A closer look at some work of manga master Tezuka Osamu

Manga and anime are features of modern Japanese culture that have become popular worldwide. Many visitors to Japan seek out the manga culture and even actual places associated with manga, in a sense, seeking to bring the manga to life. While manga have been around as an art form since the late 19th century, arguably … Continue reading A closer look at some work of manga master Tezuka Osamu

Haneda Innovation City: combining technology and tradition

September 2020 saw the opening of an amazing new commercial complex just next door to Haneda Airport. It is called Haneda Innovation City and it is located above Tenkubashi station on the Keikyu and Tokyo Monorail lines. The complex of eleven stylishly low-slung buildings (eight have already been constructed) will be home to various types … Continue reading Haneda Innovation City: combining technology and tradition

Nakanobu Furusato Matsuri: neighborhood festival put on hold

As a general matter, Autumn is festival season in Japan. Alas, the pandemic has forced cancellation of festivals across the nation, some for the first time in centuries, others for the first time in decades. Since 1989, the Tokyo neighborhood of Nakanobu has hosted a "Furusato Matsuri" (hometown festival) on Nakanobu Skip Road, a 330 … Continue reading Nakanobu Furusato Matsuri: neighborhood festival put on hold

Kinema in Kamata: a piece of Japan’s cinematic history

One hundred years ago, two brothers, Shirai Matsujiro and Otani Takejiro decided to make movies. The brothers had already been in the entertainment business for 25 years, having started in 1895 with a Kyoto kabuki theater and growing their business from there to a chain of theaters with various kinds of live entertainment in several … Continue reading Kinema in Kamata: a piece of Japan’s cinematic history

Katsu Kaishu: living history by thinking future

In mid-March 1868, Katsu Kaishu (1823-1899), Army Minister for Tokugawa Yoshinobu, last of the Tokugawa shoguns, was returning to his home in Edo (present day Tokyo) after successfully negotiating for the peaceful surrender of Edo Castle to troops representing the new government of the Emperor Meiji (1852-1912). The negotiations had taken place at Shoto-en, on … Continue reading Katsu Kaishu: living history by thinking future

Exploring Tokyo’s Architecture Through the ages: A walk in Bunkyo and Toshima

In keeping with current trends to micro-tourism, this article describes an urban walk in Tokyo featuring a number of lesser-known historical buildings.  (Archived article originally published by Japan Today) At the end of your walk, on the way back to Edogawabashi Station, look for Kanpai Brewing on the opposite side of the river, just across … Continue reading Exploring Tokyo’s Architecture Through the ages: A walk in Bunkyo and Toshima

Hidden History in the Edo Outskirts: the Rolling Hills of Magome

In keeping with the current trend of "micro-tourism" (keeping tourism close to home), here's another walk through a less well-known suburban Tokyo neighborhood.  This walk is less than 4 km. in length and includes a small local museum, so expect it to take about half a day. Use the map at the bottom of the … Continue reading Hidden History in the Edo Outskirts: the Rolling Hills of Magome

Naritasan Shinshoji: an ancient center of worship

While travellers often complain loudly about the inconvenient location of Narita Airport, Buddhist faithful who make a pilgrimage to nearby Naritasan Shinshoji, are rarely heard to do the same. The expansive and historical temple complex is one of the oldest and largest in this part of Japan. It is, of course, primarily a religious destination, … Continue reading Naritasan Shinshoji: an ancient center of worship