Category Archives: Life in Japan

Tour in English! Art Deco at the Teien Museum

Did you know there’s a gem of Art Deco architecture right in the center of Tokyo? And that it’s open to the public and easily visited? This charming building is the Prince Asaka residence, built in 1933 for a member … Continue reading

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Ticket Giveaway: Mask Exhibit at the Teien Museum

Masks of the world in a beautiful Art Deco residence, and a guided tour in English by yours truly: what’s not to like? To help publicize my gallery talk on Friday June 5 at 3 pm, I’m giving away a … Continue reading

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Japanese police: don’t they have something better to do?

You’ve seen them in front of police stations. And outside neighborhood police boxes. Maybe you’ve seen them in busy train stations up on a box looking fierce. Don’t you wonder why Japanese police always seem to be standing around? That … Continue reading

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Why I Love My Work (Part 1)

I must have the best job in the world — some days it really feels like that. Like the day last month when I got to watch while three of Japan’s top photographers reviewed several thousand works by up-and-coming young … Continue reading

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How to Reduce Food Waste (in Japan)

In my Jan. 21 column in The Japan Times, I wrote about the expiry dates on food labels in Japan and explained how to use them so you don’t throw away perfectly good food. The gist is that the highly … Continue reading

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Look, then look again: fender mirrors

In my November 19 column in The Japan Times, I wrote about the rather special rear-view mirrors you see on the front of Japanese taxi cabs. I promised to post some photos of vehicles equipped with fender mirrors, including a … Continue reading

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Understanding the new “above sea level” signs

In my column in The Japan Times on Oct. 22, I wrote about the spate of new 海抜 kaibatsu (elevation over sea level) signage going up all over Japan. Each sign provides the elevation at the spot where the sign … Continue reading

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