Category Archives: Japan Times

Learning from a neighborhood stroll

“Guests are welcome to step inside the buildings and touch many (but perhaps not all) of the objects they find there. Kids can operate machinery that husked the community’s rice, and then handle the pots that were later used to cook the grains. You can step into the houses (shoes off first please) and peruse some of the now-somewhat-alien belongings that would have been commonplace in their time.”

Learning from a neighborhood stroll

“Guests are welcome to step inside the buildings and touch many (but perhaps not all) of the objects they find there. Kids can operate machinery that husked the community’s rice, and then handle the pots that were later used to cook the grains. You can step into the houses (shoes off first please) and peruse some of the now-somewhat-alien belongings that would have been commonplace in their time.”

Workshops to keep the children sweet

“With skill and hard work, however, an artisan can turn sweets into something more sublime. Just like the French patissier, the makers of wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) use sugar and other ingredients to make edible art — objects of such beauty that you may feel guilty taking a bite from them.”

Workshops to keep the children sweet

“With skill and hard work, however, an artisan can turn sweets into something more sublime. Just like the French patissier, the makers of wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) use sugar and other ingredients to make edible art — objects of such beauty that you may feel guilty taking a bite from them.”

Get kids’ education down to a science

“These are the type of activities you find in most science museums in the world. The buttons are worn around the edges and they’re not decked out with iPads and the most recent technologies, but they’re still interactive and educational. They may show their age, but the fun (and the science behind them) is timeless.”

Get kids’ education down to a science

“These are the type of activities you find in most science museums in the world. The buttons are worn around the edges and they’re not decked out with iPads and the most recent technologies, but they’re still interactive and educational. They may show their age, but the fun (and the science behind them) is timeless.”

TenQ can stop kids getting lost in space

“I’m not sure how self-conscious it makes these researchers to be presented as an exhibit themselves, but they seem unperturbed by observers, and I like the idea of children observing scientists at work — even if it has the feeling of watching fish in a tank.”

TenQ can stop kids getting lost in space

“I’m not sure how self-conscious it makes these researchers to be presented as an exhibit themselves, but they seem unperturbed by observers, and I like the idea of children observing scientists at work — even if it has the feeling of watching fish in a tank.”

Take on the samurai in Edo Period Toei

“…the sets here are used to shoot more than 200 productions a year, and the park itself offers an interesting opportunity show your kids he magic of filmmaking — all while exposing them to a little Japanese history.”

Take on the samurai in Edo Period Toei

“…the sets here are used to shoot more than 200 productions a year, and the park itself offers an interesting opportunity show your kids he magic of filmmaking — all while exposing them to a little Japanese history.”

Take a slow, deep dive into marine life

“Look,” says a child, pointing to one of many sea creatures. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

“Oh yes,” says the parent. “Beautiful. And it’s making me hungry.”

Take a slow, deep dive into marine life

“Look,” says a child, pointing to one of many sea creatures. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

“Oh yes,” says the parent. “Beautiful. And it’s making me hungry.”

Art is for everyone, including kids

“If you glean anything from this column, I hope it’s that Tokyo is fantastic fun for children. There are great parks, museums and family entertainment options, but one aspect of the city that I feel is often overlooked by Tokyo parents is the vibrant contemporary art scene.”

Art is for everyone, including kids

“If you glean anything from this column, I hope it’s that Tokyo is fantastic fun for children. There are great parks, museums and family entertainment options, but one aspect of the city that I feel is often overlooked by Tokyo parents is the vibrant contemporary art scene.”

Don’t let rainy days stop you going out to play

“As wintry weather hovers over Japan, parents are constantly on the lookout for indoor places for their kids to play. “

Don’t let rainy days stop you going out to play

“As wintry weather hovers over Japan, parents are constantly on the lookout for indoor places for their kids to play. “

Brightening your holiday mood

“Tokyo has never shied away from spectacle, and the amount of sheer wattage that will go into this year’s illumination displays is likely to make the metropolis visible from other planets.”

Brightening your holiday mood

“Tokyo has never shied away from spectacle, and the amount of sheer wattage that will go into this year’s illumination displays is likely to make the metropolis visible from other planets.”

Halloween in Tokyo: Don’t be afraid to take the kids out

“Halloween, I believe, proves to be a better fit for Japan’s cultural predilections just as it is. It has its roots in respecting — and even communing with — the dead, which lines up well with ancient O-bon traditions, and Japan has more than its share of homegrown ghost and monster stories to be told around a campfire. Halloween’s present themes of costumes and fright also jibe with the Japan of today, where horror movies and cosplay still rake in billions of yen every year.”

