Patrick St. Michel

Patrick St. Michel is a Tokyo-based writer with a focus on Japanese music. He runs the blog Make Believe Melodies, which has focused on Japanese independent music since 2009. Besides The Japan Times, he also contributes to MTV 81 and The Atlantic.

For Patrick St. Michel's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Rap gets a new delivery from a wave of female artists

Jun 28, 2015

Rap gets a new delivery from a wave of female artists

Hip-hop is a major force on the American music charts, but its presence has been less prominent in Japan. Elements of the wider culture have found their way into teenage wardrobes and pop-video dance routines, but even Japanese rappers admit they have a hard ...

'Gelato on a stick' comes to Tokyo

| Jun 26, 2015

'Gelato on a stick' comes to Tokyo

The first Japanese outpost of Popbar — a franchise offering “handcrafted gelato on a stick” — opened June 26 in Shibuya, Tokyo (www.pop-bar.com/japan), and early reports indicate the line snakes well around the corner. Not only do customers need to decide between the stores ...

Noah takes inspiration from Hokkaido on 'Sivutie'

Jun 19, 2015

Noah takes inspiration from Hokkaido on 'Sivutie'

The way Ayuko Kurasaki, who creates music as Noah, describes her childhood home of Chitose in Hokkaido is so lovely that I’m surprised it isn’t being used in tourism ads. “It’s a wide-open place. There were forests near my house and I would see ...

A festival for every weekend of your summer

Jun 18, 2015

A festival for every weekend of your summer

Festivals (matsuri) of all kinds are a staple of Japanese culture and summer is the premier season to experience them. In recent years, the country has seen a bit of a boom in cultural festivals, to the point that it’s possible to book every ...

Rush hour with bangin' bass: My night on ageHa's EDM train

Jun 7, 2015

Rush hour with bangin' bass: My night on ageHa's EDM train

A woman with purple hair sits in the waiting room on the platform at Nerima Station, surrounded by salarymen who look exhausted from their workday. Nearby, a private security guard herds four friends wearing matching floral-print pants and light-up shoes toward a line. An ...