Barista champ puts Fukuoka on the map

| Apr 3, 2015

Barista champ puts Fukuoka on the map

Yoshikazu Iwase has a tough act to top. As he heads to the World Barista Championship (WBC) in Seattle this month, he’ll be following in the wake of Maruyama Coffee’s Hidenori Izaki, the barista prodigy who last year became the first Japanese — and, ...

Is virtual art as nourishing as a set meal?

Mar 13, 2015

Is virtual art as nourishing as a set meal?

You have to admit, it’s all awfully clever. At “L’art de Rosanjin,” which runs at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall until March 24, visitors can sit in a virtual tempura restaurant, and gawp as images of the chef’s hands at work are projected on the counter ...

Switch Coffee keeps the neighbors happy

| Mar 3, 2015

Switch Coffee keeps the neighbors happy

“Sometimes people say you shouldn’t make your hobby into your job,” says Masahiro Onishi, the 28-year-old owner of Meguro roastery and coffee stand Switch Coffee. “I was concerned about that.” He’s recalling the decision he made to move to Australia a few years ago ...

Egyptology asks Japan: Can you spare a synth?

Feb 10, 2015

Egyptology asks Japan: Can you spare a synth?

For many visiting musicians, a Japanese tour consists of a brief, meticulously coordinated onslaught of gigs, interviews and in-store appearances, possibly capped by a karaoke session with the record label’s PR team. Few get to spend six weeks schlepping around the country on an ...

Blue Bottle Coffee offers a fresher brew

| Feb 3, 2015

Blue Bottle Coffee offers a fresher brew

Whether by accident of fate or surfeit of real estate, Tokyo’s Kiyosumi-Shirakawa neighborhood is turning into one of the most caffeinated corners of the capital. Already home to artisan roasters, including The Cream of the Crop and Arise Coffee, this district of galleries, parks ...

Dendera

Jan 31, 2015

Dendera

Though there’s still plenty of debate about whether it was ever common for Japan’s rural communities to deal with elderly relatives by leaving them to die on a mountain, it makes for a great story. Depicted in Keisuke Kinoshita’s 1958 period drama, “Narayama Bushiko” ...

The meat and masochism of Swans

Jan 20, 2015

The meat and masochism of Swans

When Swans last played Tokyo in 2013, the venue itself seemed to be groaning under the weight of the onslaught. Two hours into a set of tempestuous rock catharsis, the power cut out; once restored, the group kept playing for another 30 minutes. Such ...