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 ...

Exposing new spins on old-school photography

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 ...

New window on how Europe viewed Japan

Jan 1, 2012

New window on how Europe viewed Japan

UNDER EAGLE EYES: Lithographs, Drawings and Photographs From the Prussian Expedition to Japan, 1860-61, edited by Sebastian Dobson & Sven Saaler. Iudicium, 2011, 392 pp., €49 (hardcover) Even casual students of Japan are likely to know something about Commodore Matthew Perry and his role ...

<em>Yomawari</em>

| Dec 20, 2011

Yomawari

Dear Alice, I’ve been living in Japan on and off for a few years now, and in the various places I’ve lived I’ve seen groups of senior citizens dutifully patrolling the streets. Just the other day, in my latest location, I encountered a similar ...

Nipple Fruit

| Nov 15, 2011

Nipple Fruit

Dear Alice, I have lived in Japan for almost a decade. Every fall I see in flower shops the most unusual and fantastic plant, and I would like to finally know what the heck it is. It is sold as cut branches that are ...

Annoying TV pop-ups

| Oct 18, 2011

Annoying TV pop-ups

Dear Alice, I want to ask about something that has bugged me the entire 17 years I have lived in Japan. It irritates me so much I am tempted to replace the “heck” in “what the heck” with something considerably stronger but I will ...

Anzan kigan

| Sep 20, 2011

Anzan kigan

Dear Alice, My friend and I stumbled upon something mysterious on the Izu Peninsula. We were walking along the picturesque Matsukawa River, where it runs through the town of Ito, when we came upon a shrine with no one about. It looked like any ...

Growing up with photography and picturing youth

Jul 28, 2011

Growing up with photography and picturing youth

You know how difficult it is to get good photos of children. They fidget. They cry. And just when you think you’ve got the perfect shot, they turn the other way. Now try to imagine how challenging it must have been for early photographers, ...

Japan's incompatible power grids

| Jul 19, 2011

Japan's incompatible power grids

Dear Alice,As Japan sweats through this summer of inadequate power, many more people now know that there are different electrical supply systems in eastern and western Japan, and that the two systems are incompatible. This is such a crazy situation that I’d really be ...