Heavy Snowfall Transforms Kyoto into Wintry Wonderland

Arashiyama (left) and Kinkakuji (right) of Kyoto covered in snow

Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital, with its old temples and gardens, is a picturesque city as it is. But add heavy snow, like a lot of Japan saw over the weekend thanks to a cold front, and these sites get transformed into magical wonderlands.

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The Sleeping Taxi Drivers of Tokyo

Last year, while on assignment in Tokyo, the UK-based photographer William Green stumbled upon an unexpected sight while wandering the massive city. “I came across this one street – it’s not a taxi rank, but there were loads of people asleep.”

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New Curated Tokyo Guide: Shimbashi by Shinji Tsuchimochi

Illustrator Shinji Tsuchimochi finds inspiration in Shimbashi, where many of his illustrations come to life

For some, Shimbashi, located south of Tokyo Station, smells a little stale: where old people go to do old people things. But for illustrator Shinji Tsuchimochi, the artist behind the popular book 100 Views of Tokyo, it’s a hidden trove of small bars and eateries that hearken back to a more traditional Tokyo.

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Music Monday: Never Young Beach

Never Young Beach are a Tokyo-based indie rock band headed by Yuma Abe. Despite being in their mid-20s, Nebayan, as they’re colloquially called, come together to make a sound that hearkens back to simpler and – for some – better times. It’s 70s Japanese folk meets tropical indie rock.

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Out of Bounds: Meguru Yamaguchi’s Collaboration with Issey Miyake Men

The New York-based Japanese artist Meguru Yamaguchi has collaborated with fashion brand Issey Miyake Men, installing a series of artworks in the Ginza storefront and also creating a series of garments with his signature brushwork.

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Kengo Kuma’s Tsumiki Stacking Blocks

“Stacking blocks played a big role in my life. One of the main drivers that pushed me to become an architect was my childhood experiences playing with stacking blocks.” That’s Kengo Kuma, one of the most significant Japanese figures in contemporary architecture and the one who is creating the new Tokyo National Stadium, which will be the main venue in the 2020 Olympics.

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Ukiyoe of an Imaginary Beast Formed From All 12 Zodiac Animals

Over 150 years ago the ukiyo-e artist Shigematsu Enrosai created an imaginary beast as a woodblock print and called it “Twelve Precepts.” The beast featured the head of a rabbit, the neck of a dragon, the tail of a snake, the forelegs of a monkey and the hind legs of an ox. Indeed, it was a fantastical combination of all 12 zodiac animals. Now, Japanese artist Feebee has created her own interpretation, and has produced it in the same technique as it was made in around 1850.

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2017 Ronin | Globus Artist in Residence Program

Following a highly successful inaugural year, the 2017 Ronin | Globus Artist-in-Residence Program is back! Open to artists practicing in Japan, this annual program seeks to stimulate cross-cultural dialogue by providing the opportunity for Japanese visual artists to live, work and exhibit in New York City. Last year’s winner, Oz Yamaguchi, concluded his residency last year with a sold-out art show!

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World’s First Hand-Drip Green Tea Shop Opens in Tokyo

In what can only be described as part of the 3rd wave movement of green tea, the world’s first hand-dripped green tea café has opened in Tokyo.

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Utsuro-bune: the unidentified ship that landed on Edo-Japan’s shore

an 1803 account of a mysterious ship carrying a woman that landed on Japan’s shore

In early 19th century Japan, there were several reports of a “hollow ship” allegedly washed ashore the coast of a village in Hitachi province (today’s Ibaraki Prefecture). An attractive young woman stepped off the sturdy boat with glass windows, but was unable to communicate in Japanese and eventually the locals returned her and the ship back to the sea.

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