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Ine Kyoto Sea

Explore the Funayas of Ine: A New Side to Kyoto, Japan

When we picture Kyoto, the first thing that jumps to mind are the shrines, bamboo forests, and geisha. It’s hard to believe that a couple of hours outside of the city proper will take you to landscapes to so vastly different, where people live a traditional lifestyle far away from the modern aspects of Japan we know of, or the highly polished tourist trail that we...

Ruby Chocolate Afternoon Tea at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo

It was a little over a year ago that a fourth type of chocolate was created by a genius team of Swiss-Belgian chocolatiers. And Japan – ever the lover of gimmicky foods and eccentric flavours – has leapt on ruby chocolate like you wouldn’t believe. Earlier this year Japan began selling the ruby chocolate flavour of KitKat, and now the ANA InterContinental Tokyo has...

Japan Lonesome bodybuilder

Review: The Lonesome Bodybuilder (Picnic in the Storm)

Written by Yukiko Motoya | Translated by Asa Yoneda ‘Tomoko had married him of her own free will. Some of her friends had advised her to reconsider, but most people didn’t even seem to notice that he was straw.’ Two months ago I had already decided on my favourite novel, and novelist, of 2018: Convenience Store Woman and its author Sayaka Murata. I loved this book...

japan story geisha

Review: Japan Story (1850-present)

Japan Story by Christopher Harding For any curious lover of history, searching for an enlightening but comprehensive history of Japan, there are many places to look. Just last year, Jonathan Clements published his excellent A Brief History of Japan, which does exactly as it says on the tin. Another book to capture the hearts of many a Japanophile is David Pilling’s...

ramen teh japanese film

Film Review: Ramen Teh (Tokyo Film Festival 2018)

Directed by Eric Khoo | Japan, Singapore, France Masato, a young ramen chef in Takasaki, Japan, is struck by the sudden death of his father. Feeling lost and alone, he leaves for Singapore, to learn more of his Singaporean mother who died when he was only ten years old. He aims learn how to make the traditional Singaporean Bak Kut Teh and combine it with his...

The Keshiki Series: New Voices from Japan (Part 2)

Here is the second of two articles summarising and reviewing the stories found in the Keshiki series, brought to you by Strangers Press. Click here if you missed part one. What is the Keshiki Series? Eight chapbooks, each containing a tale (or tales) of around thirty or forty pages, all by Japanese authors of varying successes that you may not have heard of. If you...

book town jimbocho

Jimbocho: Tokyo’s Book Town Video + Guide

If you’re a fan of books and travel then look no further. Jimbocho (神田古書店街), in Tokyo is a book lovers paradise with plenty of book stores to choose from that serve both Japanese and English readers. You’ll also find lots of art shops, vintage shops, and wonderful restaurants. How to get there: You can find Jimbocho at Jimbocho subway station | Kudanshita...

The Keshiki Series: New Voices from Japan (Part 1)

Eight chapbooks, each containing a tale (or tales) of around thirty or forty pages, all by Japanese authors of varying successes that you may not have heard of. If you have, here is more of what you already love. If you have not, these books are a wonderful treat indeed: a glimpse into the styles, themes, and stories that these writers’ minds are bursting with. Here...

Review: Killing Commendatore – Haruki Murakami

Killing Commendatore | Haruki Murakami | Translated by Philip Gabriel Most established authors become known for their tropes, be they genre, theme, character type, or writing style. For Murakami, his tropes are his events. Read enough of his works (whilst listening to a few old jazz records) and the lines between them start to blur. You may come to ask yourself...