9h Capsule Hotel Launches New Sauna Hotel

all photos by Nacasa & Partners Inc. courtesy the architects

9h is stylish and futuristic take on Japan’s capsule hotels. Featuring tiny pods large enough for just 1 person to sleep, 9h has proven popular and has since grown to 6 different locations since launching in 2010. Now, they’re hoping to reach an even broader clientele by adding a sister brand (pronounced do-she) that offers sauna and accommodation.

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Home Appliances in Full Bloom by Flower Artist Takayuki Tanaka

Among the many different traditional Japanese arts, Japan’s special relationship with nature is perhaps best seen in ikebana, or flower arrangement. Taking this art form to new heights is “flower artist” Takayuki Tanaka and his floral design firm United Flowers, who collaborated with Tsutaya Electrics for their spring 2016 advertising campaign.

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Realistic Miniature Animals Painted onto Found Stones by Akie Nakata

Nature has a funny way of imitating itself. Have you ever picked up a stone and thought it resembled an animal? Indeed, many of us probably have. But Akie Nakata takes that thought one, two and even three steps further by breathing a life and soul into the stones she finds.

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Omoshiro Block: A Memo Pad That Excavates Objects as it Gets Used

excavate notable landscapes as you exhaust the Omoshiro Block note pad

Leave it to the stationery-loving Japanese to come up with a new way to enjoy writing notes. The Omoshiro Block (loosely translated as ‘fun block’) utilizes laser-cutting technology to create what is, at first, just a seemingly normal square cube of paper note cards. But as the note cards get used, an object begins to appear. And you’ll have to exhaust the entire deck of cards to fully excavate the hidden object.

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Yuni Yoshida’s Innovative Visuals for Comedian Naomi Watanabe

Naomi Watanabe is huge in Japan. With 7.5 million Instagram followers, the comedian is a distant 1st; at least 2.5 million ahead of any of her Japanese Instagram peers. Appearing on TV, radio and in ads left and right, she’s often referred to as Japan’s top influencer. But behind every well-crafted image, as we’ve found, is a strong design team. And for Watanabe, she’s increasingly teaming up with art director Yuni Yoshida.

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Japanese Designer New Year’s Cards of 2018

Happy New Year of the Dog! Many readers will be familiar with our annual tradition here at Spoon & Tamago of choosing some of our favorite designer New Year’s cards of 2018. We began this tradition in 2010 (if you’re interested in going back in time, here are the archives) so we’re slowly making our way to having a full 12-zodiac animal archive! Now prepare yourself for lots of tail-wagging and howling as we post our favorites, in no particular order.

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Spoon & Tamago’s Most Popular Products of 2017

2017 marked the 4th-year of running our little shop alongside our blog, which this year turned 10. Both continue to be entirely bootstrapped and operated internally for maintaining both quality and experience. Doing everything in-house poses several challenges but it enables us to form relationships with our favorite artists, makers and designers and be the bridge between them and the world. That gives us so much joy and is what keeps us going. With that said, here are the top 5 products we carry that our readers and customers loved the most.

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Spoon & Tamago’s Most Popular Posts of 2017

2017 marked Spoon & Tamago’s 10-year anniversary. We celebrated it in Japan, surrounded by 100 of our favorite artists. And we also made this short video that sums up our last 10 years of writing about Japanese design, art and culture.

So instead of going on about how our year was, we’ll just let you watch the video if you like and we’ll move on to counting down our top 10 posts of 2017.

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This Sculptural Neko Cat Tree is Beautiful, Costs 1 Million Yen

Do you have a million yen to blow on your cat? Well boy do we have the cat tree for you. Reconsidered and redesigned from the bottom up, the Neko Cat Tree looks like a modernist architectural sculpture that wouldn’t appear out of place in a museum or gallery.

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Gigantic Sculptures of Cats Wearing Helmets by Kenji Yanobe

Kenji Yanobe’s “Ship’s Cat” on display at Tsutaya Books within the Ginza Six department store

The Japanese sculptor Kenji Yanobe is known for his large-scale robotic and nightmarish toys. But animals too have always played an important role in Yanobe’s work too. And in his latest work titled Ship’s Cat, Yanobe has created a series of large-scale cat sculptures in various positions wearing protective helmets.

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