The 100-year-old bakery that serves Tokyo’s best ningyoyaki

The 100-year-old bakery that serves Tokyo’s best ningyoyaki

As you exit the subway in Ningyocho, a town once home to doll makers and puppeteers, the smell of something sweet lures you to the shop next door. This is Itakuraya. A bakery whose doors opened in 1907, has been family-run ever since, and over the years has earned a...

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Cultural curiosities in Tokyo’s Ningyocho district

Cultural curiosities in Tokyo’s Ningyocho district

It was a late autumn afternoon and a light drizzle had started to fall, just enough to warrant opening my umbrella. I was early and found a spot off to the side of the pavement, right next to the mechanical clock tower, the meeting point for my Made In Japan...

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24 hours in: Tokyo

24 hours in: Tokyo

Maybe you’re passing through Japan on your way to somewhere else. Maybe you’ve just finished a skiing holiday in Hokkaido and you’ve got some time before a connecting flight. Maybe you’re in town for work but want to see more than the airport and the office. If you’ve only got a...

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Things to do in: Tokyo

Things to do in: Tokyo

Undeniably one of the world’s most exhilarating cities, Tokyo can be exciting, intimidating and a little overwhelming. However, with a bit of help from our local experts, you’ll have no trouble navigating your way around and getting into the vibe of this vibrant destination. Here are our top five things to...

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Best cities for showing your Pride

Best cities for showing your Pride

There are some cities that just know how to do Pride right. We’re talking going far beyond hanging a few rainbow flags in windows, and instead throwing the biggest, baddest parties to celebrate who you are — from sexual orientation to gender to race to age. Because while Pride started...

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Where to eat and drink in a yokocho like a Tokyo local

Where to eat and drink in a yokocho like a Tokyo local

When it comes to Japan, many people think of Tokyo as the ultra-modern capital and Kyoto as the ancient one full of all things traditional. But what many people don’t know is that behind Tokyo’s tall buildings and neon lights are little pockets of former times living on despite their...

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Why Osaka is every foodie’s dream city

Why Osaka is every foodie’s dream city

Osaka was my first stop in Japan, and it quickly became clear what this place is famous for. Food. And my, was it glorious. I was constantly stimulated by the sights and smells of unrecognisable treats, my eyes and nose darting in different directions, not only in restaurants and supermarkets...

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How to eat sushi in Tokyo

How to eat sushi in Tokyo

To dip or not to dip? Chopsticks or fingers? One bite or two? We asked Meg, our local guide in Tokyo, how to eat sushi like a local. (Hint: ginger is not a topping.) Sorry, I’m going to give so many rules here, but hopefully even with these rules, people...

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Cleaning up Kumamoto

Cleaning up Kumamoto

Two strong earthquakes struck the Kumamoto area in Japan on April 14th and April 16th, magnitudes 6.5 and 7.3, respectively. There were 49 deaths, which may not seem a huge number in natural disaster news — in fact, I believe most of people have probably already forgotten about it or...

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Lost in translation: Why Japan does whisky bars better

Lost in translation: Why Japan does whisky bars better

The lift doors open and I step into a Bill Murray movie. The elevator’s halogen glare becomes the soft ripple of candlelight. A barman in a black vest and bowtie is mixing cocktails with the precision and concentration of a brain surgeon. There’s the murmur of conversation. A freaking grand...

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