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Spencer Cohen
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Nov 27, 2022
The secret ingredient of America's trendiest bars: Japan
There may be no definition better than Japan's indelible cocktail culture other than this: You know it when you see it — and taste it.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
Oct 18, 2022
Japan has reopened. Instagrammers of the world, rejoice!
After years of watching Japan via their screens, eager tourists are ready to come over and document their own experiences. But are their vacation photos likely to all look the same?
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Sep 3, 2022
'Kimono Style' traces the artistry and impact of Japanese designs
As designers such as Hiromi Asai work to secure the kimono's place in high fashion, a new exhibition at The Met in New York highlights the garment's history of cross-cultural influence.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jun 9, 2022
'Emergent Tokyo' digs into an urban sprawl borne from chaos and order
Architect Jorge Almazan and Studiolab, his research laboratory at Keio University, take an innovative approach to exploring the historical conditions that shaped Tokyo's eclectic cityscape.
Japan Times
CULTURE / TV & Streaming
May 29, 2022
A musical match made in heaven … or was it Harajuku?
Fiddling Leona and JP Mathes teach the art of the deal on the Netflix series 'Swap Shop,' a reality TV show that sees them antique hunting in Tennessee.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives
Mar 7, 2022
Vaughan and Rie Allison welcome all new arrivals to Mia Mia
Picking a location for their cafe far from Tokyo's bustling central hot spots, Vaughan and Rie Allison have nonetheless developed a loyal following among the locals.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Feb 22, 2022
Kojicon shines the spotlight on a staple of Japanese cooking
Home fermentation became a popular pastime among budding cooks during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language
Feb 2, 2022
Is Wordle too easy for you? Try it in Japanese.
Excitement over a simple online word game has spread to Japan for an entertaining way to practice your kanji and vocabulary.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Dec 1, 2021
Tokyo still tops for dining after Michelin announcement
Three of the capital's establishments have maintained their three-star rating since rankings began in Tokyo 15 years ago.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives
Nov 7, 2021
Meet the unofficial mayor of New York’s ‘Little Tokyo’
With little fanfare, since the 1980s Bon Yagi has helped transform New York's grungy East Village into a trendy hub for Japanese cuisine. His motto? “Visit Japan without airfare.”
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / Japan Pulse
Oct 29, 2021
Shibuya could be the ideal first stop in a new virtual world
Shibuya Ward is once again putting on a virtual Halloween. However, the municipality's experiments in the digital sphere could lead to something more interesting than ghosts and pumpkins.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / Japan Pulse
Oct 23, 2021
It's past time we flush the 'weird Japan' narrative
As The Tokyo Toilet project continues, so does the problematic way we frame stories about Japan.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / Japan Pulse,Japan Pulse
Sep 18, 2021
Hikakin, the 'older brother' of YouTube, hits a milestone
The internet isn't short of stories of influencers behaving badly. Japan's most successful YouTuber proves that you can make a name for yourself by keeping things light.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / 20 QUESTIONS
Sep 12, 2021
Kasumi Abe: ‘We have to tell younger generations what happened here’
On the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York, Japanese journalist Kasumi Abe reflects on her love for the city she now calls home.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Sep 11, 2021
Behind the ‘closed’ doors of Tokyo’s bars, alcohol is still flowing
A pervasive but hushed rebellion is happening across the city. Whether they accepted subsidies or not, bars operating as semi-secret COVID-era speakeasies are everywhere.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / Japan Pulse
Aug 10, 2021
The konbini becomes a convenient topic for the foreign press to turn to in an off-limits Tokyo
Has the rest of the world finally discovered what tens of millions in Japan already know? The 'konbini' is no ordinary convenience store.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jul 31, 2021
Japanese-style coffee is rooted in the local kissaten, but its reach is global
Brew methods and tools connected with Japan's local coffee shops have held an outsize influence on specialty coffee, permeating third-wave coffee shops and home setups around the world.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jul 23, 2021
A taste for politics: Notable meals U.S. presidents have had in Japan
To commemorate Jill Biden's visit, The Japan Times looks at some of the notable, symbolic and comedic episodes of American presidents and spouses as they wined and dined in Japan.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jun 5, 2021
‘Waffles + Mochi’ teaches kids how to eat — with gusto
The new food-travel show from Netflix and the Obamas' Higher Ground takes kids on a global journey to learn about ingredients and how to cook with them.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Apr 4, 2021
The possibilities (and perils) of Japan’s youth spending more time online
Even as most public schools struggle to embrace remote learning, the soaring amount of time kids spent on screens at home put many on alert.

Longform

The Japanese government updated its English education guidelines in 2017 to emphasize communication over grammar and memorization. Public school teachers are incredibly busy, however, which means schools haven’t been able to implement changes uniformly. Private and alternative schools are attempting to remedy this.
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan