Contributors / Danielle Demetriou

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Shopping heaven

Tokyo’s Ginza district is already one of Japan’s top spots for department stores and upmarket shopping. Now it has two very different new additions.

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Force of nature

Few anticipated the enormous scale of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last March. Monocle talks to Eiji Kimizuka, chief of staff for the Ground Self-Defense Force, to learn how the rescue effort continues one year…

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Future proof

The Japanese city of Kyoto is renowned for its ancient traditions. But a crop of young designers is making sure it’s also set to become one of the nation’s creative hubs of the future.

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Expo 48: Golf state

South Korea has created a golf culture that leaves most other nations swinging away in a sandy bunker. Monocle visits some of the country’s top clubs and meets their quirky members and attentive staff.

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Rocket man

Having dreamt of space travel since childhood, Koichi Wakata is a seasoned astronaut and a household name in Japan. Now he is preparing for his biggest trip yet.

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Yes we cram

As South Korea’s economy continues its rapid growth, so too does its education system. And the fight to get little junior an early leg-up in life begins in the ‘hagwon’, an often expensive crammer school where hours are…

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Stage craft

As the summer festival season approaches we visited the factories of three musical instrument makers who are world leaders for their attention to craft and superior sound quality.

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Forest wisdom

Sankara Hotel & Spa is a new eco-friendly island hideaway surrounded by ancient forests and mountains off the coast of Kyushu. It offers detached villas and a cultural blend of Balinese design and impeccable Japanese hos…

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Balmy army

Guam’s population will increase by almost half in 2014 when the US military relocates to this tropical paradise from Japan’s Okinawa. It’s a milestone in the island’s history and a development boom is under way.

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Nature's teachings

Dai Nippon Printing’s new training centre, by architect Kenya Ishihara, was designed to inspire its employees. With a spa and views of Mount Fuji, it seems more like a retreat than a place of work but with this incentive…

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My last meal: Master Shibatayama

The almighty Master Shibatayama, a former Grand Champion sumo wrestler, chooses a traditional Japanese restaurant in Shinjuku for his Last Meal. He runs a sumo school in Tokyo and is the author of several books on regional…

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Snow place like home

It was the perfect powdery snow blown in from Siberia that attracted the Aussie skiers. And when they decided to stay put and open hotels and cafés they kickstarted a small business and development boom in Niseko, a once…

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Spark life

The world is going electric in a bid to combat environmental change and energy dependency. For once this Christmas, batteries are included.

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Expo 29: How I Govern

Some live in danger and need armoured protection. Some deal with deep poverty and ongoing provincial wars. Others have ‘noodle’ meetings, tend to high society and take power naps and weekly fasts. from Nagasaki to washin…

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Happy now?

The nation that had no TV until 10 years ago and is famous for using its Gross National Happiness index as a measure of success rather than GDP, has been a democracy for just over a year. Monocle talks to its prime minister…

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Briefing

South Korea employs a German-born TV celebrity to give the country an image overhaul, in Shanghai everyone starts “digging for China” and in Japan, scientists have pioneered a less gory method of conducting autopsies.

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My last meal: Bruno Contgiani

A terrible accident led Bruno Contigiani to found the Art of Slow Living movement. And he practises what he preaches with a leisurely ‘last’ lunch at the Elio Locanda Italiana in Tokyo, a hangout for sumo stars and polit…

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Peter Pan pensioners

Japan has the fastest ageing population in the world, and businesses are quick to provide architect-designed care homes and grandchild robots for the elderly. Other nations need to take note of opportunities in this booming…

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My last meal: Prêt à manger

Fashion designer Jean Touitou enjoys good food and eating in down-to-earth settings. For his ‘last meal’ he has chosen Maisen, a tonkatsu restaurant on a quiet back street in Tokyo’s Jingumae district.

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Master of the robes

A decade ago it was rare to see a pair of Tokyo teenage boys out shopping in kimonos. But attitudes to national identity are starting to change. Genbei Yamaguchi’s new collection for United Arrows is targeting this shift…

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Love box

In a city with 21,500 karaoke bars, exclusive members club Amour is in a different league. Founded by Parisian club impresario and graffiti artist André and with interiors by Marc Newson, it is luring a well-heeled inter…

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Time is everything

Japan may not be the first country that springs to mind when you think of the best traditional mechanical watches, but the Grand Seiko series, relaunched in 1998, has found a loyal following in Asia.

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