Jun 26, 2009

Cool down this summer on a booze cruise

Does drinking, dancing and enjoying a magnificent view on a ferry cruising around Tokyo Bay sound like a great night out to you? If so, check out the Tokyowannoryosen (“Tokyo Bay ferry for cooling off”), organized by ferry operator Tokaikisen, which will cruise every ...

Drawn to the land

| Jun 21, 2009

Drawn to the land

Considering that Japan is only 40 percent self-sufficient in terms of its food supply, few would dispute that the country’s agriculture is in a deepening crisis. Yet in these times, more and more of Japan’s city-dwellers are now becoming interested in agriculture both as ...

| Jun 21, 2009

Drawn to the land

Considering that Japan is only 40 percent self-sufficient in terms of its food supply, few would dispute that the country’s agriculture is in a deepening crisis. Yet in these times, more and more of Japan’s city-dwellers are now becoming interested in agriculture both as ...

The coolest way to beat the heat

Jun 19, 2009

The coolest way to beat the heat

Shaved ice is the perfect way to cool down during Japan’s scorching summers, and at the Kakigori Matsuri (Festival of Shaved Ice) Namco Namjatown, a theme park in Tokyo, visitors can experience all sorts of weird and wonderful flavors of the sweet snack between ...

New film offers food for thought

Jun 12, 2009

New film offers food for thought

Life would not be life without eating. This is the theme of a new documentary on the relationship between people and food, which is screened in Tokyo until June 26. The movie, titled “Eatrip,” is directed by Yuri Nomura, who studied cooking in Britain, ...

| Jun 7, 2009

Born but not Bred

Kang Sang Jung is one of the most influential ethnically Korean residents of Japan (zainichi). A political science professor at the University of Tokyo, he also gives lectures around the country, is a regular television commentator and has a column in the prestigious weekly ...

May 24, 2009

City's new gateway to worlds apart

When I was walking to Osanbashi Pier, I noticed that the asphalt road changed to a wooden deck leading me up a slope to a grassy hilltop. It was only then — as I caught sight of a white passenger ship and shining blue ...

Happy Birthday Yokohama!

May 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Yokohama!

For untold generations it was a muddy little fishing village on present-day Tokyo Bay. Then the destiny of Yokohama (meaning “broad beach”) changed forever when a U.S. naval squadron led by Commodore Matthew Perry dropped anchor there in February 1854. Under intense pressure from ...

May 10, 2009

Undercover revolution

Loincloths called fundoshi have been the traditional underwear for Japanese men since ancient times, and though most now wear Western-style undershorts, they still don fundoshi at such events as local street festivals and to engage in sumo. The typically masculine Japanese idiom fundoshi wo ...

May 10, 2009

Playing the party odds for love

In Japan, women are traditionally subservient to men and — like children in the West — have long been schooled to be “seen and not heard.” But in matters of the heart and homemaking, and in these times of increasing sexual equality, Japan’s females ...