Halloween in Tokyo: Don’t be afraid to take the kids out

“Halloween, I believe, proves to be a better fit for Japan’s cultural predilections just as it is. It has its roots in respecting — and even communing with — the dead, which lines up well with ancient O-bon traditions, and Japan has more than its share of homegrown ghost and monster stories to be told around a campfire. Halloween’s present themes of costumes and fright also jibe with the Japan of today, where horror movies and cosplay still rake in billions of yen every year.”

Kids can learn a lot from being on the factory floor

“And the final tour? That one was for me: the Asahi Beer plant — a mere eight-minute train ride from Osaka Station. I had to persuade my daughter to come along for this one — hey, fermentation is science, right? — and I’m proud to say that she enjoyed herself a lot more than she expected to.”

Kids can learn a lot from being on the factory floor

“And the final tour? That one was for me: the Asahi Beer plant — a mere eight-minute train ride from Osaka Station. I had to persuade my daughter to come along for this one — hey, fermentation is science, right? — and I’m proud to say that she enjoyed herself a lot more than she expected to.”

Creative approach brings science to life in Osaka

“Did I mention the playground? Designed by Austrian contemporary artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, this space is an organic jungle gym painted white with primary-colored trim. It’s as if Mondrian and Gaudi had teamed up to build a gingerbread house.”

Creative approach brings science to life in Osaka

“Did I mention the playground? Designed by Austrian contemporary artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, this space is an organic jungle gym painted white with primary-colored trim. It’s as if Mondrian and Gaudi had teamed up to build a gingerbread house.”

Spa World Osaka Japan with Kids Childs Play

Make a splash on a family outing

“Splashing around in its warm waters has always been a pleasure during the bitter cold of January, but it still feels great now, even after winter’s sting has retired for the season.”

Spa World Osaka Japan with Kids Childs Play

Make a splash on a family outing

“Splashing around in its warm waters has always been a pleasure during the bitter cold of January, but it still feels great now, even after winter’s sting has retired for the season.”

Hanami in Tokyo with kids Childs Play Japan Times

A Family Guide to Tokyo Hanami Spots

“The weather still echoes winter’s chill, but the hearts and minds of the Japanese populace have begun to thaw. I can only describe it as something of a spiritual spring break.”

Hanami in Tokyo with kids Childs Play Japan Times

A Family Guide to Tokyo Hanami Spots

“The weather still echoes winter’s chill, but the hearts and minds of the Japanese populace have begun to thaw. I can only describe it as something of a spiritual spring break.”

Sanrio Puroland: Japan Times Child's Play

Family flashbacks to a psychedelic day with Kitty

“What comes across as tacky, soulless commercialism in small amounts transmogrifies here into an ornate, sugar-fueled spectacle of near-baroque proportions.”

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Sanrio Puroland: Japan Times Child's Play

Family flashbacks to a psychedelic day with Kitty

“What comes across as tacky, soulless commercialism in small amounts transmogrifies here into an ornate, sugar-fueled spectacle of near-baroque proportions.”

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Tokyo espace louis vuitton ernesto neto

Exploring Omotesando’s cool cultural playground

“Large 8.5-meter-high windows offer a great view of the area, and the curator makes use of the ample daylight, frequently choosing art that emphasizes the bright and shiny.”

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Tokyo espace louis vuitton ernesto neto

Exploring Omotesando’s cool cultural playground

“Large 8.5-meter-high windows offer a great view of the area, and the curator makes use of the ample daylight, frequently choosing art that emphasizes the bright and shiny.”

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A museum where kids can play out fire-fighter fantasies

“Using sound, lights and some motorized parts, the diorama shows how such a village would respond to a blaze in the centuries before fire engines and water pressure.”

A museum where kids can play out fire-fighter fantasies

“Using sound, lights and some motorized parts, the diorama shows how such a village would respond to a blaze in the centuries before fire engines and water pressure.”

Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park, Child's Play, The Japan Times

Preparing your kids for the Big One

Nearly everyone in this city has had some sort of preparedness training — from preschools to retirement homes — but a little extra practice has never hurt anyone.

Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park, Child's Play, The Japan Times

Preparing your kids for the Big One

Nearly everyone in this city has had some sort of preparedness training — from preschools to retirement homes — but a little extra practice has never hurt anyone.

Miraikan in Odaiba, Tokyo

Take the kids to the future at Miraikan

In Japanese, it is known as Miraikan (roughly translated as “Hall of the Future”), yet despite its science-fiction aesthetic, the museum focuses on scientific realities — both present and potential.

