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Japanese Home Designed Around a Climbable Bookshelf

Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves are lovely, and can act as a robust focal point in any home. But accessing the high shelves can be a problem. The common side-kick has always been ladders, which can also add character and charm. But for smaller homes like in Japan they can be a nuisance, occupying too much space for not enough usage. But Japanese architect Shinsuke Fujii came up with a simple, yet brilliant solution that solves another problem too: earthquake safety.

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Tokyo ‘Rescue Bus’ Will Pick Up Drunk Passengers Who Fell Asleep and Missed Their Train Stop

the nesugoshi kyusai bus (literally, overslept rescue bus)

It’s happened to the best of us: you have one too many drinks, catch the last train, fall asleep and wake up at the final stop. Well Tokyo must be one of the most thoughtful and caring cities because during the month of December, the Nishi Tokyo Bus Company will operate a nesugoshi kyusai bus (overslept rescue bus) that will meet passengers at the final stop and carry them back.

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Continuously Changing ‘Alive Paintings’ by Akiko Nakayama

“Why is a painting dry? Why isn’t a painting alive?” It was that simple question that inspired Akiko Nakayama to create “Alive Paintings” that captures the vibrant movement, fluidity, energy and ephemerality of life by depicting the flow of paint and water.

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Walk Through Old Tokyo with a 300-Year old Map of Edo

When we were in Tokyo last month we downloaded the Oedo Burari app. It was pricey – 600 yen – but we decided to bite the bullet and go for it. And I have to say, it was worth it. Part of what makes Tokyo such a fun city to walk is its ancient history combined with its density. This app added a whole new dimension to Tokyo’s history by allowing you to walk along a map of old Edo originally created in the late 1600s.

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The Guardians of Painter Miwa Komatsu

Miwa Komatsu grew up in the mountainous regions of Nagano, Japan. The hills and forests was her playground; the animals her friends. She remembers one animal in particular: a Japanese wolf she revered as her protector and guardian. For whenever she got lost in the woods the mountain dog would show itself and appear to lead her home, only to mysteriously disappear once she was safe.

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Uniholic: A New Tokyo Restaurant that Specializes in Sea Urchin

Sea urchin, or uni, is a delicacy in Japan. But it’s also an acquired taste. For uni lovers like ourselves, you’re probably accustomed to having it served on rice as sushi, or as sashimi. Maybe the occasional uni pasta. But now a new Tokyo restaurant, aptly named Uniholic, wants to open up the doors to a whole new world of uni-possibilities.

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89-Year Old Kimiko Nishimoto Loves Taking Humorous Self-Portraits

At the age of 72, Kimiko Nishimoto decided to do something she had never done before. She decided to take a beginners course in photography that was taught by her eldest son. Nishimoto immediately fell in love with the medium and began taking humorous, comical and sometimes surreal self-portraits.

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Spoon & Tamago’s 10-Year Anniversary

Last week we were in Tokyo to celebrate a very special milestone: 10 years of writing about Japanese art, design and culture on Spoon & Tamago. Although we prefer to remain behind the curtains and let the artists we feature shine, we couldn’t help but resist a very special offer and meaningful recognition from Stephen Globus and the Globus Family, who hosted a dinner in Tokyo with 100 of our favorite artists and designers. It was followed by an after-party featuring a private performance by Japanese band KAO:S. Honestly, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate.

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Doraemon and Fine Art Collide in New Tokyo Exhibition

the exhibition opens with a large-scale painting by Takashi Murakami | all photos by spoon & tamago (taken with iphone 6)

Ninety five years from today Doraemon, the amazing cat robot, will be born. At least that’s according to Fujiko Fujio’s imaginative comic. Doraemon and his magical fourth-dimensional pocket, which produces fantastical gadgets from the future, have tickled the minds of children (including myself) since the 1970s to today.

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Issui Enomoto Captures Double Exposure Photographs of Yokohama From His Taxi

Issui Enomoto is a taxi cab driver in Japan’s port city of Yokohama. But he’s also a photographer. And for Enomoto, these two go hand-in-hand, just like the relationship between a taxi and passenger.

Enomoto keeps his camera next to him at all times, snapping nighttime-scenes of streets, as well as passengers. But only with permission, and only if it’s safe.

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