Generally speaking, Japan has always been slow in adapting to online technology. But with the country’s state of emergency now extended until the end of May, we’ve been seeing more and more venues and companies putting their content online so that users can enjoy them safely, from home. So we’ve decided to put together a curated list of resources we think many of our readers will enjoy. The list is by no-means exhaustive and we’ll continue to update it, but if you have any ideas feel free to add them in the comments section!
Coloring Books from Hanshin Railway
Hanshin Electric Railway has been collaborating with the illustrators at MofuMofuDo to create coloring books featuring iconic scenes along their line, which links Osaka and Kobe. And they’ve recently uploaded all 10 to their website, making them downloadable for free. You can choose either the full pamphlet (PDF) or just the image (PNG) and imagine traveling through the region from the safety of your own home.
Rhizomatiks: Staying Tokyo
The creatives at Japanese media arts company Rhizomatiks have been hosting weekly DJ events titled Staying Tokyo. The events are free and have been streamed on twitch every Friday evening (Japan time).
Rakugo is a traditional form of comedic storytelling that has seen a surge in popularity in recent years thanks to creative uses of technology. But with theaters now closed, performers have moved online. Most of the performances will ask you to pay an admission fee, and you’ll need a considerable amount of Japanese, but there is a handy calendar that lists daily performances (in Japan time).
Zaiko: “Save the Theatre”
Zaiko is a Tokyo-based ticketing platform for event organizers and digital media companies that has become a great resource for smaller theater companies to broadcast their acts. One initiative we want to highlight is “Save the Theatre.” With a wide range of performing arts including plays, kyogen, Nihon Buyo and Noh being cancelled, performers across the industry joined forces to stream stage shows for a fee.
YouTube Japan: Stay Home #WithMe
With the country now on Golden Week, You Tube Japan has created a ‘stay at home’ edition of YouTube Music Week. Artists include Miyavi, BABYMETAL, m-flo and many more.
Online Tea Ceremony
Shibuya Crossing Live-Stream
If all else fails, the live-stream of Shibuya Crossing is always entertaining, a weird, trance-inducing kind of way.