Miraikan in Odaiba, Tokyo

Take the kids to the future at Miraikan

In Japanese, it is known as Miraikan (roughly translated as “Hall of the Future”), yet despite its science-fiction aesthetic, the museum focuses on scientific realities — both present and potential.

Lost in Inokashira, Found in Ghibli

Ah, Kichijoji: my favorite Tokyo neighborhood. Less than 30 minutes from the heart of the city, this hip suburb has everything a downtown dweller would want…

Lost in Inokashira, Found in Ghibli

Ah, Kichijoji: my favorite Tokyo neighborhood. Less than 30 minutes from the heart of the city, this hip suburb has everything a downtown dweller would want…

A big day out at the sumo

“The short, strenuous fights were a natural fit for short attention spans…”

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A big day out at the sumo

“The short, strenuous fights were a natural fit for short attention spans…”

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Aquariums offer summer escape

“Japan has plenty of places to ogle fish, and not just on ice or on a grill.”

Aquariums offer summer escape

“Japan has plenty of places to ogle fish, and not just on ice or on a grill.”

Meiji Jingu and Harajuku with Kids

Kids love park life in the summer

“This is easily one of my favorite places to relax in Tokyo. It’s almost shocking how empty it can be, especially when compared with the crowds on the Harajuku side.”

Meiji Jingu and Harajuku with Kids

Kids love park life in the summer

“This is easily one of my favorite places to relax in Tokyo. It’s almost shocking how empty it can be, especially when compared with the crowds on the Harajuku side.”

Tokyo Midtown

A dose of culture and fun at Tokyo Midtown

“…offers (relatively) open spaces where kids can run ahead without parents worrying about them slamming into taxis or old ladies.”

Tokyo Midtown

A dose of culture and fun at Tokyo Midtown

“…offers (relatively) open spaces where kids can run ahead without parents worrying about them slamming into taxis or old ladies.”

Tokyo Gas Science Museum

Where kids will have a blast

“…connect your flame with a bubble and you get a bright little blast, right at eye-level…”

Tokyo Gas Science Museum

Where kids will have a blast

“…connect your flame with a bubble and you get a bright little blast, right at eye-level…”

‘Ichiro Endo: Ultra Art Exhibition’

“Punk music screeched out tinny speakers as Endo dipped his hands in buckets of black paint. ‘Ikitanda oretachiwa!’ (“We are living right now!”) he wailed, punching a canvas.”

‘Ichiro Endo: Ultra Art Exhibition’

“Punk music screeched out tinny speakers as Endo dipped his hands in buckets of black paint. ‘Ikitanda oretachiwa!’ (“We are living right now!”) he wailed, punching a canvas.”

Interview: Grandmaster Flash

“The Japan Times says you don’t know who I am,” he bellowed to the crowd, “So let’s tell them: WHO AM I?”

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Interview: Grandmaster Flash

“The Japan Times says you don’t know who I am,” he bellowed to the crowd, “So let’s tell them: WHO AM I?”

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Hideaki Kawashima: Wavering

“Kawashima’s paintings are meant to stare back at you, each gaze so potent that stray locks of hair disappear in its path.”

Hideaki Kawashima: Wavering

“Kawashima’s paintings are meant to stare back at you, each gaze so potent that stray locks of hair disappear in its path.”

Hideki Kuwajima: Vertical / Horizontal

“Complexity mirrored against itself can reign in chaos in ways that makes the discordant divine. “

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Hideki Kuwajima: Vertical / Horizontal

“Complexity mirrored against itself can reign in chaos in ways that makes the discordant divine. “

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Art Review: “Bob Richardson” and “Terry Richardson”

“…a new understanding of the phrase ‘wasted talent’….”

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Art Review: “Bob Richardson” and “Terry Richardson”

“…a new understanding of the phrase ‘wasted talent’….”

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Dance Preview: ‘Grupo Corpo: Onqoto & Parabelo’

“Sharp vaults lead to a swaggering gait and back, leaving audiences agape at the dichotomy.”

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Dance Preview: ‘Grupo Corpo: Onqoto & Parabelo’

“Sharp vaults lead to a swaggering gait and back, leaving audiences agape at the dichotomy.”

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Art Fair Tokyo & 101TOKYO: The making of a market center

“We sold our works, we made lots of connections. What more could you want?”

Art Fair Tokyo & 101TOKYO: The making of a market center

“We sold our works, we made lots of connections. What more could you want?”

Art Review: The Kiyosumi Gallery Complex

“…wheels are being greased as we speak.”

Art Review: The Kiyosumi Gallery Complex

“…wheels are being greased as we speak.”

