For a truly fresh outlook on Tokyo, run, don’t walk, to the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography to see Sohei Nishino’s exciting photo-collages of Tokyo and nine other cities, on display through Jan. 29 along with works by other up-and-coming Japanese photographers. The exhibition ...