Springtime Spirit — Celebrating the Hinamatsuri in Kyoto
In early March, peach blossoms start to bloom, while families with young daughters get busy with preparations for the Hinamatsuri. The Girls’ Day festival has its origins in imperial court customs of the Heian period (794–1185) and gradually gained popularity among all classes wishing good health and happiness for their daughters. Come and see how this major event is celebrated in the ancient capital.
Bento — Boxing up happiness
How can you wait until lunchtime when a variety of sizzling delights nestles in your lunchbox? Whether it’s a simple Hinomaru bento with plain white rice and an umeboshi plum, or a big picnic to serve four, bento meals are picking up new fans worldwide. Renowned washoku chef Masahiro Kasahara shares some of his recipes.
Wonders of Washi — Discovering the tradition of handcrafted paper
In the autumn of 2014, washi paper was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. We visit centuries-old production sites to observe artisans making three highly commended types of washi: Honmino-shi, Sekishu-banshi, and Hosokawa-shi.
Amazing Aquascapes — Gardens under glass
Takashi Amano, the world-famous aquarist known for his innovative and breathtaking aquariums, seeks to replicate scenes from nature in a fish tank. Immerse yourself in his spectacular underwater world.
Lucky Strolls in Tokyo — In search of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune
Looking for a destination for a spring stroll? Why not make a short pilgrimage for Shichifukujin, the Seven Gods of Good Fortune? Gather some luck on stops at temples and shrines dedicated to these gods on their treasure ship. Asakusa, Yanaka, or Minato-ku, which is your choice today?
DesignLab — Patterns / Architecture / Food Art / Products
Cutting-edge designs that blend old and new in captivating ways • Patterns: Art in knots • Architecture: Yokoo immersion • Food Art: An artist plays with her food • Products: A mecca for industrial design • Products: Origami you can wear