Pursuing the flavor of the American South

“…the components of what makes up a proper barbecue can cause feuds even among close friends.”

Pursuing the flavor of the American South

“…the components of what makes up a proper barbecue can cause feuds even among close friends.”

“Wako Works of Art: 15 Years/Part III”

“While the two men use photography to relay hidden truths, Fiona Tan seeks the profound in ordinary snapshots. “

“Wako Works of Art: 15 Years/Part III”

“While the two men use photography to relay hidden truths, Fiona Tan seeks the profound in ordinary snapshots. “

The art of the party at Fuji Rock

“…sculpture doubles as furniture and the fashion leans toward leather, feathers and fedoras”

The art of the party at Fuji Rock

“…sculpture doubles as furniture and the fashion leans toward leather, feathers and fedoras”

Interview: Masa Hidaka

“Joe [Strummer] called and said: ‘Masa, I’m coming. Is there anything you want me to bring?’ And I said: ‘Bring wood.'”

Interview: Masa Hidaka

“Joe [Strummer] called and said: ‘Masa, I’m coming. Is there anything you want me to bring?’ And I said: ‘Bring wood.'”

Interview: Deerhoof

“I wouldn’t call it compromise, but maybe I’m having a knee-jerk reaction to that word.”

Interview: Deerhoof

“I wouldn’t call it compromise, but maybe I’m having a knee-jerk reaction to that word.”

Interview: M.I.A.

“I have to learn how to make gasoline out of coconut oil…”

Interview: M.I.A.

“I have to learn how to make gasoline out of coconut oil…”

Interview: The Go! Team

“…I did want it to sound action-packed…”

Interview: The Go! Team

“…I did want it to sound action-packed…”

Art Brut: “Bang Bang Rock & Roll”

“Argos simply raises his voice, rambling with the articulate, impulse-driven zeal of someone who planned to use cue cards but decided to wing it.”

Art Brut: “Bang Bang Rock & Roll”

“Argos simply raises his voice, rambling with the articulate, impulse-driven zeal of someone who planned to use cue cards but decided to wing it.”

Interview: Yo La Tengo

“The tone of the questions really freaked me out. They were all in past tense. I felt like I was already dead.”

Interview: Yo La Tengo

“The tone of the questions really freaked me out. They were all in past tense. I felt like I was already dead.”

Interview: Broken Social Scene & Stars

“It’s like you’re making a painting and someone comes along and throws a blue splotch in the corner and you’re like, ‘Why the f**k did you put that blue splotch there?’…”

Interview: Broken Social Scene & Stars

“It’s like you’re making a painting and someone comes along and throws a blue splotch in the corner and you’re like, ‘Why the f**k did you put that blue splotch there?’…”

Out Hud: “Let us Never Speak of it Again”

“…her child-like voice hovering above the din like a feather over a circular saw. “

Out Hud: “Let us Never Speak of it Again”

“…her child-like voice hovering above the din like a feather over a circular saw. “

Live Music Preview: LCD Sound System

“…like a drum machine fighting off a mosh pit with a shovel…”

Live Music Preview: LCD Sound System

“…like a drum machine fighting off a mosh pit with a shovel…”

Interview: Scissor Sisters

“We didn’t grow up in the days of rock ‘n’ roll vs. disco and we don’t really care.”

Interview: Scissor Sisters

“We didn’t grow up in the days of rock ‘n’ roll vs. disco and we don’t really care.”

Live Music Preview: Death From Above 1979

“…sure to scrape the walls and shatter furniture — that is, if you can fit it through the door”

Live Music Preview: Death From Above 1979

“…sure to scrape the walls and shatter furniture — that is, if you can fit it through the door”

Interview: Interpol

“Journalists,” he says, searching for the words, “don’t . . . often . . . portray you in the way you thought you came out in an interview.”

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Interview: Interpol

“Journalists,” he says, searching for the words, “don’t . . . often . . . portray you in the way you thought you came out in an interview.”

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Interview: Diplo

“…there were all these ridiculous people screaming Portuguese lyrics and hard drums, samples of Morrissey, cartoon sounds. It was loud and punk rock and hardcore dance music.”

Interview: Diplo

“…there were all these ridiculous people screaming Portuguese lyrics and hard drums, samples of Morrissey, cartoon sounds. It was loud and punk rock and hardcore dance music.”

Live Music Preview/Interview: The Faint

“Chunky, growling basslines now compete with synth frequencies that could cut glass and curdle milk.”

Live Music Preview/Interview: The Faint

“Chunky, growling basslines now compete with synth frequencies that could cut glass and curdle milk.”