Journey Through 100 of Japan’s Finest Gardens

Gate at Yoshikien, Nara, Japan

Marc Peter Keane in an American landscape architect who spent almost 20 years in Kyoto practicing landscape design. In fact, he was the first foreigner to receive a working visa as a landscape architect. Now back stateside, Keane maintains an office in upstate New York where he designs Japanese gardens for both public and private spaces. It’s hard to think of a better person to serve as a personal guide through 100 of Japan’s Finest Gardens.

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The Joy of Watching Miniature Japanese Meals Being Prepared

There are books on the wall, a table in the middle of the room, a plant, maybe a floor lamp or two. But something doesn’t feel right in this room, like it’s a set. Suddenly, a gigantic hand reaches into the frame, revealing that the room was indeed a set built entirely in miniature form. The chopping board is maybe the size of a pinky; the knife slightly smaller. This is the world of Japanese miniature enthusiast and YouTuber ‘Joken’ aka AAAJoken, or triple-A Joken.

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The 3 Million Yen MUJI Hut, Coming this Fall

A year and a half ago, MUJI revealed plans to begin selling huts: small, humble abodes that would allow users to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, anywhere they wanted. They commissioned 3 notable designers – Naoto Fukasawa, Jasper Morrison and Konstantin Grcic – to create concept huts. But in the end, they decided to go with a design that borrows from each.

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Poop: an unlikely savior for kids learning kanji

From 1st grade to 6th grade, Japanese elementary schoolers must learn over 1000 kanji characters and commit them to memory. The strenuous task – one that all children in Japan face – is typically accomplished only by rote memorization: writing the characters over and over and over again. But an unlikely savior has recently emerged in bookstores across Japan: poop.

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30 Flower Bicycles Pedal the Streets of Sao Paulo to Celebrate Nature and the Japanese Diaspora

The single largest Japanese diaspora in any city is in São Paulo. The Japanese first settled there in the Liberdade district in 1912 and has since grown to what is estimated to be 1.5 million. Now through May 7th, everyday a fleet of 30 flower bicycles created by Japanese botanic artist Makoto Azuma will ride through the streets of Sao Paulo passing numerous iconic sites – including the Liberdade district where it all began – and giving out flowers to people along the way.

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You Can Now Own a Kengo Kuma-Designed Trailer Home for 3.5 Million Yen

Kengo Kuma’s Jyubako trailer home

Are you looking to downsize from your expensive city apartment? Or Maybe you’re just looking to simplify your life? Well now you can do so in style thanks to a collaboration between architect Kengo Kuma and Snow Peak, a Japanese manufacturer of outdoor goods.

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Announcing the Winners of the 2017 A’ Design Awards & Competition (Sponsor)

The A’ Design Award & Competition is the world’s largest annual juried design competition. Each year the competition accepts entries from over 110 categories, including graphic design, fashion and apparel, photography, toys and games, furniture, architecture, and visual communication.

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An Immersive, Multi-sensory Dining Experience at a Ginza Steak Restaurant

“You eat with your eyes first” is a well-known adage, but whoever coined it first probably wasn’t imagining anything like this. The Ginza steak restaurant Sagaya has collaborated with TeamLab to transform one of their dining rooms into an immersive, multisensory dining experience that utilizes projection mapping, digital sensors and sound to enhance the meal.

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Self Select: Migrants in Tokyo by Yoshinari Nishio

Nara-based Japanese artist Yoshinari Nishio explores the relationships between fashion and communication by exchanging clothes with foreign pedestrians he encounters on the streets of Tokyo.

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Sha-shokudo: A New Public Eatery in Tokyo Inspired by Office Cafeterias

Shya-in-shokudo (employee cafeteria) or shashoku for short, has become quite the buzzword in Japan in recent years as start-up culture and an emphasis on better, healthier living, has lifted the standard of many corporate cafeterias. TV shows that infiltrate offices to see what employees are eating have garnered popularity. And a book featuring recipes from the cafeteria of a digital scale manufacturer became so popular that it inspired a movie.

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