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You could lazily stream a set-it-and-forget-it classic Christmas movie marathon, as most do during this yule time stretch.

Or, you could check out Satoshi Kon’s Tokyo Godfathers for a change. It stars an atypical cast of “heroes” that go through all kinds of misadventures while wrestling with the holiday spirit.

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November 15, 2023

Shinji Ohmaki: Interface of Being

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Shinji Ohmaki is known for creating large-scale installations that inquire into the nature of being and disrupt the somatic senses of viewers.

He has presented these ambitious works to high acclaim not only in Japan but also in many other countries across Asia and Europe.

The National Art Center, Tokyo is presenting Interface of Being, a solo exhibition of installations reflecting Ohmaki’s deepening psychological exploration. The exhibition is scheduled to present new works rooted in fundamental questions surrounding our reasons for living.

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In the intricate dance of international aviation, securing slots at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport is no simple feat for U.S. airlines. The meticulous control exercised by Japanese authorities over takeoff and landing permissions for long-haul flights at Haneda adds an additional layer of complexity.

Back in 2019, a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Transportation and Japanese authorities resulted in the allocation of extra slots at Haneda to select domestic carriers. These allocations, however, came with a ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ stipulation, temporarily relaxed during the pandemic but now a thing of the past as of last month.

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Japan, a country steeped in tradition and seasonal holidays, has a somewhat odd and longstanding fascination with Halloween.

Arguably, it makes sense on paper — the prevalence of cosplay, liberal open container laws and a voracious appetite for entertainment. It certainly puts the Japanese concepts of “honne 本音,” and “tatemae 建前” into an interesting juxtaposition as well.

In Tokyo, Halloween has evolved into an adult holiday, with street parties abound, but none more famous than what transpires in Shibuya. But, this year, its Mayor is officially spooked.

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In close collaboration with the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, the National Art Center, Tokyo is set to present the inaugural extensive retrospective of Yves Saint Laurent in Japan following his passing.

The exhibition will feature a comprehensive collection of 262 items organized into twelve chapters, encompassing 110 of the designer’s iconic ensembles, along with accessories, drawings and photographs.

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October 10, 2023

21_21 DESIGN SITE

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In 2003, Issey Miyake contributed an essay entitled “Let’s Create―Design Museum (Tsukuro- dezain myu-jiamu),” to the January 28th evening edition of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

The piece lamented Japan’s lack of a museum devoted to design generated a great deal of attention, and as an unexpected result, Miyake gained a number of backers and advocates interested in helping him realize his dream.

Four years later in 2007, thanks to their help 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT opened in the Garden of the Tokyo Midtown complex in Roppongi.

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Glenmorangie has released a new limited-edition whisky, A Tale of Tokyo, a creation inspired by the fascination of Director of Whisky Creation Dr. Bill Lumsden with the Japanese capital and its captivating contrasts.

Japanese artist Akira Yamaguchi was commissioned to adorn each bottle with his creative perspective and its packaging. Juxtaposing famed landmarks from both Tokyo and the Highland Distillery, Yamaguchi-san proposes an intricate work, uniting his maximalist style with Glenmorangie’s technicolor palette.  

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Any traveler to Tokyo usually relies heavily on rechargeable IC cards like Suica and Pasmo, even though multi-day travel passes and single trip paper tickets are also available.

Refilling and topping up those cards, let alone purchasing physical tickets, can be a bit burdensome if you lack experience operating the ticket terminals, apps or are hesitant to speak with a ticket agent.

The temporary halt in sales of Pasmo and Suica cards last month due to a global shortage of semiconductors added an additional layer of complexity for travelers and daily commuters.

Now, a welcome and significant announcement has surfaced — major Tokyo train companies are getting ready to introduce contactless fare systems that you can pay with credit and debit cards.

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