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Glass Ghost Chopstick Rests are the Perfect Halloween Accessory

It’s officially fall, ya’ll. And that means the spookiest holiday of them all. Do you have any Halloween parties on the calendar? Or maybe you’re just looking to introduce some spooky spirits into your everyday? Well look no further, for we’ve found the perfect halloween accessory you didn’t know you need: ghost chopstick rests handmade by a glass artisan based in Nagano, Japan.

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Tracing the History of Railways in Japan Through Art

“Steam Locomotive on the Yokohama Waterfront” (1874) by Utagawa Hiroshige III. Courtesy Kobe City Museum.

Almost exactly 150 years ago the first railway route in Japan opened on October 14, 1872 and connected what is current-day Shinbashi to Yokohama. A symbol of modernization, Japan’s railway network gradually expanded nationwide and would become what is arguably one of Japan’s most successful public infrastructure initiatives. Trains not only carried people but they carried ideas, dreams and concepts. Soul-stirring locomotives, rails gleaming in the evening sun and the hustle and bustle of train stations would all go on to inspire artwork that captured the sentiment of the time.

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Tsuyoshi Hisakado’s Spiraling River of Pi

 Tsuyoshi Hisakado’s “River” (2022) on display at Ota Fine Arts in Tokyo

For the first time in four years, the artist Tsuyoshi Hisakado had a new solo exhibition in Tokyo. One of his works was composed of multiple frames that filled almost the entire wall. A single white circle near the center immediately attracts your eye, beckoning you to step closer. And as you do, order emerges out of chaos. The sheets of paper are, in fact, filled with the digits of π (pi), the mathematical constant. Beginning in the circular negative space at the center of the piece, the continuous, eternal sequence of numbers spiral outwards. In certain areas they have been torn apart and broken up numerous times but the fragments together form one big current and undulation.

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Rice Straw Sculptures from the 2022 Wara Art Festival

Autumn is officially upon us. It’s the season of shorter days, brighter moons and bountiful harvests. Niigata prefecture, in Northern Japan, is known for its rice paddies and rice production. Around this time of year the rice harvest becomes a big deal, as well as the tons of rice straw, or wara, that is leftover. It can be plowed down as soil improver, fed to livestock, or even woven into decorative ornaments. But before any of that, for the past 9 years Uwasekigata Park has hosted a Wara Art Festival by teaming up with art students to create creatures, both large and small, from rice straw.

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Inside Vegan Leather Brand CRAFSTO’s New Tokyo Store & Studio

all photos by Takumi Ota courtesy Oniki Design Studio

CRAFSTO is a new Japanese fashion accessory brand that places sustainability at the forefront of their business model. Working mainly with cacti and other plant-derived vegan leather, CRAFSTO has developed what they call “future-oriented craftsmanship.” And their ethos extends not only to their products but to the walls of their new Tokyo shop and beyond.

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Celebrate the Arrival of Fall With a Forest of Kirie Foliage

all images courtesy Ayumi Shibata

Yesterday was the autumnal equinox: the official start of fall. And if you’re in Tokyo, there’s no better way to welcome in the season than at the KITTE, the design-forward commercial complex right outside Tokyo Station. Now through October 10th, kirie artist Ayumi Shibata, inspired by the fall foliage of a forest, has installed one of her largest works in the atrium of KITTE.

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Tokujin Yoshika’s New Public Sculpture Glistens Outside Tokyo Station

all photos courtesy Tokujin Yoshioka

Designer Tokujin Yoshioka has unveiled his latest work: a gigantic 10-meter sculpture made of over 2000 stainless steel mirrored rods that converge, as if crystallizing, into a luminous star. The permanent sculpture of light is situated outside, just steps from Tokyo Station, and is designed to randomly reflect the natural and artificial lights of the city that change throughout the day.

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A Tea Ceremony in a Portable Tea Room Atop Mount Fuji

photos courtesy Mori Soyu and Kazumasa Murayama

Last week, climbers approaching the summit of Mt. Fuji were treated to a special event: a tea ceremony inside a pop-up tea room set up at the eighth station of the Yoshida trail. The tea ceremony, which was scheduled just days before the end of Mt. Fuji’s hiking season, was intended to express gratitude for the blessings of Mt. Fuji.

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Watch & Optical Repairman Creates Miniature Sculptures From Old Parts

all photos courtesy ticktackart

Hisashi Ito is the 2nd generation owner of Megane Tokei Ito, a small shop in Saga prefecture that specializes in the sales and repairs of watches and glasses. An optometrist by trade, Ito spends his time spare time toying with spare parts, upcycling them into miniature sculptures of animals and insects.

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Maison Owl is a Cave-Like Restaurant in Yamaguchi Designed by Junya Ishigami

all images courtesy Maison Owl

It’s been almost 10 years since Motonori Hirata, the brainchild of the Maison Owl restaurant, came up with an idea to create a space that felt like entering a hideout. He conceived a restaurant that felt like it had been on earth for 10,000 years. And eating there, guests could imagine it being there for another 10,000 years. Hirata teamed up with architect Junya Ishigami, who helped bring his concept to life. Maison Owl had it’s soft-opening last lear and has been slowly working up towards full operation through an invitation-only policy. But they’re now preparing for an official opening this fall.

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