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Tobiishi: Japanese Garden Stepping Stones for the Home

Taking off your shoes before you enter the home is considered polite in many cultures. But it’s also more hygienic. If you live in a Japanese home though, surely you’ve experienced it: that awkward balancing act when someone comes to the door but you don’t want to put your foot down in the genkan so you perform a straddle maneuver to reach the door. Now there’s a better – shall I even say more ‘Zen’ – way.

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Food-Themed Exhibition Coming to the Ghibli Museum

poster for the upcoming Ghibli Museum food exhibition

There’s lots to love in the animated films of Studio Ghibli, like the meticulous attention to detail when it comes to portraying everyday life. And some of the most memorable scenes are the meals, which are often simple – it’s likely that most viewers have eaten them before. But it’s those everyday meals that give so much depth to the characters and allow us to empathize with them.

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Tokyo Gifathon: A new animation every day for 30 days

London-based animator James Curran is currently in Tokyo for 30 days and he’s committed to making a new animated GIF each day inspired by his stay.

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Karuizawa Home Turns Forest into Five Courtyards

all photos by Daici Ano

The lush hamlet of Karuizawa is known for its otherworldly architecture. Roughly a 2-hour drive from Tokyo, it’s where urban wealth goes to play. Owning a home or vacation home in Karuizawa is the ultimate status symbol. Besides leaning towards the avant-garde (note that these homes are the exception, rather than the norm, in Japan) one trait that many of these homes have in common is that they are designed to take advantage of their mountainous surroundings by inviting the outdoors, in.

One of the latest additions – a home for an art collector – is no different, but it’s exceptionally well executed.

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Japanese Architect Tests the Limitation of Large Hats

The Edwardian era of fashion in the early 1900s was perhaps best known for gigantic hats. Oversized hats were having their moment on the heads of high society women despite complaints that they were obtrusive. But how can a hat really be while still being, well, a hat? Japanese architect Kosaku Matsumoto decided to try and find out.

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Music Monday: H ZETTRIO

the piano jazz band H ZETTRIO

If you’re afraid of clowns then H ZETTRIO might not be the best way to start your Monday morning. The piano jazz trio differentiate themselves in clown-type fashion by appearing on stage with blue, red and silver-painted noses. Their antics also can be circus like as the three jump around on stage and perform explosive, upbeat renditions and originals.

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Portraits of Tokyo Roller-Zoku Gangs by Denny Renshaw

When I was growing up in Tokyo my parents would sometimes take me to Yoyogi Park, or the streets of Harajuku, where groups of roller-zoku gangs would hang out and dance. I remember, as a 5 or 6-year old, being scared of them – they were so different from our other Japanese neighbors – but also mesmerized.

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Rebranding Spoon & Tamago as Spoon & Tomato

2017 marks the 10th year since we started this little blog. Spoon & Tamago has had a great run. But in order to stay relevant and competitive, sometimes you’re forced to change.

One thing that has remained constant over the years is that people continue to get our damn name wrong! We’ve gotten Spoon & Mango, Spoon & Tango and Spoon & Tomango, which isn’t even a word!! But by far the most common is Spoon & Tomato. Below is just one of many emails we’ve gotten over the years.

In the spirit of Jim Henson, if you can’t beat them, join them. Today, we’re proud to announce the rebranding of Spoon & Tamago as Spoon & Tomato. We’ve got a lot of awesome spoon and tomato-related activities planned so stay tuned. You can get a sneak peek of what’s to come by checking out our brand new Spoon & Tomato Instagram account.

A Sculpture of a Buddhist Deity Made From 20,000 Beetles

all photos courtesy parnassus

Located roughly an hour north from central Tokyo is a fairly nondescript government building: Itakura Town Hall in Gunma prefecture. The building houses a small gallery that counts among its collections various obscure pottery work and paintings as well as a glass-enclosed sculpture of a Buddhist deity made from roughly 20,000 beetles in numerous varieties. If you have any form of entomophobia or insectophobia I suggest you don’t read on.

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Contemporary Portraits of an Annual Samurai Fashion Festival

Everett Kennedy Brown likes to pose the question: “when do you suppose this photograph was taken?” The answer, of course, is not what you expect. The photographer and long-time resident of Japan takes anachronistic photographic portraits that document what is perhaps one of the oldest fashion shows in the world.

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