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Owen Ziegler
Owen Ziegler is an editor at The Japan Times in charge of Lifestyle and Food. For pitches, contact him at [email protected].
Yasuke, a historical Black samurai, will star in the newly announced Assassin's Creed Shadows — a choice that has riled some critics online.
LIFE / Digital
May 25, 2024
Gaming's latest culture war targets Yasuke, Japan's Black samurai
For a vocal minority of gamers, a Black protagonist of a game set in feudal Japan was a call to war.
Mikuni Minato is not a town that has recently fallen on hard times — it's been that way for a century.
LIFE / Travel
May 7, 2024
48 hours in Mikuni Minato, Japan’s port town that time forgot
A trip to Mikuni Minato may not appeal to the average tourist, but well-traveled residents will find it fascinating.
The Iconic Suite's bedroom features recessed lighting and corner windows with sweeping views of the Nagoya metropolis.
LIFE / Travel
Mar 2, 2024
Nagoya’s newest luxury hotel is full of hits and one big miss
The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Nagoya feels ready to deliver top-quality stays — but only if your budget can handle it.
In the quest for immortality, some researchers believe mind uploading will be our ticket to an eternal existence.
PODCAST / deep dive
Feb 8, 2024
Japan’s take on immortality; problems in Palworld
As scientists and technologists attempt to tackle the problem of aging and death, we discuss Japanese ideas about immortality.
Has runaway hit Palworld gotten itself into hot water with The Pokemon Company?
LIFE / Digital
Jan 25, 2024
The Pokemon Company to Palworld: ‘We intend to investigate’
“We have not granted any permission for the use of Pokemon intellectual property or assets in that game,” The Pokemon Company said in a statement.
Fans praised Nintendo for following up one of the best open-world games ever made with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, a worthy sequel that introduced enough new mechanics to keep the experience fresh for players new and old alike.
CULTURE / 2023 in Review
Dec 22, 2023
Zelda was a gem among many in a crowning year for gaming
Japanese studios’ hits included: Street Fighter 6, remakes of Metroid Prime and Resident Evil 4, and Super Mario Bros. Wonder, to name a few.
A still from The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
PODCAST / deep dive
Dec 14, 2023
Big in Japan 2023: Anime, Murakami and The Legend of Zelda
Our guests tell us why anime dominated in 2023, which books stood out among a lackluster crowd and why the Zelda franchise is experiencing a renaissance.
From a ceremony in Turku, Finland, the Michelin Guide announced the world's crop of starred restaurants for 2024.
LIFE / Food & Drink
Dec 8, 2023
183 Tokyo restaurants awarded Michelin stars for 2024
High-end sushi restaurant Harutaka is the newest addition to the city’s three-Michelin-star club.
After years of pining, gamers are finally getting the live-action Zelda movie they've always wanted.
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Nov 8, 2023
A live-action Legend of Zelda movie is in development
A live-action Zelda movie has been a holy grail of video game adaptations for decades, and now that day has come.
Former firefighter Yoshifumi Usui now guides tourists in search of active pursuits in and around the Aso caldera.
LIFE / Travel
Oct 21, 2023
In volcanic Aso, the land gives much more than it takes
Locals in Aso have a saying: “The land takes away, but it gives us something, too.”
On Oct. 17, the world's best bartenders gathered in Singapore for a celebration of cocktails and the announcement of this year's global rankings.
LIFE / Food & Drink
Oct 17, 2023
Japan's SG Club, Ben Fiddich named to World’s 50 Best Bars list
Aside from the rankings, the impact of Japan's elite cocktail culture was a visible influence throughout the evening.
This year's Tokyo Game Show attendance came up just shy of 2019's draw — an encouraging sign for the event's future.
LIFE / Digital / ON: GAMES
Oct 7, 2023
A dark fantasy spin on ‘Pinocchio’ may put FromSoftware under pressure
It wasn’t the biggest TGS ever, but it's hard to imagine anyone behind the scenes at TGS headquarters pulling their hair out over 2023’s return to form.
Alongside Germany's Gamescom, Tokyo Game Show is one of the last remaining major gaming conventions in the world.
LIFE / Digital
Sep 21, 2023
Tokyo Game Show returns in full force with ‘largest-ever’ event
Participants at the gaming convention should expect long wait times for demos, but the Final Fantasy remake is worth it.
For the first time since 2019, the Tokyo Game Show returns in full force.
LIFE / Digital
Sep 20, 2023
Your livestreaming guide to Tokyo Game Show 2023
Giants of Japanese gaming will be livestreaming their major presentations for anyone across Japan — or the globe — to follow.
From hidden street art to this two-story-tall Pikachu balloon, Yokohama will be blanketed in Pokemon paraphernalia
through Aug. 14.
LIFE / Digital
Aug 10, 2023
Pokemon comes home for the 2023 world championships in Yokohama
For the first time in the Pokemon franchise’s history, its world championships get underway in Japan.
Asia's best bartenders congregated in Hong Kong for the unveiling of the 2023 list of the continents top watering holes.
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jul 21, 2023
Tokyo’s Ben Fiddich inches toward top of Asia’s 50 Best Bars
A total of 14 bars in Japan cracked the top 100 of this year’s continent-wide rankings.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jul 11, 2023
Tokyo’s Gold Bar makes instant splash in Asia’s 50 Best Bars rankings
A week ahead of the full unveiling of the 2023 edition of the Asia’s 50 Best Bars rankings, the top 51-100 bars across the continent have been announced.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Jun 24, 2023
Airbnb’s newest venture is in Japan’s most hidden village
Airbnb has partnered with one rural family to offer two lucky guests a free two-night stay in their traditional thatch-roofed home.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jun 21, 2023
Three in Japan break into World’s 50 Best Restaurants rankings
The top accolades of the evening went to Central (Lima, Peru), but Japan’s influence can be found up and down the list.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jun 7, 2023
In-N-Out opens one-day-only pop-up in Ebisu
Today only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., In-N-Out returns to Tokyo.

Longform

Things may look perfect to the outside world, but today's mom is fine with some imperfection at home.
How 'Reiwa moms' are reshaping motherhood in Japan