NOV-DEC 2022

Click on photo or link to read the feature • Seasonal Secret: Design Festa: Your one-stop shop for predatory purses, zombie nesting dolls & more Twice a year, Design Festa takes over the Big Site convention center in Odiaba, and artists selling everything from zombie matroyshika to predatory purses gather to outdo each other…read moreContinue reading “NOV-DEC 2022”

Did you win the Sep-Oct Japan Swag Giveaway?

If you recognize your email, congratulations! You just won a set of six limited-edition gashapon Attack Cats! If you think this is you, shoot a message to JapanagramJonelle@gmail.com and tell me where you’d like me to send them! (Note: My apologies—I’m in Japan at the moment and the attack cats are in San Francisco, so I won’tContinue reading “Did you win the Sep-Oct Japan Swag Giveaway?”

Japan Swag Giveaway

The Nov-Dec 2022 giveaway: Ikura Sushi Refrigerator Magnet Yes, this month’s giveaway is one of those high-quality can’t-believe-it’s-not-real food magnets they only sell on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo. All lesser refrigerators on your street will envy yours. On the last day of December, I’ll randomly pick one lucky Japanagram subscriber to get this choice pieceContinue reading “Japan Swag Giveaway”

Miso-Butter Potatoes

Move over, french fries! You may think that potatoes don’t sound like an authentic Japanese dish, but the stand selling hot miso-butter potatoes at all the winter festivals has a line a mile long, because they are awesome. Miso makes everything you put it in taste deeper and richer (while also secretly being good for you!)Continue reading “Miso-Butter Potatoes”

Why are those trees wearing placemats?

Ever wonder why they wrap Japanese pine trees in those funny little mats in winter?Arboreal stomach warmer? The tree version of black tie for the holidays? Guess again. They’re actually old-fashioned, super-eco pest control! It’s diabolically simple. The mats are girded around the trees as winter approaches, wrapped tightly at the bottom and loosely atContinue reading “Why are those trees wearing placemats?”

Let’s go to the Werewolf Shrine!

Mitsumiya Shrine in Saitama prefecture The Mitsumine Shrine sits high atop a snowy mountain near Chichibu, so far from any train station that you’ll be eligible for a senior citizen discount by the time you get off the bus. At first it looks like a typical Shinto shrine with fox messengers at the gate… …butContinue reading “Let’s go to the Werewolf Shrine!”

Design Festa: Your one-stop shop for predatory purses, zombie nesting dolls & more

Twice a year, Design Festa takes over the Big Site convention center in Odiaba, and artists selling everything from zombie matroyshika to predatory purses gather to outdo each other. Get one in every color! Or if that isn’t creepy enough for you, perhaps a crying baby head? Or you can take blowing your nose toContinue reading “Design Festa: Your one-stop shop for predatory purses, zombie nesting dolls & more”

Ghosts of the Tsunami

by Richard Lloyd Perry Setting & details: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Authenticity of Japanese characters & dialogue: N/ARepresents real life in Japan: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Entertainment value: ⭐⭐⭐⭐My recommendation: Full of fascinating details and well worth reading Ghosts of the Tsunami is a page-turningly readable piece of narrative non-fiction, written by the Asia Editor of The Times of London. And while it centersContinue reading “Ghosts of the Tsunami”

Get the best cherry blossom pix in Tokyo: Where, when & how

Whether you’re an Instagrammer with a mega-following or just want to capture some of the pink magic to show your besties back home, snapping some envy-inducing photos is on every cherry blossom to-do list. But getting those perfect shots isn’t easy, especially if it’s your first time in Tokyo, so here’s how & where toContinue reading “Get the best cherry blossom pix in Tokyo: Where, when & how”

Let’s walk across red-hot burning coals!

Hiwatari Matsuri at Mt. Takao Who can resist the opportunity to do a bit of firewalking? Once a year, they actually let you join in, at the Hiwatari Matsuri, just an hour outside of Shinjuku Station at Mt. Takao. Get there early, because the festivities start with a grand parade of ascetic mountain monks from all overContinue reading “Let’s walk across red-hot burning coals!”