Getting to the Fujiko F Fujio Museum in the outskirts of Tokyo just got a lot more fun. The museum, which pays tribute to the creators of Doraemon, is admittedly a bit hard to get to. You first have to access Noborito Station on the Odakyu Line where a shuttle bus takes you to the museum. But now, thanks to a partnership between the museum, Noborito Station has undergone a drastic makeover that rendered everything from their signage and elevators to storage lockers in Doraemon colors and motifs.
For the past 3 years Starbucks has slowly been rolling out what they’re calling Reserve Roasteries: luxurious shops that offer crafted coffee and differentiated beverages. The Tokyo location is the 5th of such stores and the largest to-date, boasting 4 differentiated floors of coffee goodness. It’s basically Disneyland, but for coffee.
After obtaining her Master’s Degree in architecture from Waseda University, Honami Enya entered a well-known Japanese architecture firm. But the grueling hours and workload eventually weighed on her physical and mental state, and she fell ill. Enya’s doctor advised her to take some time off, and find a place where she can relax and warm her body. That’s how she discovered Kosugiyu, her local Sento in Koenji.
Japan’s capsule hotels, aging shelters once relegated to desperate salaryman who had missed their last train, are experiencing somewhat of a renaissance. After the 9h Hotel showed us how design could help breathe new life into what was thought of as outdated, a number of different iterations have cropped up. The latest? A minimal teahouse-inspired capsule hotel.
Shishi-Iwa House is a 10-room boutique resort in Karuizawa that recently opened its doors for business. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and tucked away in a secluded setting, the resort is “a restorative retreat that reinforces the relationship between nature, architecture and human connection.”
It’s ironic how the rise in technology, which was thought to destroy borders and bring people closer, has coincided with a rise in xenophobia and isolationism. But it’s worth remembering the famous words of Japanese astronaut Mamoru Mohri: “I could see no border on earth from space.” Inspired by this illuminating thought, Japanese designer Eisuke Tachikawa (Nosigner) wants to show us what Mohri saw through an immersive, technological art installation.
Isshindo Honpo is a Japanese company that combines Japanese culture with contemporary design to come up with unique products like the design face mask and Shogi chocolates that have proven popular with foreign tourists. Their latest product is Nihon de Chocolat, a delicately packaged set of chocolates shaped like the country but scaled down to 1/25 million.
This discovery of porcelain clay in Arita around the end of the 16th century lead to a number of kilns being established in the area. And over the next 400 years arita-yaki, as it’s referred to will grow into the grandfather of fine porcelain. But it’s constantly reinventing itself, the latest iteration being mg&gk.
Tokyo is getting some cold weather right now, including a rare bit of snow. So it seems timely to introduce the photography of Yusuke Komatsu, who recently published a self-explanatory series of photographs titled Snow in Tokyo.
D&DEPARTMENT, which I’ll refer to as D&D, is a unique Japanese company that’s taken on various forms over the years. But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed: their unwavering focus on long-life design. Established by Kenmei Nagaoka, a former colleague of graphic designer Kenya Hara, D&D was founded in response to the fast cycles of change in products around the world. It began as a 2nd-hand shop in the outskirts of Tokyo but has since grown to 11 outposts around Japan (as well as 1 in Korea and China) and has established themselves as purveyors of good, long-lasting design from all around Japan.