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Tatami mats: not just for the floor anymore


Tatami are a traditional Japanese flooring material made from tightly woven igusa (soft rush straw). To this day, even contemporary homes in Japan that are either carpeted or have wooden floors, will have a washitsu (Japanese room) that consists entirely of tatami mats. Tatami date back all the way to the Nara Period of the 700s and have always been reserved for flooring. But now, a Japanese company is trying to broaden the possibilities of tatami by creating a line of furniture upholstered in tatami.

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This Tokyo Aquarium Will Transform into a Horror House at Night


“Don’t peer into the aquarium at night”

Aquariums are typically reserved for family-friendly outings. They’re places where you go to relax, unwind and decompress. In fact, there’s even such a thing as aquarium therapy, where contemplating fish swimming around in the water is meant to have a significant effect in reducing levels of stress and anxiety. But anyone headed to Tokyo’s Sunshine Aquarium this October should pay close attention to what time they enter.

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Vintage Fabrics from Around the World Transformed Into Clothing by Japanese Craftsmen


Inside the 2-story Sasaki Yohinten in Gunma, Japan

Based out of Gunma, Japan, Sasaki Yohinten is a treasure trove of vintage textiles and objects. It’s run by a husband and wife duo who renovated a 100-year old warehouse and turned it into a shop for anything with a history or anything handmade. But one thing the couple have become especially well known for is their original line of clothing called Sasaki Jirushi.

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Saya 2016: The New and Improved Computer-Generated Japanese Schoolgirl


Just when you thought the uncanny valley couldn’t get much uncannier, Saya’s parents released a new photo of our favorite not-so-typical Japanese schoolgirl.

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also Soup Stock Tokyo now Open in Jiyugaoka


Soup Stock Tokyo opened their first shop in 1999. Their target customer has always been single women and men who want to grab a quick bite before or in-between work, but also eat healthy. And the recipe has proven successful as the soup shop has since grown to just about 70 locations throughout Japan. Now the company is expanding its focus in a new – albeit confusingly-named – shop called also Soup Stock Tokyo.

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Kengo Kuma’s Origami-Inspired Vision for Shinagawa Station


Less than 1 year after being selected to design Tokyo’s National Stadium for the 2020 Olympics, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has snagged another high-profile gig: designing the New Shinagawa Station in Tokyo.

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Educators in Rural Japan Transform Their Home Into International Kindergarten

Clover House Okazaki Minami (1)

Siblings Kentaro and Tamaki Nara had been operating Clover International School out of their home. Located in the small town of Okazaki in Aichi prefecture, the school specializes in teaching kids English and Chinese from an early age. But when their home became too small and unfit for expanding, the siblings were faced with a choice.

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Koya Bound: A Photobook Documenting a 1,000 Year Old Pilgrimage Walk

koya bound 1

Earlier this year in March photographers Dan Rubin and Craig Mod spent 8 days walking 107 km (66 mi) Japan’s 1,000+ year old Kumano Kodo pilgrimage path. In their own words: a “long, quiet walk in the woods.” Along the way they took a few photographs. Well, 3000 photographs and, when it was all done, they locked themselves in an old Japanese house, sifted through all their memories, and selected just 57 that would become “Koya Bound.”

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Beautiful, Edible Compositions of Mosaic Sushi

mosaic sushi (1)

photo by @natsuki_717

Variations on traditional Japanese sushi like temari-zushi and maki-zushi have inspired chefs and artists alike to create edible works of art that are meant to be devoured by our eyes as much as our mouths. The latest new style borrows from the ancient technique of assembling patterns or compositions from smaller materials and is being referred to as Mosaic Sushi.

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FamilyMart and UNY Merger Results in Fantastically Offensive Logo

FU holdings

FamilyMart, Japan’s 3rd largest convenience store chain, and UNY, the owner of fourth-ranked Circle K Sunkus, merged this week, creating the country’s second-largest convenience store chain. And today, the newly formed company announced it’s new name and logo: FU.

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