Pooch paradise

Feb 29, 2004

Pooch paradise

A dog’s life in Japan can be about as close to canine heaven on earth as it gets. Sure, just like anywhere, there are losers, too — the unfortunate ones who are abused, neglected or abandoned to their fate, perhaps passing through a pound ...

The great treasure hunt

Jan 9, 2004

The great treasure hunt

A few months ago there was a news story about a painting bought at a flea market in France for around 200,000 yen that turned out to be by Vincent van Gogh and worth upward of 300 million yen. That was an extreme case, ...

Topping off your tipple

Nov 9, 2003

Topping off your tipple

As wine has become more popular in Japan, an increasing number of related goods have appeared on the shelves of the nation’s shops. Of these, what’s needed first and foremost is an opener to get at the bottle’s contents without too much trouble. Although ...

In with le new!

Nov 9, 2003

In with le new!

It’s Beaujolais Nouveau time again, and Japan — despite its piffling per capita consumption of just three bottles of wine a year — will suddenly become a nation of tipplers and quaffers (if not connoisseurs) of this fresh-from-the-vine red wine from France. One of ...

Wine trade in gear for party of the year

Nov 9, 2003

Wine trade in gear for party of the year

Just 10 days to go, and the scramble to cash in on Japan’s biggest-ever demand for France’s youngest wine is heating up. As the number of wine-drinkers continues to grow, and with interest in Beaujolais Nouveau as high as it’s ever been, everything points ...

Is anyone out there looking?

Aug 24, 2003

Is anyone out there looking?

In streets and parks, at schools, airports or shopping centers, you won’t go far in Japan these days without encountering artworks in some shape or form, from monumental sculptures to decorative tiles underfoot — or even simply children’s drawings on display. But with the ...

Brands vie for your thirst

Jul 27, 2003

Brands vie for your thirst

“Advertising,” as it’s often defined, “is the creation of wants.” In summer in Japan, though, there’s little need to create a demand for cool drinks. But if you’re a supplier, there’s every incentive to create a demand for your particular product. And when products ...

Bottlers ride a 'purity' wave

Jul 27, 2003

Bottlers ride a 'purity' wave

Japanese people have for generations believed that whatever the times have in store, life’s essentials such as water and safety would always be theirs for free. Well, things ain’t what they used to be in safety terms — certainly not if you believe what ...

Shades of good sense

Jun 15, 2003

Shades of good sense

Parasols are peculiar things. Meaning “to ward off the sun” in Latin-based languages, these lightweight umbrellas were long ago the height of coquettish fashion in Europe. Until recently though, in Japan they were the preserve of its distinctly uncoquettish obasan. But now, these once ...